Just Whining or Just Tattling

Grrrrr…….I’ve started all the paperwork needed to be reimbursed for the traveling expenses surrounding my sons last surgery.  I requested a change of who his PCM is and was granted that change from the commander of the Lyster Health Clinic at Fort Rucker.  Normally when you are part of an active duty family there is an existing mostly military operated healthcare structure close by that you must originate from on your healthcare journeys.  Most of the physicians who are part of that system right now are also soldiers.  There are a few doctors who are contractors involved as well but I haven’t been really happy with those that I’ve seen at Lyster because they only seem to want to punch the time clock and let’s face it…….if you are a kickin unowned physician you are kickin in your own practice.

I’m not anti military doctor either.  Some are good and some not so good but Dr. Campbell who is the creator of the titanium rib device and procedure that saved my sons life started out as an Army doctor.  He told me that he always desired to be a doctor but his family couldn’t even begin to pay for that schooling so he did what a lot of impoverished future doctors do and sold himself to the military for awhile and they got him the schooling.  My son has been passed onto Dr. Simmons now.  Dr. Simmons is an orthopedic surgeon who put together wounded soldiers coming out of Iraq.  Dr. Campbell knew this Simmons character while in the service and knew that he rocked as an orthopedic surgeon so told him that when his time was up in the military he needed to work with him helping these kids with horrible scoliosis be able to live and Simmons did. He, like many other dallas orthopedic surgeons, brought their talents to those who were in need of it.  So how could I sanely be anti military physician?

Our best physicians within the military system are called away at this time as they should be.  My son’s prior surgery to this most recent one required that a clip on one of his ribs be moved and when he got home he had a lot of pain in that area.  I took him to Lyster where the military physician who had been left stateside (probably for reasons you and I won’t be able to get documentation on) acted completely overwhelmed where his needs were concerned for the third time.  I ended up needing to tell her that my son needed Xrays to make sure that the clip had not moved or lost purchase and then I needed to tell her what views those Xrays needed to be and for some reason she was unable to dial a phone and speak to anyone in San Antonio with direct titanium rib knowledge.  I have not been to medical school so what the fuck here?

I had had to see a private physician with my son a year before when he reacted very badly to a spider bite and Lyster was closed.  The guy was concise, thorough, and when he walked into the room to treat Josh he had looked up his very rare genetic disorder on his available databases and entered the room “armed”.  He was obviously curious and positively challenged about treating “special people”.  This man was going to become Joshua’s primary care physician in the area we currently live in while everything military is so fubar or blood was going to be shed stateside.  The patient advocate told me that I was required to write a letter to the clinic’s commander describing why I felt this need. I did and my needs were granted quite quickly….that part was nice 😉

I have moved Joshua around within the Tricare South system though by requesting his movement to a private physician PCM.  My reimbursement for medical travel costs are coming from a regional DOD office now and not from Fort Rucker travel funds.  I pay for our plane tickets and lodging and meals and then turn all of our receipts in for reimbursement.  I am allowed to spend $103 per night’s lodging in San Antonio….these are the RULES that MUST be followed and I’m okay with that!

I phoned my new “travel person” who is in Mississippi yesterday because I had not received the packet she told me that she was going to send me.  She told me that she didn’t send it because Humana had not gotten back with her blah blah blah….fine, whatever.  Before we left though she brought up us staying at Ronald McDonald House.

I have stayed at a Ronald McDonald House before.  It was when my son’s doctor in Colorado Springs wanted Shriners to assess my son’s scoliosis because Shriner’s has led the way in that area in the past.  Tricare wasn’t going to cover that though.  I have a great Uncle in California who was a Potentate (whatever that is……..fricken sexist organization), and he made all the calls to the local Shriners that got Joshua started.  I drove to Salt Lake City and when we went I made arrangements to stay at the Ronald McDonald House there.

Ronald McDonald House totally rules by the way!  During our stay I met real people in real need using the facility.  Food stuffs are donated if you don’t have your own.  You do your own cooking, they just ask that you clean up.  When we were there an organization showed up every night to cook us all a simple dinner if we wanted it.  I hadn’t originally thought I would join in but the assessments were grueling.  It was really hard and emotionally devastating sitting in on physicians speaking about various degrees of hopelessness where your child is concerned. So when we returned to the House at night it really was a blessing to have a group of happy giving people fixing you spaghetti.  You don’t have to pay a fee for staying at Ronald McDonald House if you don’t have the money.  My son eats a lot of happy meals and he gets to because I have a hard time keeping weight on him.  McDonalds can be beneficial for a very slim skinny minority on the planet and that’s special needs kids who have very small appetites and we special needs moms will take advantage.  My extra change always goes into the Ronald McDonald House box.  I’ve seen who they help and those people have no insurance….they are hanging onto their lives and the lives of their children by their fingernails.  My husband has been able to work daily though and he serves this nation during a “time of war” for this “war time president”.  You guys pay for our health insurance…….even if you don’t get any for yourself.  You guys pay the wages this house runs on……..and though nobody owns you you get to do this while always risking the possibility of unemployment and I truly appeciate that.

Yesterday the woman managing my travel again brought up Ronald McDonald House and asked sort of accusatory if I had stayed there while we were in San Antonio.  This is the second time now she has tried to sell USING AND IN MY OPINION ABUSING Ronald McDonald House to me.  I replied dryly “No” and then it ate on me after I hung up the phone and it ate on me all fricken night long and continues this morning.  Seeing Olberman last night and the story about the wounded soldier receiving a letter that he needed to return part of his enlistment bonus didn’t help in that department either and only aided in the gnawing on me.  If military contractors are having a meeting in San Antonio they will probably stay on the Riverwalk and you will pay for that too but if one of the children of one of your soldiers must travel for a surgery they want that child to take advantage of a charity so they don’t have to pay so much?  Gee, if I had told Ronald McDonald House that I couldn’t pay anything for lodging then the military wouldn’t have to reimburse me for any lodging either.  Bush can spend billions and billions of dollars on Iraq and hire mercenaries for a thousand dollars a day but a soldier’s son is expected rely on a charity when so many other children in this country don’t even have insurance and their parents desperately need that charity?  I’m whining but I’m also sort of flippin livid right now!


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  1. I feel the need.

  2. we will all rely upon charities because charities will be the economy.

    • pfiore8 on November 21, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    among friends tracy… so sorry that you need to deal so much crap to get your soon the medical care he needs. but i’m grateful for the kinder aspects of your story… like being cooked spaghetti and your great uncle…

    { { { { {tracy} } } }  

    • Alma on November 21, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    How about staying at the Ronald McDonald House and giving them that amount and charge the system for it?  Is that possible?

  3. Am I whining?  Am I tattling? Probably both 😉

  4. were awful and I’m NOT going to recount them here (well, having an absessed tooth extracted with no pain relief when I was six–no suprise I remember that!)Let me just say that the shade of green all military hospitals are painted is a color that automatically makes my skin crawl.

    I think the commonality is a system set up to treat grown male soldiers being used in a kind of offhand way to take care of their families.

    You’d think after a century or so they’d figure out how to do that.

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