Monday, May 28, 2012

Catch Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Win the Lottery

This news story points out that the tentacles of the welfare-blob have extended far into the military culture. 50% of our Vets are applying for disability, but don't fret, the government is only going to give it to 47.5% of them. And I'm not talking about people with battlefield injuries or training injuries. No one argues about that, but really, how does one catch Sleep Apnea? How are you disabled if you have a hysterectomy while in uniform? Is it something about having to run and do sit-ups and push-ups? Something about having to keep your weight within standards?

Why, if you 'catch' sleep apnea while you are serving does it... CHA CHING!... get you 50% disability? If you are able to get the Sleep Apnea and PTSD double-whammy then you are getting close to 100% disability. Guess what you have to do to get a PTSD diagnosis? Well, if would help to figure out what the diagnostic criteria are, and after that you fill out a piece of paper and check some boxes. That's how hard it is. Glad we are flush with cash or we wouldn't be able to pay for this.

There's not even the pretense anymore that people are not TRYING to get this diagnosis as I have 22-year-olds come in and to see me who are thin and in good shape and they tell me the most amazing list of issues..... 'Doc, I can't imagine what's wrong.... my girlfriend says I snore all the time, that I wake myself up at night, that I stop breathing for between thirty seconds and a minute every night and during the day I am very sleepy and sometimes fall asleep at the wheel of my car... Geez doc, what could it be?" Well, it's not sleep apnea, it's called fraud.

And then there's Aaron, one of my patients who was nearly killed in Afghanistan last year. An RPG round managed to partially penetrate the armored vehicle he was in and he nearly lost his leg. He was concussed and spent four months in various hospitals getting multiple surgeries and skin grafts. He has PTSD but insists he is getting better every day (he is). When he arrived back on base I was prepared to send him to the transition unit where his out-processing could be done without him having to do regular military stuff.

"No. No way doc... I'm going back to my unit. I need physical therapy and a few other things but I'm going back to my unit."

I loved that but called his command. "Hey Colonel, I know Aaron wants to rejoin the unit but it may never happen and I really think he has done his part... I want to get him to the transition unit so they can do his out-processing.....

"No. No way doc.... He's coming back to our unit." And that's exactly what happened, full thickness skin grafts and all. I love my job.


  1. Questioning our Disabled War Veterans on the day we set aside to drink beer and eat hot dogs???
    OK, its not quite as bad as that Al-Kaida flag in your bedroom, but it's close.
    And before MY harrowing 96 hrs of Com-Bat in Gulf War 1, I had a full head of hair, could run a mile in 6 minutes, and could rub out 4-5 good ones a day...
    Now people ask me how the Chemo's going, I'm on every Knee Replacement Surgicenter's mailing list, and...
    well some thangs get better with age.
    MY Thang, for example


  2. hell Frank,
    I question a lot of them every day. 'might as well try to get as much as they will give me doc'.... and I think less of them for it.

    say, Nick Fairley seems a bit unfairly maligned to me. if we could place him in the Drackman household do you think that you and your lovely wife and daughters could reform him? it's a phone call away.

  3. I know, I know,
    Drunk Driving, Disorderly, 120mph police chase, Smokin the Chronic...
    THATS the kind of Defensive Lineman Auburn's lookin for!
    Well except maybe for the smokin part, hurts the stamina.
    Not some 4.0 Roads Scholar Pre-Med Egghead who credits his sucess to some fictitious Hebrew Carpenter...
    and I'd rather see a Nick Fairley poster in my daughters bedroom than that "Usher" Homo..


  4. I'm not talking about a Nick Fairley POSTER in your daughter's bedroom... I'm talking about the man-child himself. Phone call away.

  5. That Nick Fairley is one bad Mother F-Shut yo' Mouth!...
    And my youngest daughter, the product of one of my last Swimmers to make that 10 inch Hadj to the outside world...
    She's been in a Georiga Pubic Highschool for the last year..
    Could give a damn bout the SAT scores, its 12 miles closer, thats 120 miles/week, that ZO6 don't run on water...
    and did you know the Pubic Schools are FREE?
    And she's more into the Asian guys thank you very much, takes after her old man.
    The Asian part I mean, not the guy part.
    We were even gonna do a "Blind Side" thang, pick some deserving orphaned Zipper, I mean Vietnamese kid, give him 4 hots and a hut, tutors, good haircut so....
    OK, probably won't play for the Ravens, but maybe
    he could get the surround sound in my Man-Cave to work, I've got 52 episodes of "Gilmore Girls" I haven't been able to enjoy fully...
    Lets see, is there a demo-graphic group I haven't insulted??
    Blacks, Japs, Asians, oh yeah,
    forget about the Usher Homo..
    I mean, when I was a kid, if I had a poster of some Black Homo on my bedroom wall, instead of Jimmy Hendricks...


  6. Frustrating, isn't it? People who have injuries that could get them out but chose to stay in and do PT, take huge doses of Vitamin M and suck it up, but those 22 year olds with Apnea, paycheck. Gurrr..