letter to My Sister June 30, 2018

As to my physical issues the leg fusion has left me with days I cannot move, especially in the morning, After lying in bed for awhile, or even sitting down too long (my right calf muscle has so much tone  that I cannot straighten it),

Sorry to tell you what I have been through for the past year, since you asked me to not say anything that might upset you.

But here goes nothing:

Unfortunately, my right leg spasms so bad that I cannot walk at time, as the operation created a 1) fusing of my  achilles tendon became fused by Dr K Egol 2) other muscle spasms in the affected foot both in the arch and the muscles that curl my paralyzed toes (one would think that paralyzes  would mean lessing of feeling but in my case it means that my brain cannot control its movement).

3) there is major spasms of my right calf muscles which pulls me down to the floor (if I am lucky I balance all my weight on my unaffected leg  and try to maintain an upright position).

So today I am trying to cope with the extreme pain throughout my calf and the hamstring that runs near it..

I saw a top physical therapist  (Estelle Gallo) at RUSK about this right after the operation for a couple of sessions, she commented that she never saw anything like it, it was clear that she was stumped. Thus those session were useless.

Adele Gallo then had me write The Hospital for Joint diseases where the surgery was performed. They have a procedure for complaints . The determined that my falling was not due to the operation, but my own fault. And offered no suggestion, at all.

I guess I can sue, but what good would that do. Money will not solve this issue, and will not compel a large institution to actually accept responsibility to solve the mess their poor practice that is  the cause of my current  situation.

What can you do with large institutions like NYU and U of Pennsylvania — not much. They all close rank and defend themselves (I assume from possible lawsuits), not try to solve the issue.

I started to see the new head of RUSK Dr. Steven Flanagan about this, but he was just defending their physical therapist department, and had no helpful dialogue with myself. My assumption is like Dr. Egol he did not try to talk about my case with anyone else.

I also went back to Egol for my sixth month  checkup several months ago (it has been a year since my injury) . He distorted the pre op  consitation, since I was not given any other choice. In his opinion, I was . However I really recall the consultation and I am sure he did not discuss alternatives.

At this 6 month consultation I insisted that “he get off his ass” and refer me directly to someone, who could help with the ill effects of the fusion. He was not pleased. I did not use the language in this paragraph. He is actually a well meaning surgeon. Thus I am sure the resulting  spasm was an issue that he did not anticipated.

But just like Dr. Keenan he messed with an physical area which he did not fully understand, as most surgeon are knowledgeable about post stroke spasticity..

Well he referred me to a neurologist  Dr. Athena Lolis (athena.lolis@nyumc.org), who is based at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, where the surgery was performed.

She was also stumped. I met with her  twice. She referred me to another doctor within NYU system.

I gave up with this endless string of appointments with No clarity.

At this point the referral is packed up in one of the giant boxes in my apartment.

So right now I am home trying to wait for my leg to stop twitching.

Sorry to tell you all this, but I am close to the end of my rope and am tempted to score some smack or something like that to  shut my brain off.

Two night ago I met  Yvonne for dinner to celebrate her birthday, and after sitting at the restaurant table for a short bit, I tried to get up and walk to the bathroom, Well that did not go well, I fell but was able to grab a chair to break my fall. This has become my typical situation for this year. I have pretty much stopped socializing. Since I am so depressed by this situation.

Now when I ride the bus or subway, I just stand to keep weight on my leg to force it to remain straight.

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Hi Marian,

Glad to hear from you, and that you are able to get out of the city. And that you are visiting friends.

My renovation has not started, Most of my belongings are packed up in large boxes by myself and someone I hired to for this w me.

So for the past few weeks I am living out of a few knapsacks, and such..

I obtained a sublet on my floor, however I cannot get my shower bench in their bathroom, as they have a very large cabinet that is attached to their sink. Also his  apt is filled with too much furniture, and it is a bit hazardous to walk around it with my right foot fused and sticking out as it is. 

The office here at Kips Bay Plaza yesterterday returned my two checks for the renovation fee of 300 and a 600 check for possible damaged to the walls.

The return was done with NO explanation or letter or not saying why they returned, I made out the two checks in their office thus I am shocked by this hostile act, and the office was close at midday thus I have received understanded  since I followed their procedure. 

I hope we can remain friends after you read all the above. really don’t mean to alienate you, but it seems that every attempt of mine to talk with you, ends up irritating you, so I have remained silent, as I guess you noticed.

