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Archive for the ‘MA’ Category

When the Medically Necessary is Deemed Unnecessary, You Get the Feeling You’re on a Sinking Ship

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by Treadmarkz

This ought to raise the ire of apologists for both sides of the political scene, but I don’t really intend it as such. Though I am sure it will become a big issue during this election season, I think this is the result of a problem that has been stewing over the course of the last three administrations, if not longer. The problem? Intermittent Catheters have been deemed not to be “medically necessary” and therefore not covered by UCare. Many people on Medical Assistance have recently been moved over to UCare or a similar program.

I have to be very blunt, I fail to see how something so basic as emptying the bladder has been deemed not necessary. Its kind of like how insulin is covered for diabetics but the syringes necessary to inject it are not covered.
Has anybody faced either of these problems or anything similar? What have you done to solve it?

I Got My First Quickie Today

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by Treadmarkz

I knew that titled would get ya. Anyway, if you don’t know, Quickie is one of the most popular brand names in wheelchairs, and they are rather expensive. In fact, I have found that it is hard to get Medical Assistance to cover one. But I got one. I guess they were feeling generous, as it is nearly Christmas. So I am back in business. Not a second too soon either. One of my wheels was just about ready to come off, and it was just a pile a garbage in general. Anyway I feel healthier already.
I spent last night reminiscing about the 8 years or so that I spent with my old wheelchair, with the song “Two of Us” by the Beatles as a backdrop.

“Two of us riding nowhere spending someone’s hard-earned pay” (Okay my wheelchair always hated that line because it felt like the song was pointing out that the only reason I had it was through Medical Assistance which was funded by tax payers. I reassured my wheelchair by reminding it that I am a tax-payer too.)

“Two of us Sunday driving, not arriving on our way back home”
“You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.”

I am not going to miss my old wheelchair. It will be recycled post haste.

Why It Takes More Than A Disabled War Veteran and the Mother of a Child With a Disability To Win My Vote

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by Treadmarkz,

I have encountered fellow citizens of the U.S. who were shocked that I would not be voting for John McCain/Sarah Palin in this year’s election. Astounded, really.

“Don’t you think Sarah Palin, as a mother of a disabled kid, and John McCain, as a disabled War Veteran, would do everything they can for disabled people?”

I have endless respect for McCain’s sacrifice in War, and I know from listening to my mother talk about raising me what Palin must go through to get her child what he needs to live the life she wants for him. So this is a valid question. Sure Palin is the mother of a child with Down Syndrome. But I don’t know what she would do as a leader. I mean if my own mother were in the White House, I have a good idea of the laws that she would want changed and I would trust her judgement. But I don’t know enough about Palin to know if I trust the things that she would have pushed for as VP. And nobody can know what’s best for all the different kinds of disabled people. So you have to vote for the overall best choice you have available. And I believe I did.

And besides that, any change that was made on behalf of disabled people would have to be voted on by the law-making bodies of our government, not just installed by Palin OR McCain. I know that is how it works under Bush/Cheney but we are back to reality now. In that respect I know that disabled people are just as well off under Obama as we would have been with Palin or McCain.

I told the person that asked me this that sometimes it is better if people that have a little distance from the issue make the decision. And what I meant was that if we want this to be a fair and balanced country, the laws and “changes” need to be made by people without self-interest in the issues.

And speaking of self-interest, despite an earlier posting in which I noted that Obama was the only candidate that mentioned disabled people on his Web site, I know that there are issues that are infinitely more important to this country than whether I get accessibility to certain buildings, etc. Such as the issue of whether I get to keep getting my health care for free while others don’t have health care at all. Such as whether my president is going to stop or continue isolating us from the rest of the world. Whether he is going to take the time to read the CIA reports about potential attacks. Whether my president is going to make education a priority for everyone. Whether he is going to tax the people who have the money to spare (the facts don’t lie, if you actually paid attention to what McCain and Obama were saying). The list goes on and on.

The point is that I am a citizen of this country and I care about the things that everyone else does. So it took more than two people with direct connections with disabilities to get my vote. That is why I voted for Obama.

Wheelchairs Anonymous

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by Treadmarkz

I went the other day to pick out my new wheelchair, and to fill out the paperwork for the wheelchair dealer to send in to the State of Minnesota so I could get my request approved by Medical Assistance, and two things stuck out, for me.

