I am currently trying, once again, to deal with the Veteran’s Administration (VA), to get my left femur replaced. At this point in time, I have been trying for 38 years to get this problem fixed.
In all of that time, the standard response of the VA has been “the problem is not yet severe enough for us to justify the expense or risk of performing the procedure.” What that means is, because the procedure would probably need to be repeated in 20 years, they are unwilling to do the corrective surgery before I am old enough to only qualify for it one time.
So, because I became disabled so young (aged 18), I have spent 38 years waiting for the chance to resume anything even remotely resembling a normal life – even though it would only require ONE surgery to deliver that option to me.
My new primary care doctor, at the VA Health clinic in Joplin, was willing to order a new MRI to evaluate the situation, and that has been scheduled for later this month. However, based on the report of the preliminary X-rays before the MRI, I am not expecting them to agree to the procedure at this time.
IMHO, this is a completely upside down evaluation. The VA is looking at how many times the procedure may need to be done throughout my lifetime – and what I am concerned about is my quality of life for however long I have left. The last 38 years have been what should have been some of the most productive years of my life – and of them I’ve spent 28 years doing minimum wage labor, and the last 10 years I’ve been unemployable. All of this despite the undeniable fact that nobody knows for sure when I will die – whether by an accident, illness, or natural causes. Let’s not forget, it all started with a bone tumor, and that caused a permanent impairment to my immune system.
If the VA tells me later this month that they are still not willing to replace my femur, my wife is considering adding me to her medical insurance, just to attempt to get the surgery done. I think that is still a long shot, but we’ll look at it. If it isn’t viable, I’m considering whether it is time to consider a new body. Continuing the downward spiral is certainly not going to be viable for very long, and since I do believe in a form of reincarnation, it is worth thinking about.