The Deck is Stacked Against Him

Discussion in 'Truckers Health With Dr. Daliah' started by Injun, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Injun

    Injun Rabid Squaw Staff Member Supporter

    Some of you have seen me post about my big brother from time to time. He has been in poor health for a long time, through no real fault of his own. He was dealt a losing genetic hand at his conception. He has never been a tobacco, alcohol or drug user, he quit drinking soda over ten years ago and he tries to exercise and control his diet.

    But he has polycystic kidney disease that wasn't discovered until his late 30s. He became diabetic and, while on his last OTR run, fell into a diabetic coma with an A1C of over 13 and a glucose level pushing 1,800. He was hospitalized for three months, had to get veins replaced for fasciitis and went through a grueling round of physical therapy. He never drove truck again. Still, his love of the industry, coupled with his passion for teaching prompted him to continue contributing to our profession by instructing new drivers at a driving academy until he simply couldn't anymore due to being placed on dialysis when his kidney function finally dipped below Kaiser Permanente's 10% threshold. For reference, MediCare, the cheap federal government, requires a drop to 15% for dialysis eligibility. My brother hovered between 10 and 15% for.....years.

    During the time the criminals at KP continued to deny him dialysis, he developed edema, high blood pressure not related to cholesterol and congestive heart failure. Despite this and despite the horrifically painful neuropathy in his feet, forcing him to use two canes to walk, he continued to work. Until he became so desperately ill KP was forced to dialyze him. The three times per week schedule ended my brother's career. The amount of fluid that was removed from his body through dialysis over the first several months was staggering, somewhere near 10 gallons. His blood pressure began to improve, but the damage had already been done. The transplant he had hoped to be eligible for will never be. His heart is too weak.

    Anyway, ten days ago, in the middle of the night, he woke up feeling ...not right. Finding himself unable to yell for help and his right side too weak to control, he used one of his canes in his left hand to bang on the floor until his house-mate responded to his room. He was able to slur out that he needed help, so the roomy called the ambulance. That was the last time he communicated verbally. He had a hemorrhagic stroke.

    Part of his skull has been removed and preserved to relieve pressure to his brain and he has been briefly conscious and able to follow simple instructions like show me two fingers and give me a thumbs up. But only with his left hand. His right side has been completely paralyzed except for some random twitches that I suspect are spinal in origin, rather than brain generated. He is on a respirator (after being off it for a couple of days) due to bacterial pneumonia. He does not recognize our mother and he isn't able to stay awake more than a few minutes at a time.

    Ten days, now. I want more than anything to see my big brother recover from this. But I just think there are too many obstacles in his way.

    And me? I am absolutely furious with Kaiser Permanente for their ridiculous near-death criteria for dialysis, with no regard for the damage being done by the poisons and fluids building up in a guy's system because his kidneys cannot work while they're so full of cysts. They know the kidneys will never get better and so much of the body's vital functions rely on their ability to clear poisons and regulate fluids. Kaiser did this to him. Kaiser stole my brother from me.

    If he survives, he will be 51 at the end of September.
  2. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    Sorry to hear about this. I hope he pulls through. :(
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Bored Insane

    Bored Insane Well-Known Member

    It seems more and more people near my age are suffering from health issues, and this industry is really hard on the body (and mind) to make it worse. Plus, if you had dis-advantageous genes to start with, more care needs to be done to combat it. We need to hope for a miracle recovery.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Damn. Sorry to hear all this.

    Best wishes for you all.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Keendriver

    Keendriver Hates all of you Supporter

    I want to say it's a damn shame, but criminal seems to fit better.

    Sorry to hear this, best wishes to your brother.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. GAnthony

    GAnthony Well-Known Member

    sorry for his troubles, and yours.

    but frankly, this isn't the very first time i have heard stories about K/P.....

    how any company can get away with this crap is beyond me, but they do, and will continue to do so.

    kinda sickening too, when i read this..

    As of December 31, 2015, the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals entities reported a combined $1.9 billion in net income on $60.7 billion in operating revenues.[1] Each Permanente Medical Group operates as a separate for-profit partnership or professional corporation in its individual territory, and while none publicly reports its financial results, each is primarily funded by reimbursements from its respective regional Kaiser Foundation Health Plan entity. KFHP is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the United States.

    and of course, this...

    KP's quality of care has been highly rated and attributed to a strong emphasis on preventive care, its doctors being salaried rather than paid per service, and an attempt to minimize the time patients spend in high-cost hospitals by carefully planning their stay. However, Kaiser has had disputes with its employees' unions, repeatedly faced civil and criminal charges for falsification of records and patient dumping, faced action by regulators over the quality of care it provided, especially to patients with mental health issues, and has faced criticism from activists and action from regulators over the size of its cash reserves.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. gearjammer

    gearjammer jammer Staff Member Supporter

    in our prayers
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ready to roll

    ready to roll I ain't got no panties

    He sounds like a fighter so hopefully he can pull through.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Tazz

    Tazz Infidel Supporter

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Getfit Tommy

    Getfit Tommy Highway Hero

    Sorry @Injun

    Having continued to work in the early stages of his condition shows some extreme mental fortitude.

    More power to him. I hope he pulls through.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    That does sound criminal.
    I hope your brother can pull through.
    My Father has suffered several strokes and can't really communicate So I kinda know where you are coming from
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Blood

    Blood Driveler Emeritus Supporter

    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. AK7

    AK7 Well-Known Member

    Prayers up for you and your brother.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Twotimer

    Twotimer Member

    Injun,so sorry to hear about your brothers issues,and the mental anguish you are going thru.from your post there's no doubt he has not been a quiter.that's a plus for him,and you being there for him is sometimes better than a "pill",thoughts and prayers from an "old" broke down hand.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BirchBarlow

    BirchBarlow I hate KW 680s

    Im not sure if clicking thanks is "approrpriate" given the circumstances but gosh @Injun why I sure hope everything works out ...

    I might pray if ya dont mind....

    Hope he pulls through
    • Like Like x 2
  16. (((ME)))

    (((ME))) Well-Known Member

    Positive thoughts for your brother recovery.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Injun

    Injun Rabid Squaw Staff Member Supporter

    There hasn't been much change since I posted this. He has not been able to get rid of breathing assistance because of the close threat of pneumonia. He says he recognizes our mother, but he does not really know her. He looks at her with the same blank gaze as any familiar, insignificant face in the crowd. It's like he has lost himself. I don't know if he'll be able to find his way back, or if he even wants to.
  18. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. dave350

    dave350 Well-Known Member

    Very sorry to hear this injun. It's a very difficult thing to go through. Thoughts and prayers.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    • Agree Agree x 1

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