Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I dispair

The fact that our government works at all is a minor miracle. The fact that some people get help from the government without a two- or three-year fight, that they are able to get something done without a lawyer being involved, is a major miracle.

I'm sure there are dozens, if not hundreds, of veterans out there that deserve a VA disability, but haven't been able to fight through the mountains of paperwork necessary to substantiate their claims. I am sure there are hundreds of people that should be recognized as disabled, based on clinical evidence, but that are turned down for various reasons. I am also positive that, thanks to ambulance-chasing trial lawyers, there are hundreds of doctors afraid to put anything in writing that might get them even near a whiff of a lawsuit, to the detriment of their patients.

I can't be the only one with these problems.

I just got a letter back from Social Security, disapproving my claim for Social Security disability. They have decided that ""you have the capacity to perform the demands of your past work as Software Test Engineer Technician as it is generally performed."

I have a hyperacusis problem. Noise bothers me. It causes my neck muscles to tense up, which triggers both cervical nerve pain (I had a 2-level cervical fusion, and there's a BUNCH of osteoarthritis from C3 through T1, and that pinches nerve roots, especially when the muscles contract), and massive headaches. There are not many jobs quite as noisy as software testing, especially in an open laboratory with some 350 personal computers, all with the casings removed so the test teams can get to the innards as frequently as software testers have to. It's also a job with an enormous stress factor - there's always a deadline, there are always problems, and there are always equipment/software/test failures.

The whole disability thing started with a letter from a physician saying I couldn't continue at the job and expect any relief at all from my symptoms. I loved the job, but it was killing me. The only choice was quit. Now the Social Security Administration tells me I can work there again. In the meantime, my symptoms have gotten worse, not better.

This is our government, and they're here to "help us".

It's a good thing I don't possess a gun (or the money to buy one), or I'd definitely consider going postal.


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