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On The Military Medical...


I was on Okinawa in the Air Force from 1986 to 1993. During that time, my wife, who is Korean, and has had all kinds of trouble with lower back disks, began to experience excruciating shooting pain and numbness in her right leg. We started out at the hospital on Kadena Air Base and got nowhere for months. (it's a hazy memory) (Lots of physical therapy) Eventually, I went "YAY!" mentally when they finally decided to send her to Balboa Naval Hospital in California. The flight was excruciating, especially for my wife. When we arrived, we were eventually sent to the orthopedics section of the hospital. My wife couldn't even really walk. We waited for hours, my wife on a cot. I think it might have been 12 hours or so. During that time five or six doctors came in and did the same things to my wife. One of the things all except the last doctor did, was to raise her right leg as high as possible. This action caused her to shriek in agony every time. When the last doctor came in and started doing things to my wife, I put my foot down. Though he was a high-ranking officer and a doctor, I told him not to raise my wife's leg (in no uncertain terms.)

They set us up in a hotel, where we stayed for well over a month. I can't remember for sure; It was miserable. During that time, I ate at Denny's a lot and spent more Tax-Payer money than I ever would have spent on my own. I looked forward to the relatively large perdiem I would receive upon my return to Okinawa and I resented everything else. I was exceedingly worried about my two daughters who had not been allowed by the system to come with us.

My older daughter, since, has described to me how the people they stayed with treated them. It wasn't good. The people they stayed with, chosen by my wife and I, were religious fanatics. My younger daughter took something off a shelf in a store, having absulutely no concept of shop-lifting. She just thought the item was there for her. It was so innocent, it wasn't even discovered until they got home. The way those people's children treated her for that is absolutely inexcusable. They didn't even take it back to the store; they made her flush it down the toilet. No wonder we have religious wars. On a side-note, the father of the family got a DUI later.

Once a week, during the month or more that my wife and I stayed in the hotel my wife was given physical therapy, which distressed me because nothing was being done and I knew physical therapy would not help.

Eventually, finally, magically, someone told us that we needed to be seen by the "Spine Clinic", which was held every Wednesday. We did that the very next Wednesday. Two doctors looked at her catscan, with one seeming to be "in charge". In minutes, the doctors concluded that she had a herniated disk and that it needed to be removed. The operation was set up for the next day, I believe. As soon as my wife completely awakened from the surgery, she not only could walk, but was instructed to walk a lot because it was good for her back.

We went back to Okinawa and picked up our children and resumed.

Part of my wife's foot is numb to this day because that took so long, not to mention the expense to the taxpayer.

I became somewhat of an expert on the back during that time. There is a disk that separates the two ajacent vertibrae. It is filled with a jelly-like substance and the outer wall has a gristly consistancy. In some people, this wall is weak and because of the pressure of a person's weight, the disk can develop a bulge. There is a hole that allows nerve bundles to exit/enter the spinal column on each side of each vertibrea. The herniated disk bulges into the hole and pinches the nerve. I asked the most qualified doctor I met and he informed me that it can eventually press hard enough to actually cut the nerve bundle in half. Since I believe in God, I say that God, in his infinite wisdom, put the less important nerves (pain-sensing) on the outside of the nerve bundle and the more important nerves (muscle control) on the inside. This has brought about a medical waiting game where surgery is a last resort.

My poor wife is currantly experiencing really wierd feelings in her left arm and is getting a similar healthcare runaround with that. Latest word is that the Doctors think she has a pinched nerve in her neck.

Until our healthcare system is fixed, we have no right to go to war or to Mars, in my opinion.


The above causing her right leg pain and the current 15 month old left arm pain have made it so that she can't even figure out which side to lay on when she tries to sleep.

I repeat:

Until our healthcare system is fixed, we have no right to go to war or to Mars, in my opinion.

How can I possibly put it?