Kate actually answered one of my text to her, as I made a pathetic attempt to get back in contact w her, and Angie.  I seem to not  be able to do anything right, in terms of your family, the Mogulescus.

Love (although I don’t know how to show it to you).

Andy

 

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The Unfortunate Fusing of my right ankle

February 21, 2018

I wish to make sure we agree on certain facts. The review department of Hospital for Joint Diseases has left me with no opportunity to review the mistakes that have lead to my continual pain and imbalance  due to the over fusing of my right ankle.

I was not offered any alternative to the fusing.

The is a troubling violation of accepted medical  protocol.

A more typical  procedure is: discuss with the patient several alternative, with the risk and advantages of each.

I mentioned to Kenneth.  Here is an exact quote: “What do you think of fusion?”

I describe my right  side instability, mentioning  the tremor due to my extensive neurological damage in my left brain.
I only was warned about the possibility of arthritis.

I also emailed Dr. Egol before the surgery to clarify, he indicated that the metal rod place up my lower area of my right leg could possibly removed once the healing is complete. I can produce that email.

When Dr. Steven Flanagan heard this, the amount of of falls I have had since the fusion. He asked me to keep a list of the postoperative falls.

My specialist in Stroke rehab at RUSK (Estell Gallo) was quite surprised to hear about the fusion. She also noted the spasms in my right leg that caused me to fall in rehabilitation, and remains unstable after the operation.

I have a document created by The Hospital of Joint Diseases. I was printed before NYU expanded to take this site over.   It is a pamphlet disturbing how to deal with my type of spasticity. It discusses the similarity of Multiple Sclerosis to post stroke spasticity.
It is pretty clear that this type of spasticity should be examined  carefully before any major alteration of the patient’s balance and center of gravity.

At the single consultation before my surgery I offered several reference who knowledgeable about my personal defects:
One was the hand surgeon at U of Pennsylvania Medical Center, who I met with twice after my initial strike.    When I offered him as a reference Dr Egol said:“I know Scott Levin.”

I also named two specialists in Stroke rehab that I have worked with, they are both still associated with RUSK Institute:  Dr.  Robert Deporto, and Dr. Ira Rashbaum .

I don’t believe Dr. Egol ever contacted any of these.
How dysfunctional is this approach?
My assumption that I was seeing an NYU doctor (especially when surgery is the topic),  they would discuss a proper course of action; not just try something and see what happens.
I incorrectly assumed that my surgeon would discuss “post stroke spasticity” and weigh the risk of an irrevocable, irreversible  medical procedure.
No experiment should be undertaken without the patient being advised as to the risks.

I believe that Dr. Egol should take a more active role in trying to clean up this mess.
This might  include:
Reducing the newly created bone mass.

Removing the metal rod that remains in my lower leg..

Why remove these ?
Because it is quite clear to this layperson that the added weight twists  my frame and creates this imbalance..The twisting occurs when I walk; or lay in bad and try to change position, and occasionally when I am seated and just turn my head or try to get closer to a table or so place to place my cup or food plate. Or write on a paper.

At the present time, this operation had destroyed my ability to bend down without great pain. It is becoming so bad that I have to use devices to pick up anything that fall to the floor.
By bending down my trunk twists so severely that the spasm of pain  starts to throw my body on the floor.
And it takes a while until the spasm subsides.
.I have had to stand up in my aphasia workshop (at Hunter college speech lab on 25th St), because there is too much pain when it is time  to change position. You can confirm this by contacting Teran Malcolm (tarynrmalcolm@gmail.com) who is the programs supervisor.

It has become severe lately, Thus the Dr. has created a badly degenerated condition
.
This is what Dr. Mary Keenan did to me at the University of Pennsylvania by fusing my right wrist and extending my fingers tendons. She told me this would make me much more comfortable!
Was she wrong. I believe she was forced into an early retirement at this Medical center.

I assume that accomplished technicians  such the two orthopedic Doctors that have caused me so much unnecessary pain (namely Dr. Keenan, and Dr. Egol). Are never supervised by any administrators in their Medical center. Perhaps because they generated so much money by such operation. Of course it is beyond my scope to make any sense of this large unsupervised bureaucracies.
In my case they have really cause great harm.

So right now, the pain is so bad that I am unable to stay lying down for more  than a few hours. I am constantly falling asleep in my classes and when I am with friends and such.

