"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, May 06, 2017

"The COWARD dies a THOUSAND deaths, ...

... the BRAVE man dies but ONCE."
(Variations attributed to Shakespeare AND Hemingway)

Dear God. I wish I WAS a BRAVE man.

WHAT brought THIS on?

I have faced SO MANY fears in my life.  But, THIS one may FINISH me.

I fear that I may be slowly going BLIND.

For some time now, I've had spells of cloudy vision, that would clear up after awhile. But, they are lasting longer and longer. Bright sunlight makes things VERY difficult.

Should I see somebody about this? You BETCHA. BUT, my experience with doctors and clinics is that, before I can get past the receptionist, THIS question arises, "And HOW will you PAY for this, Mr. Gordon?". The ANSWER, "I CAN'T." is GUARANTEED to be a problem.

I'm fairly certain that a proper diagnosis will cost hundreds of dollars, and treatment (if there IS any) probably THOUSANDS.

And THEN, there is THIS problem with the car, mentioned in THIS previous post ...
Could have been KILLED today ...
... but, I lucked out and WASN'T.

At around 5 PM, today (Thursday, 06 APR 2017, I decided to take a hike to Kroger's, to get some groceries. That's about half a mile from my apartment. I can barely walk; lower back pain interfering with balance, and the sun was directly in my eyes a lot of the time, making it difficult to read the terrain on which I was walking. Less than a hundred yards from my apartment, I tripped and fell while crossing a street, and a car, making a fast turn, barely managed to stop in time.

A couple of people got out of their cars and helped to get up.  Didn't break anything;  just scraped my hands, my left knee has a hell of a bruise, and it ripped part of the left leg of my slacks. Noticing that I was trying to continue on my way (I STILL needed groceries). the one who nearly killed me was nice enough to give me a ride there and back.  (Sadly, it was a GUY this time, instead of the nice LADY who helped me when she noticed me struggling with the walk, several yeas ago. :-).

So, WHY IN HELL was I trying to WALK there?

Thursday, a week ago, I started to drive somewhere, and the automatic transmission, on my 2000 Honda Civic, began slipping and jerking when shifting, and the "Check Engine" light came on.  The next day, I had AAA take the car over to A+ Transmission Specialists. They have a fairly comprehensive set of electronic and driving tests they will do for no charge.

On Monday (03 APR 2017) I learned from them that pressure drops, in the transmission, were causing the shifting problems, but to determine the cause of those drops, they would need to completely disassemble the transmission (for $395.00), and (depending on what they find) I could be looking at a total from $1500.00 to $2500.00.

At the moment, there is absolutely NO WAY I can handle THAT.  So I got AAA to bring the car home.  I am without transportation, for the foreseeable future.  If I CANNOT get the car fixed, I can NEVER afford to get another one.  my current situation will be THE REST OF MY LIFE..

I STILL have the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page,
 in hope of help.

Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net

If you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

In earlier posts, I mentioned the possibility of going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help with my financial problems.  After long consideration (and research) I have taken THAT off the table, concluding that, my current circumstances being so different from the time I exercised that option in 2000, THIS time the end result would most likely be a do-it-yourself .44 caliber lobotomy.

The only REAL possibility I can see is to TRY and get myself into shape to be able to get (and be able to DO) the extra hours I so desperately need.

Today's incident has made me decide to make a note or card, listing several of you (names and telephone numbers) as people to notifiy if something final happens to me.  I should have it double laminated, so if it gets covered in blood, that can be wiped off so it can be read.

I hope some of you will KEEP the email you received about this, and if YOU get a call, you can haul out that email, edit the subject line and the content, and pass the news along using "Reply to all".

Thank you.


Put together, I'm looking at THOUSANDS of dollars worth of help that I desperately need.

HOW can I POSSIBLY ask this of you? The plain truth is that I am a very poor investment right now, as it will be a miracle if I'm not DEAD before mid-summer, probably at my own hand.

Right now, all I see in front of me is DEATH.



Karen Mater said...

Your eye problem might be cataracts, which surgery can fix, and Medicare should cover. Praying for you!

Paul Gordon said...

My Air Force buddy, Claude Woods (of Woods Geophysical, where I worked before joining Aangstrom) emailed the same suggestion to me. I am NOT optimistic about Medicare, as I only the most basic Type A, and my funds are damn near ZERO, but I'll see what I can find out.

If you notice a whole bunch of IFEL (Yale's Institute of Far Eastern Languages) folks I "Cc:'d" to in the email reply, they are OTHER Air Force buddies who, being in the SAME wonderful age group as I, might have first hand experience of this. :-)

Millyb said...

Paul - my first thought was cataracts too. I know a couple of people who had similar symptoms. I would think that you might qualify for Medicaid since as you said you have limited funds. You should definitely get your eyes checked. The people that I know that have cataracts removed (and a lens implanted) says its incredible how much better they see. Get yourself to a doctor and check it out!

Paul Gordon said...

Where things stand. (at 1803 DST 11 APR 2017) ...

Having been tolg to check out Medicaid (vs Medicare) I do NOT qualify.
I spent most of the afternoon filling out an online application for Veteran's healthcare benefits, but there seemed to be a hitch when they looked for my DD-214 (Discharge) form. So, tomorrow I'll have to take thge bus to the Texas Medical Center (where they have a VA office) and deal with it in person.

