Sunday, August 06, 2006

Knees

Just a bit of an update. As I reported here a while back, I had an MRI on my knee. A few days ago I was told that I had a couple of tears in the meniscus - the cartilage which cushions the impact between the upper and lower leg bones at the knee. It will require arthroscopy to clean up and/or repair the damage. Unfortunately, the VA is backed up more than a year for such procedures. Meanwhile, all I can do is use a brace and take pills.

Overall, I have been happy with the care I've received at the VA, but this is disappointing. I suppose I can manage it, but it will make the next several months a bit of a drag. They also determined that I have osteo-arthritis in both knees which complicates matters. Not much can be done for that.

Another issue which I believe is a problem with the VA is that of helping their patients with weight loss. I imagine that at least 60% to 70% of all those who use the VA - especially us older folks - are overweight. I was told that I should lose weight to reduce the strain on my knees. I know this to be true, but all the VA has to offer is a small pamphlet with an illustration of the food pyramid. Aging vets, many who have missing or crippled arms & legs, or are otherwise enduring the lingering effects of war wounds, both physical and emotional, are also fighting a battle with their waistlines. It's a tough fight.

The VA should at least attempt to put some kind of weight loss and/or fitness program together in connection with other care to help these people fight the battle of the bulge. Afterall, the military spends millions of dollars and weeks during training to make recruits fit enough to kill for this country. They could at least try to give them an opportunity to get back to some semblance of health and fitness. Maybe some of these vets could live longer. Or, maybe the VA doesn't really want them to live longer. Who knows?

TLS

2 comments:

glenda said...

Our government has abandoned our once proud vets. We need a change of leadership.

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