The pain shoots through my neck and leg and the toes on my right foot; and my right arm raises in a spasm as if I were a dysfunctional robot, who should be put out to pasture.

Why did NYU create this situation?
And what are you going to do about it?
Just continue to send me to a different physical therapist, who will tell me that the  they are stumped, and cannot help me???

NYU is completely irresponsible. Just look at  the NYS laws and my right under Medicare. Need I go on???

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unresolvable

How can you resolve what is unresolvable?

How can one accept life unfairness when it becomes so unfair that you lose what was your identity.

If the twists of fate pervert your body so that you cannot play your axe?

Sure the Sirens Wail what we all know but try to ignore, so we can get through another day.
That “Life is Unfair. No one ever told you that Life is Fair.”

But what if you live your life with a deep need to express yourself — can you ever stop seeking the perfect guitar phrase?

—-

It get so bad that I often cannot bear to listen to a player play his axe. Yet of course I seek them out. It is bad right now.

I should learn to suck it up and “What’s the cliche” `”move past it.'” “`Reinvent yourself.'”

Fat Chance! I have been trying to get this over hump fot about 6 years.


After I wrote the above lines, I looked at one of the few guitars I still keep in my current apartment. It a classical guitar (a gut-string) that I have played for many years (about 25), it was my main practice guitar. I learned many an etude by Carcassi, Sor and Villa Lobos, and countless jazz chord melody arrangements by over playing it. And it has the bruises to show. I cleaned off the dust from its front. I noticed that the D string had popped. What fun I had in playing it over the years. It got me through many depressed moths.

I may sleep with it tonight (probably not, although I would love to!).

 

 

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Marty Laster

I have been avoiding writing Marty’s obituary for  over a year now. It’s still hard to accept this fact, that he has passed away.

At the end of his life he suffered through many health ailments, major ones that forced him to stop playing violin and viola.

His composition skills were terrific, he made several self-produced CDs  of his prodigious output: varied styles and musical portraits. Most of which he played all the instruments. His musical standards were high, like mine.

At one point we had a duo titled “Strings Are Us.” We were bother pretty versatile, and straddled many musical styles, and we picked up a good amount of work as a duo. We were pretty entertaining, due to the fact that we were both experienced performers. we also loved playing dives and small rooms where we could chat with the audience while we play. Our musical range included blues, classical ,and lots of the songs from the folk scare of the 50s and 60s. We were sort of a cleaned up version of Homer & Jethro. It did not hurt that we had both a passion for  many musical influences.

I will finish tribute at some point.

Marty my love for you is still strong.

I miss  you more than I can say.

 

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On the #6 IRT train in Manhattan going South

On the #6 IRT train in Manhattan

Met a brunette  woman with a single strand of grey hair
I love  grey  hair, now that I am close to  70 Years.
A pair of Andrea Della Robia   earrings,
listening to Bette Midler on her cell,

How we started to talk I have no clue.
However I have been thinking of her ever since.

This is not good for me, I have no idea if she even has room in her life for me?

Then I broke my right ankle in early May, missed the subway,

a dream deferred

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The unfairness of Low Interest Rates for saving accounts

There are many we we allow ourself to remain in captivity.

“You have to in it, to win it,” is a classic example. It tries to apologize for national lotteries, instead of fostering a saving mentality, as a sign of maturity and self control, not to mention economic independence.

Poor people remain poor due to  the Lotto mind set, and lack of appropriate self funding retirement government-run plans. And lack of financial instruction at the grade school level is a bad oversight.

However since the 2008 economic crisis brought on by no funding of federal programs for oversight to maintain  supervision of unprincipled greed.

Unfortunately interest rates for small saving accounts do not keep up with the true cost of living. This is an invitation to a disaster on this scale of the French and Russian revolutions .

Using this excuse : These so called “natural market forces,” is a fake rationale. Not to mention barely human in its insensitivity to human suffering.

But for our own security, we need to successfully address this social problem.

 

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Insanity Doesn’t Have to be Hereditary

Insanity doesn’t have to be hereditary,
You can just Roll Your Own,
And let the creative juices flow,

Hostility doesn’t have to be annoying.
Learn to mask it with subtlety,
You can get back at them with disguises,
Your repertoire needs to expand….

Redundancy doesn’t have to be repetitive.
One can repeat excellent technique,
Improving your skills as you go

Round and round we go
Sliding from achievement to regression
Back and Forth from Indecision to Uncertainty,
We Spin as long as we are not Bored

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