THIS should be done BEFORE visiting an eye clinic. There SHOULD be one in that Med center. We'll see.


Paul Gordon said...

I cannot FIND my DD-214. It's LOST, along with a cople of OTHER documents I keep with it.
I've submitted a request for documenys to


but it could be several WEEKS (at BEST) before I get them.

I'll probably STILL go to the VA office in the Texas Medical Center to see what they can tell me, and to see what eye clinics they mighr have there.

If I CANNOT get any help from the VA, I might have to BEG for some SERIOUS donations, to try and KEEP from going BLIND.

Yet, AGAIN, we'll see.

Paul Gordon said...

HOPE. Sunday, 1851 CDT, 14 MAY 2017

I've FOUND the DD-214 (AND the OTHER documents that could be helpful), so tomorrow (Monday) I'll return to that VA office, and (hopefully) FINISH registering for the benefits that (AGAIN, hopefully) will help me get the medical help to keep me from going blind.

Once AGAIN, Wish me luck. :-)

Paul Gordon said...

To my friends who have patiently put up with my Odyssey of seeking VA help to keep from going blind ...

I spent most of yesterday (Monday) afternoon at their office, getting enrolled into their benefits system.

I'M IN. They'll have a card ready for me tomorrow, which I'll go over and get Thursday.

THEN, I'll set up an appointment at their eye clinic for an exam.

Once again, we'll see (Or maybe I'LL see. :-)


Unknown said...

Hang in there, my friend whom I haven't met yet! :) I'm very glad to hear that you got into the VA system. Best wishes for getting your card today! :)
Mary in LA

Paul Gordon said...

Slight hitch with the card *an ID card).

I went to the VA office yesterday (Thursday 18 MAY 2017), and was told that something (I didn't understand WHAT) would have to be processed through another office (out of town) and it could be up to 30 days before I got it.

BUT, I AM in the system, and can use my name, SS#, and driver's license to get help from them. So, I went over to their eye-clinic, and they had no problem scheduling me for an exam. On the afternoon of Wednesday, 24 MAY 2017, I should actually KNOW just what I'm up against.

A friend asked, "From what I’ve read, you should not even have a copay. Have they given you the scoop on that?". I'll try to nail that down, when I get with them, but that IS the impression I got.

Even if there IS a copay, my FIRST priority is to SAVE MY VISION. Jf I can SEE, I can handle whatever comes AFTER.

But, at the moment. I don't think there WILL be a copay.

Paul Gordon said...


The jokes on ME..After the burst of optimism about geting VA help in dealindg wirg posible cataracts and getting my vision baxk ...

Spent most of yesterday (Wednesday, 24 MAY 2017) getting my eyes exminined at the VA hospital. Result: Thetre ARE some cataract, BUT, THEY aren't the main problem.

THAT honor belongs to optic nerve damage from intraocular pressure caused by open angle glaucoma (look it up). The doc has given my three types of drops, yo help lower the pressure, and wants to see me again, on Tuesday, 30 MAY 2017. Depending on how the pressure looks THEN, he may (or may NOT) recommend surgery (laser?) to reduce the pressure.

That would be an attempt to prevent FURTHER optic nerve damage; the damage ALREADY done CANNOT BE FIXED, and there appears to be NO WAY that my CURRENT vision can EVER be IMPROVED.

THIS is just TOO MUCH to TAKE.

Unknown said...

Hang in there!!! Preventing further damage is just the first step. My late aunt had glaucoma, and her vision was corrected with a combination of contacts and glasses. She could still read and still drive. There is hope!!! Mary in LA

Paul Gordon said...

Eye Drops ...

I'm asking for SERIOUS donations, to weather the financial storm that is coming.

In my previous update (25 MAY 2017), I noted that there ARE cataracts, but the MAIN problem is optic nerve damage from intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma.

The doc gave me three types of eye drops, to lower the pressure, and wanted to see me again, on 30 MAY 2017. Depending on the pressure THEN, he'd decide if to recommend surgery to reduce the pressure, to prevent FURTHER optic nerve damage; the damage ALREADY done CANNOT BE FIXED.

The eye drops seemed to make things WORSE, severely affecting my focus, so I could NOT work, even with the readers I normally use. This COULD be from the drops doing exactly what they were SUPPOSED to do. If the eyes were swollen from that pressure, REDUCING the pressure might alter the angle or distance of the lens, relative to the retina, affecting focus.

I went back on 30 MAY 2017. He was VERY pleased with the reduction in pressure. He wants me back on 20 JUN 2017, when he MIGHT opt for cataract surgery, for the small help THAT might provide.

He tested my vision, with a bunch of different lenses and, while my left eye is pretty useless right now, he found some that were VERY sharp for the right eye. He wrote up a prescription for bi-focals that should help ENORMOUSLY at close and medium distances. BUT, when I went to their optic center, I was told that it could be THREE WEEKS before I got the glasses.

I've lost a solid WEEK of work, so far, and because of THIS, may loose several more. As a result, money is running out, and when it DOES, that will unleash a financial SHITSTORM that will KILL me. The situation is THAT bad.

SO, if you CAN, PLEASE use the PayPal Donation button mentioned in the post.

Thank you.


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