Ch. 4: Ode to the Q-C quacks, dad’s medical records, and R.I.P. Lane Evans

For more than 40 years, the wholly substandard Quad-City area healthcare systems and the assorted quacks among their ranks provided my father with deplorable healthcare.

Our hospitals and our doctors let my dad down every step of the way, right up to and including hours before his death, when his medications were “lost” and he was forced to flinch in pain needlessly, even while on hospice.

The Quad-City area medical establishment is a total disgrace, and it always has been. Sick people here with any means at all go to Iowa City or Mayo Clinic if they want help, and that’s just what my dad did.

Unfortunately, he encountered quackery in those places, too, especially in 1980, and living with a rare brain disease – frontotemporal degeneration, behavioral-variant, or FTD — that didn’t even have a name yet.

Read more about the rare, genetic brain disease that killed my dad

On Sept. 26, 1980, Mayo Clinic told my dad that he was nuts and that he was a hypochondriac. “At the time of his evaluation here, the patient was agitated and unable to give a coherent history,” the records state. “His complaints included ‘my whole body vibrates, my privates draw up, my muscles roll and jump, feet sink into the floor, my legs spasm, my prostate burns, my spine is out of whack, my stomach closes up, I gag, I bruise easily, I have pressure in my bowel, etc., etc.”

Yep, that’s my dad.

FTD is wildly misdiagnosed. Not only that, but the diagnoses given in its place – intellectual inferiority, hypochondria – could not possibly be more insulting to people already doomed to a horrific death.

I think about my own rage, and people who don’t believe my story. I think about “establishment liars,” my words, who sit on their grand local pedestals, spewing mistruths while the trusting Sheeple blindly accept all they say as gospel.

Oh dad, it sends me in to a fricking rage, too. And I hope to send these people to prison before it’s all over with. The community can just keep on laughing at me while I keep on writing.

I never give up.

Medical records prove gross incompetence

For the first time, I poured through my father’s medical records this weekend. I learned firsthand how he had to deal with gross medical incompetence, physician-induced mental illness stigma, and doctors who were downright nasty, insulting, and almost impossible to understand.

I’m not a racist. If a healthcare provider cannot properly communicate in English, the healthcare system that employs them needs to provide translation services. My parents dealt with this for years. There’s no excuse whatsoever for a doctor to have a practicing medical license in the United States, yet be unable to communicate in English with a patient. This is an example of our country being completely out of control, and it’s going to end up costing healthcare systems a lot of money in the era of value-based care and bundled-payment care initiatives.

I hope this gets discussed today at all the Labor Day shindigs the politicians will be lying to all of us at on the news tonight.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of the 17th Congressional District, married to the sheriff of the jail where I was held on no charges at all, and tortured, plans to unveil the Democrats’ plan to make America great again at the Iowa Steak Fry Sept. 30 along with Dem presidential hopefuls. This is none other than the famed Tom Harkin event covered by Politico and the likes.

Read more: My Rock Island County Jail horror story, Part I

Read more: My Rock Island County Jail horror story, Part II

Speaking of nonsense, dad tolerated the inept Quad-City medical establishment for half his life while seeking a diagnosis. My mother, my mother’s friends, dad’s own “worthless people,” to use his words, and doctor after doctor did nothing but insult and ridicule and tear down this misunderstood man.

And then he claimed additional abuse when he was institutionalized in the memory care asylum.

Karma is a real bitch.

Mayo Clinic does its part to deny SSI

Mayo Clinic deemed my dad, who spent the final four years of his life incontinent, mostly unable to speak, walk, or communicate in any way, a poorly educated idiot.

“(Doctor) felt that the patient’s hypochondriasis was a defense against his intellectual inadequacy,” the medical records state. “There was no evidence of more serious psychopathology. The patient did not wish to participate in psychotherapy for his problems and steadfastly clung to a belief that there was an organic basis for all his complaints.”

They sent him home with a list of knee exercises after hospitalizing him and examining him for several weeks. My mother stayed in a “roach motel” called the Apple House in Rochester. I lived with the babysitter for well over a month.

Just as they wanted to “brainwash” me to pretend that what happened in the jail did not, they told my dad he was nuts and to go home and seek counseling. Like dad, I told them to shove their EMDR up their rectums, too. I’m not forfeiting a chance to testify against my perps in the rare instance the opportunity ever presents itself.

This town runs on liars and cover-ups and half-ass healthcare. Indeed, I have become my dad.

With a bigger platform.

Then Mayo Clinic changes its mind

After Mayo Clinic, dad had two operations. First, he had a completely healthy gallbladder removed (verifiable by the medical records I’m looking at) and then had a second operation on his knee which nobody ever understood the point of.

I was with my mom when the foreign doctor emerged from the operating room. “I move zee ten-dones ahhhhhrrouunnnnnd,” he told my mother, who had a few choice words for him.

Again, I have no idea what that operation was for. It is not in his medical records other than the name of the doctor who performed the surgery.

Think of all the pain pills dad was pumped full of through the years. He developed fierce addictions to both Tramadol and Xanax, I know that. Of course, everyone just conveniently labeled him a mean drunk, because that suited them here. And let’s face it – most doctors here have no idea what they’re doing. If you can’t come up with a DX, just call the patient a drunk, I guess.

The records from Mercy Hospital, now part of Genesis Health System, don’t even make any sense. “He has had many difficulties since 1976 when he hurt his neck. He went to see Dr. (X) at the Franciscan (now UnityPoint Trinity) who gave him a number of pills. His neck was X-rayed, it was considered to be negative. He then had Cortisone. His blood pressure was elevated. He was referred to Dr. (Y). He put him in the Franciscan for tests, put him in neck traction, this gave hime (sic) a headache. He gave him sedatives and this made him stager (sic…no idea what they were trying to actually say). Then Dr. (Y) referred him to Dr. (Z).”

To the credit of doctors, little has been known until recently about FTD. Now, anyone diagnosed with the disease gets an immediate, “fast-track” to Social Security benefits. This is a recent change in the law.

You can read all about that here in a story I did a few years back for Healthline News.

“You said you became disabled on March 1, 1982, due to low grade degenerative disc syndrome of the lower lumbar spine with spina bifida occulta and arthritis,” the Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a letter to dad dated April 15, 1987.

“Medical evidence indicates that indeed you have severe arthritis of multiple joints that requires the use of a can upon movement such as walking,” the letter continues.

My own plan to apply for SSI

Can you feel my dad’s rage? I sure can! I can feel it right now as I sit here.

I have not written about this yet, but I intend to apply for Social Security Disability benefits myself shortly. It is inconceivable that I ever am going to be able to function in the workplace, particularly in the Quad-Cities, where I do not even feel comfortable going out in public.

I have been jailed and hospitalized due to my “medical condition,” as well as being held and tortured and traumatized in that jail, held on no charges at all. If I am denied my Social Security, I will be writing to my Congresswoman about it. Ironically, she is married to the sheriff of the jail where my torture took place. I have known both of them quite well for decades, in fact.

My father won back his disability after it was revoked under President Reagan only after meeting with Congressman Lane Evans. Congressman Evans, ironically, died of Parkinson’s Disease, which was my father’s secondary diagnosis.

Congressman Evans was the type of legislator all of America wants representing them, regardless of party. Honest.

This Labor Day, let’s remember Congressman Lane Evans and what he stood for. I’ll be remembering dad, too, of course.

And going through my own mountain of medical records as I prepare to apply for SSDI.

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