Archive for the 'Handicap' Category

But He’s an Army Man!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Simmy worked as a physical therapist at the warehouse. A few days before he started, while I lifted wall-mounted weights in the therapy room, I heard the department supervisor excitedly tell a coworker: “We’re finally getting a new guy. He’s an Army man!

The coworker asked, “Has he had any experience as a therapist?”

The supervisor frowned: “Well, Mr. Gold never said.” Quickly her smile returned: “But he’s an army man!

One morning I rolled into the therapy room and found the new guy sitting at one of six desks organized in the alcove. I slogged through my morning exercise ritual, anticipating my post-workout cigarette. (In retrospect, I realize the profound stupidity of smoking after exercising; my shitful luck had magnified a deep-rooted smoker’s rationalizaion.) When I finished working out, I wheeled to the ashtray positioned on a bookshelf next to the new guy’s desk.

He forced symmetry on a sloppy pile of papers by tapping a long edge on the blotter. Then he stood and walked the short distance to the supervisor’s desk, gently placed the tidy stack in front of her. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 6 – The Difference Between a Stooge and a Dickweed

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Read Part 5
…The naïve intern appeared and asked me to follow her down the hall. She stopped in front of her examination room, seemed embarrassed and stared at the carpet as she began: “I didn’t want to say anything in front of anybody.” She raised her head. “But you really upset my receptionist, to say the least. I won’t see you until you’ve calmed down. Go make an appointment with the other receptionist.” I didn’t say anything, turned and wheeled past the reception window, through the waiting room and out the door. I parked on the sidewalk outside of the building and used my cell phone to order a cab. While I waited, I vowed to write a letter to whomever bore responsibility for Special Needs Dentistry.¹

As soon I returned to my apartment, I wheeled over to my computer and searched the directory of the major hospital hosting the Special Needs Dentistry program. I found a contact’s name and mailing address, and copied it into my address book. I’ve discovered that letters of complaint submitted via snail mail generally command more attention than emails. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 5 – She Was Just Doing Her Job

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Read Part 4
By my next appointment twelve weeks later, I’d managed to skip the warehouse and move into my own apartment. I checked in with the receptionist, a young woman different than the movie-magazine toady. She asked if anyone had brought me. I glanced behind myself—of course there wasn’t anybody there—turned back and politely answered, “No. I came by myself.” Then she cooed that the dentist would see me shortly, I should take a seat in the waiting room. She pointed to the chairs in full view a few feet away. I’d just spent literally years enduring dumbed-down baby talk spewed at me by clueless emotional retards; at that time I was discovering that mostly clueless emotional retards populated the outside. I had given Special Needs Dentistry a more than fair chance, and the people involved had proven themselves chronic fuck-ups. Something had to give.

I wheeled the few feet into the waiting room and parked in front of a stationary chair. Though there were no other patients, the TV positioned on a wall mount blared. Less than a minute later the receptionist scurried in and stopped in front of me. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 4 – High Turnover

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Read Part 3
As I entered the small one-story building, I naively assumed that “Special Needs” referred to my gimpiness. A glance around the waiting room proved me wrong…I would’ve ordinarily thought fuck this fully and skipped subsequent visits… [But] I considered my dentist’s forecast of possible infection, the pain and inconvenience accompanying such infection, and the astounding stupidity and sluggishness of the public aid drones on whom I now depended…by then I’d resigned myself to wading through a cesspool of irrationality prior to receiving medical care.

Three months later on my second visit to Special Needs Dentistry, a new budding tooth mechanic awaited me: a young woman who, like the aspiring DDS I’d previously seen, spoke with an eastern European accent and demonstrated a impersonal attitude. I twice asked about my former intern’s whereabouts before she looked up from my paperwork and absently replied, “Oh, she’s finished here.” Next I asked about my X-rays; she claimed “they” hadn’t developed them yet. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 3 – Remedial Dentistry and Money Grubbing

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Read Part 2
The public aid stooge insisted on “helping” me maneuver my wheelchair out of his office and up the hall. Despite my repeated objections, he grabbed the handles on the back of my wheelchair and started to push. Asshole. The day of the appointment with my new dentist arrived. I rolled out of the cripplevan and toward a building; the plaque next to the doorway announced “Special Needs Dentistry.”

The cripplevan driver found the “Special Needs Dentistry” facility across the street from a major hospital. As I entered the small one-story building, I naively assumed that “Special Needs” referred to my gimpiness. A glance around the waiting room proved me wrong. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 2 – Appeal

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Read Part 1
The final paragraph of the rejection letter I received informed me that if I didn’t agree with the decision, I had a right to appeal. The dentist who’d sent the request had cautioned that infection might set in if I left the damaged section unrepaired. I phoned some agency—probably the Department of Human Services—and scheduled an appeal. I expected a committee of several stern people, sitting erect behind a huge bench that dwarfed me as I stated my case, my tiny voice ricocheting off the walls of the cavernous chamber. Instead I met with a lone condescending dumbass in his modest office.

A cripplevan lugged me downtown, to the nondescript government building where I‘d scheduled my meeting with a public aid stooge. I checked in with one of several receptionists; she immediately led me down a long hall past file cabinets, copy machines, and plastic plants, to the public aid stooge’s office. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 1 – Routine Rejection

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I lost the incisors abutting either side of my two front teeth in a 1978 car accident—like a tornado destroys selected buildings while leaving others unscathed. After a dentist glued a porcelain 6-unit bridge onto my upper front row of teeth, he warned that sections of it might shatter somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade hence. He was right. I woke from the coma and discovered that something had chipped the unit he’d sculpted to appear as my left incisor, exposing a rough blackish-gray foundation.

The wanton bungling of medical personnel subjected me to public aid dental care policies that made about as much sense as tits on a boxcar. more »

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“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” My Ass

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

My cramped quarters in the warehouse lay a stone’s toss away from the dayroom. Sometimes a dumpy middle-aged woman carried a Casio Mini-Keyboard into the dayroom and plopped her ass onto a folding chair in front of a bunch of bewildered geezers, who wondered why she’d switched off the television. She and her Thalidomide musical instrument always managed to instigate sing-alongs that included beloved ditties like “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?” (complete with “Arf arf!” responses to the musical question). She would begin playing and warbling; pretty soon the geezers would join in, caterwauling and clapping slightly out of time with the rinky-dink drum machine. more »

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Mr. Gold Confiscates Larry’s Gun

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Once, I saw Larry in the rehab room and casually asked how he was doing.* He regarded me like I wore a turd my head, and replied in his raspy voice, ”Lousy.”

A stroke had jumbled Larry’s speech and gifted him with a shuffling limp. The ever-present unlit cigar lodged in his mouth left the charge nurses and CNA’s disgruntled. I knew that he pissed most of his days away in the basement cafeteria/smoking area, gossiping with his moth-eaten clique. When he moved into my room, I considered that he might prove himself a good fellow inmate by virtue of his almost constant absence. I later found out that I’d guessed right about the “constant absence” part, but even the brief periods I interacted with Larry made me want to go through a carwash. more »

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I Win a Million Dollars

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Read I Lose My Arms and Penis To Cancer
Read I Ask Questions

September 11, 1995

Dear Sister XXX,

Guess what? Yesterday I won a million dollars at Bingo. The dog next door told me how to play and he has glowing red eyes and he always talks to me and he says he is my friend. Sometimes he says bad things about God but I think he just needs to go to the bathroom more. No one believes me. Why was I born? more »

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