Saturday, December 17, 2005
8:33 AM - The Plight of Lynell
Current mood: crushed
Category: News and Politics
For those of you who don't know what I do for a living, I'm a bilingual legal secretary for the largest Social Security disability firm in Memphis. We have over a thousand disabled clients that the government has denied federal funding. With the recent Tenncare cuts, I have watched and listened as sick, poverty-ridden people are denied medicine and medical treatment by the powers that be. This is my relationship with Lynell. A 58-year-old man who will not see 59.
I already burst into tears this week when Lynell called and they cut him off Tenncare (free mds and meds) and it's just freaking terrible. TERRIBLE. He has cirrhosis, chronic Hepatitis B, and kidney failure, oh and diabetes. So now, he can't take any medicine, and when i talked to him, he sounded like he was in too much pain to even be coherent. It was like he was listening so intently to every word I said that he couldn't respond. I asked Kristen, "at what time do attorneys lose all attachment to the humanitarian cause?" Unfortunately, there is no witticism to follow, only a deep reflection on the class-rooted society we live in, and the Social Darwinism that leaves people unable to make things better for themselves, just because they aren't smart enough, healthy enough, or white enough. Sigh. I still care, Mr. Lynell!!! I want to get drunk and scream that from a mountaintop. Salud!
well, how typical of Memphis, that i end up at home, at 9:14 p.m., reflecting on the second half of my slightly encouraging day. as it turns out, in the 3:30 p.m. mail delivery, Lynell's records from Methodist Hospital showed up. !!! . This meant that i immediately duplicated everything I saw and rushed it to the Judge immediately. It felt so good to hand deliver the records. I even told the man that runs the place that Lynell was going to die, and god rest whomevers soul when he DOES finally pass, because I can officially say that the blood is NOT on my hands. is today's society SO obsessed with blaming something on anyone else that Mr. Lynell can now be file number XXX at the Memphis Office of Hearings and Appeals and I don't care? No, for the simple fact that my whole faith in the American economic system safely lies on the fact that he will get at least one check from our government, the Big Brother power that it has become, now hopelessly admitting, "okay, Mr. Lynell, i guess you CAN'T hold down a job, now that you've shown us that you were in THIS hospital seventeen times since 2004". More likely, though, he will give his last gasp weeks before that check ever arrives, and he will have endured countless months of pure unadulterated suffering, betting his life's worth on the United States federal system that promises him wages when he is medically unable to work. What is just and what justice is are two completely different, opposed ideals. the rich don't want to pay for the poor, and the poor don't want to need the rich. there has to be some sort of socialistic ideal that doesn't leave the intelligent WASP/Aryan/MENSA member feeling that they have to foot the bill for Jane Doe's crack habit that has been necessary since she aborted Senator Republican America's baby in 1983. Welcome to Memphis, watch Hustle and Flow, our homegrown project-birthed epic that represents a true criminal becoming a rag to a rich arrogant asshole (the American ideal that has been proported by such Darwinists as Rand)... welcome to Hell, where no one will listen, understand, or afford your mishaps or your bad hand of cards that this lifetime has become. welcome to a society that will always beg for change, but never offer a suggestion. God, I just might be MLK reincarnate... but i have never found such an empassioned individualism, only a passionate speech someone else died for (in this cursed town, no less), in which case i would be proud to carry a torch that someone else died for. Slainte!
Lynell appeared before the Judge and won his case. It will still be 4-6 months before he receives written notification of this decision and/or any benefit from winning his case, medically or monetarily speaking.
As of today's date, Lynell has seen the gates of heaven but has yet to enter. Over Thanksgiving weekend, in the Methodist ICU, he left his body momentarily, but returned to join his beautiful wife Jennifer for Christmas. The ICU brought him back with the paddles after eight minutes, and he genuinely has a newfound sense of comfort and no longer fears death. He knows he has very little time left with his bride. He was an independent contractor for forty years, paying into a system that still refuses to give him back what was rightfully promised to him.