Friday, July 9, 2010

Rick's Log: June 1 to 4, 2010

Picture: Rick prepares to go to dialysis
6-1-10, Tuesday
Dad & Diane sent us birthday money (yay) and I splurged on 5 quarts of oil for the Nissan and a filter which I changed out today, at 208,117 miles on the odometer. Badly needed, too. It's been almost 5,000 miles since the last change. I believe it was the last thing I did before moving to Quartermaster Heights (in October 2007). Never once since I've owned that truck have I treated it so poorly! Shame shame on me.
I stopped off at Jon Knudson's office to give him a retainer and our debt info for bankruptcy proceedings. He wasn't so I stuffed the envelope through his mail slot. I hope we're in time.
As I was leaving I noticed with some surprise that the office right next door now belongs to Height Water! Mary Anne came floating out of the office at the same time and gave me a big hug and a tour of the new office. They've been in there for about a year and Helen has been working about 6 hours a week for WE #19 to help fill in the gaps there. Man, am I out of the loop.
Today the lawsuit was due to come to trial, but got put off until Thursday. We are eager to get this event over with. It has been such a drain on our morale.
6-2-10, Wednesday
I stopped into WD #19 to tell them the latest turn of events involving the PD catheter replacement on June 15 followed by recuperation time. If the new catheter works I can probably get back to work sometime in July. If not, the new catheter will have to come out and another recuperation period will follow. And more delay in getting back to work.
Mary spent the whole day in the courtroom listening to (the people suing us) go on about the loss of quality of life of (the sue-er). Their answers to their lawyer's questions were scripted, so their answers to all questions were identical and pat. When our insurance lawyer cross-examined them, they got a deer-in-the-headlights look, and rambled.
The judge did ask their lawyer how they came up with their figures (what they were asking in damages), a question which stumped their lawyer (Mary's note: I think the judge asked this because he wanted some comic relief, and he certainly got it).
In order to get the trial over today, Mary agreed not to testify, in part because she was so angry she thought she would make the case worse.
Boy oh boy – this is NOT the way I had hoped to face up to my elder years – being plundered while being bled white by dialysis and dying of renal disease. This is the retirement plan from Hell! My tombstone should read, “Dedicated to those who made me what I am today.”
6-4-10, Friday
The big busy day is upon me. Woke up at 0600 and caught the 8:40 boat, wading into the herd of commuters at Fauntleroy. An amazing sight and one not often seen at this hour was the line of cars waiting to catch the boat to Vashon/Southworth. They were lined up almost to the 76 station, maybe ½ a mile from the dock.
It took a half hour to get from West Seattle to the interchange of the Spokane Street Viaduct and Highway 99 (a distance of maybe two miles); then another 25 minutes to get from there to Highway 5 (another mile). Highway 99 and I-5 looked just like the West Seattle Freeway and once I got past the on-ramp to Interstate 5 it was clear sailing all the way to the VA Hospital. The parking lot had volunteer vets everywhere, helping the arriving vets to find available spaces. Wow! I felt I had come home at last! I got there at 0946, 15 minutes early. Vets everywhere! The place was packed and everyone there was guided by the spirit of helpfulness. Everyone there was moved through the lines with speed and efficiency. People helped guide me through the huge buildings the considerable paperwork to be filled out. I got my picture taken for a VA ID card and met Rita W., my case worker. Gone are the days when you had to prove by virtue of witnesses hat you had actually set foot on the soil of Vietnam to prove eligibility for Agent Orange exposure. Now, eligibility is determined by whether you carry the Vietnam service medal or not. Period.
Same thing for PTSD qualification. Turns out everybody in the Navy is presumed to have some symptoms of post-traumatic stress simply due to the fact that ships are dangerous duty stations.
I finished up for now a little before 1300 and headed for west Seattle NWKC. Earlier, while still being processed through the VA, Debbie called from Di-alysis Restaurant to find out if I could come in early today which made a formerly long day become a less long day. I was in the chair bleeding by 1330 and home by 1930.

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