First thing: I had to get a prescription for my wheelchair. Why? I am clearly disabled and in need of an alternative method of locomotion. My legs won’t cut it. Why do I need proof that I need a chair? Are there people who are abusing wheelchairs? Are people overdosing on wheelchairs? Is there some illegal underground trafficking of wheelchairs that I don’t know about? Well, okay, with this one, if more people lose their social security, and MA and all that, this may happen. But as far as I know, this has not become an issue.

And secondly, when I was filling out the paperwork, I was asked my Social Security # and my MA card’s number, of course, and my address and phone number so they could contact me, of course. But then, out of the blue, Question #5 read, verbatim: “What is your role in society?” I thought “What the bloody hell?” I didn’t know where to start. But I knew what they were getting at. Again they don’t want to be giving away wheelchairs to just any bum off the street! You never know what the hell they’ll do with ’em! So I told them about my job where I am in a hectic office environment where I put on a lot of miles, not to mention the fact that I have a life and occasionally I, imagine this, go places!

But I didn’t need that. It’s National Disabled Employment Awareness Month for cryin’ out loud, and they want to know why I need a functional wheelchair? They don’t ask walkies that question when they buy a pair of shoes, do they? Nope. Just us.

Could the Chicago Cubs Claim a Permanent Disability?

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by Treadmarkz

The Chicago Cubs collected the most wins in the National League this year and yet they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that made the playoffs because they won their division, but had the least wins of all NL playoff teams. Why? I’ll tell you why. The Curse of Fred Merkle. Look it up.

Because of this curse, the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. Yes that is 100 years this year. Being the 100th anniversary of the Cubs’ last championship, everyone in the baseball universe thought it quite fitting that they were having their best year in…ever, almost. It was almost a cosmic inevitability that the Cubs would finally shrug of the Curse of Merkle.

100 years.

Almost 100 wins.

It had to be.

And yet it isn’t.

Why? Because the Cubs are cursed.

Couldn’t the Cubs claim this curse as a permanent disability? If they did, think of the benefits they could receive. They could get the National League to pay for all of their expenses, so that they could save up their money for payroll and put together the most unstoppable force that ever took the field. They could get a first round bye in the playoffs. And all seven games of the NLCS and World Series at Wrigley Field so they would not have to travel!

Oh but then if they won the World Series, they would no longer be able to claim permanent disability. So never mind.

Going Wheelchair Shopping

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by Treadmarkz

Some time this week I am going shopping for a new chair. I got my prescription from my doctor. The chair I am in is definitely not fit to last another winter. I used and abused it this summer. I think all of that running around, along with the pressure of my job, have given me high blood pressure. Not really high, but higher than normal. I found that out when I had my appointments. Weird. I just wanted to get a prescription for a new chair and I found that out.

By the way, the doctor barely looked at me and started writing out the prescription for the chair, so I don’t know why I had to spend the time.

My Wheelchair Is My Car…and Yeah, I Beat the Hell Out of It

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by Treadmarkz

       Well, ladies and gentlemen, after years and years with this old piece of metal, plastic and upholstery, I am finally going to get a new wheelchair. Well, let’s not be hasty, actually. On October 3 I am going to see my doctor to see if I can get a prescription for a new wheelchair. I am hoping that:

       1. the fact that my current chair has no working breaks

       2. the upholstery on the backrest is worn out and exposed metal is touching my shoulder blades

       3. one of my tires is worn away to what’s under the rubber in one small area

       4. one of my tires is separating from the wheel in a small area

       5. my front casters wobble

       6. the shaft in which my caster is mounted is supposed to be capped by I lost that cap a long time ago, and haven’t found anything that will stay on it, and in the winter it gets wet and rusty in there and sometimes the caster does not turn properly

       7. several spokes are loose or bent on both wheels

               and

       8. it’s filthy

         will be sufficient reasons to warrant a new chair. I was told last year by Medical Assistance that the chair would have to be unfixable in order to get a new chair. In other words it couldn’t just be something that could simply be replaced. I told them that would leave me without a chair if it was unfixable, but these reasons combined should add up to a situation where it would be easier just to start fresh with a new chair.

         I am looking for something that is sporty but not too much so. I am not really an “athlete” but I am active. I do wear out the tires. I want something lightweight and easily trasportable since my wife and I have a Ford Taurus. The one I have has removable wheels and the backrest folds down, and I think I’d like to stick with something like that.

         Any suggestions?

         Wish me luck.