Thursday, April 3, 2014

Land of the Free and home of the Brave...

Title comes from something else I wanted to write about, but Fort Hood, Texas is on the news. One, it is a sad thing that so many are dead and wounded or injured. And the shooter was a service member, a Veteran of the last of Iraq.

The story bothers me, because what has happened in the wars since Vietnam, is the idea that PTSD is everywhere in combat, and needs to be treated and disability applied. That last is where the money is, disability and treatment, untaxed dollars and lifetime privileges. So instead of like most wars, the wounded became a burden on the family or hidden from society in Veterans Homes, now people could make money from them, medical retirements and commissary and exchange benefits forever.

I know the wounded need medical, dental and rejoin polite society adjustments - not that I think re-joining polite society is the highest one should reach for. Still I do want them cared for, but ever since the German chemists and medical doctors started playing with humans to see how far they could go - I have been worried about the idea that a pill can compensate, for any ill. It has never been true, and it doesn't change because we have better chemicals, more science and more research. There are disclaimers on television advertising - side effects include, if you are having suicide thoughts, changes in mood or ... stop taking the medication and consult with a physician. They may put the warning there because of lawyers and law suits, but really it could be that all medications don't treat exactly the same thing in the same way in every patient.

So I always come back to you have to care for them, watch them and their reaction to the treatments - and it would be perfect if you would love your patients, to the point of willing to die for them, but I would be putting some stress on the providers.

While watching one of the exercise groups at the YMCA, I thought to myself that Zumba classes for two years might make the returning troubled veteran much happier than anything the doctors will do. It shouldn't hurt to try it, never saw so many happy sweaty exercisers in in rhythm!

For sure really talk to the vets, eye to eye contact - not looking at your PDA as you twitch your thumbs over the flirt that just showed up.

Never mind me, only someone from some of my wars understands - which is why those treating the wounded have some but not enough idea. And the best doctors and nurses all love their patients. I am not to be trusted, I have been missing my watch since I left the YMCA, several hours ago, and just found it on the other wrist. Sigh, I think I will put the real story of Noah in the VCR, where John Huston does it right.


  1. Attention to detail, NOT your frikkin iphone is what they SHOULD be doing... sigh

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