Saturday, May 24, 2014

Commendation: Bay Pines VA Healthcare System near-FIVE-STAR rating from Vet

To:  Suzanne Klinker, Director of Bay Pines VA Healthcare System:
cc:  US Congressman (FL, Republican) David Jolly
cc:  Bob Hurt blogs and mailing list
Date: 24 May 2014

Please give this to any VA detractors.  No gigantic organization can avoid warts and wrinkles in its operation.  But, as organizations go, I could not have a better perception of any organization than I have of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give the VA as I have personally experienced it over the past 10 years these ratings:

Going all-out for the patient ****
Quality of care when administered *****
Effectiveness of care administered *****
Vet-centric Attitude *****
Quality of Facility
Maintenance of Grounds
Access to facility of crippled vets
Cost of care
Cost of prescriptions
Repleteness of medical testing
Police services
Responsiveness to Vet complaints
Cafeteria, canteen, PX services
Educational and library services
Internet services and web site
Accessibility of care providers via internet
Telephone Call in service
Scheduling of care

I see no point in explaining what I consider the "Balls-Out" 5-star excellence of the Bay Pines VAHCS.  But I shall explain why I gave less than excellent ratings for some items.

1.  Cafeteria, canteen, PX - Located at the edge of the facility and a long and exhausting walk for me.  Otherwise, I like it, like the variety of food and items for sale, and reasonable prices.  But for the long walk, I'd give it 5 stars.

2.  Access to facility of crippled vets - the access is good because of the new parking garage and the fact that a vet can catch the trolly cars to the front door and call for a wheel chair.  Publix has electric riding shopping carts, and these could make navigating the facility easier.  Maybe a valet service would help.  But I don't see how it could be improved cost effectively.  Some things will just never get better than 4 stars.  I could rate life with only 4 stars because someday we die.  Oh well...

3.  Going all-out for the patient - Some things the VA just won't do for a patient, even though the patient needs it.  For example, I could use prolastin infusions weekly, but I resist because it's a pain in the neck to have to go to the facility twice a week for infusions I could handle myself.  And they cost the VA $50K to $100K a year.  And, I need a lung transplant.  The experts in the VA in DC told my pulmonologist that they figured I'd live longer without it.  They said that when I was 64, I believe.  They wouldn't consider me past 65.  Now I turn 71 in 6 days.  Three years ago this coming August my brother got a double lung transplant on private insurance, and now goes everywhere with no problem.  He's a year younger than I am.  I have about 15% lung capacity.  It has gotten noticeably worse.  A bout of pneumonia could easily kill me, and I feel lucky to have survived it when I met you in person while I was isolated with MRSA following pneumonia in February-March 2013.  Dr. told me then I should call Hospice.  Freaked my wife out, but I figured I had it coming.  We don't last forever.  My arteries entering the heart have shrunk to half the ideal size, but I've started on megadoses of vitamin C (which YOUR VA DOCTORS SHOULD FORCE PATIENTS TO TAKE), and L-proline and L-Lysine amino acids and fish oil supplements to clear them up.  I should not need to explain this to doctors.  But the point is, my lung condition will kill me because the VA refused me a lung transplant.

That might not matter much if I lived a typical slug's life.  But I am otherwise healthy, bright, and energetic, and with good lungs I could exercise and get fit and strong again.  I spend much of my time studying law, writing legal commentary (see, for example) to guide people, and answering calls for help from people all over America, sometimes 4 or 5 a week, and sometimes 2 or 3 a day because people read what I write.  I charge nothing for this service.  You could consider it philanthropic.  And I am a prolific writer.  See, for example.

In other words, my staying alive longer will provide a measurable benefit to mankind.  So, the VA should provide me with a lung transplant NOW.  I have just given you what I consider a salient clue as to how to evaluate whether to go the extra mile to save someone's life the only way it could be saved.  From what I can tell, the VA does not consider that in the evaluation of whether to give lung transplants.

Furthermore, I cannot travel on planes because I do not have a portable oxygen concentrator, except with a loaner from Respitek for the purpose, which the VA pays for once a year for up to 30 days.  But that means I do without one all the rest of the time, and so I cannot go on car or train trips or cruises meanwhile because of oxygen budget constraints.  The VA should buy a portable concentrator and extra battery for people like me so we won't stay hogtied to the home oxygen.  But so far no one has even suggested it, out of fear, perhaps, that seniors in management superstructure outside the facility will condemn the idea as wasteful.

Now this boils down to money, as usual.  THIS is what the non-vet public fears about Obamacare.  Anybody over 76 (will I live that long without a lung transplant?) will get abandoned because that is the average life expectancy for men.  I don't need to tell you what an attitude like that will do for mortality statistics.

So, if the surgery is too costly, WHY DOESN'T THE VA TURN MORE AGGRESSIVELY TO NON-MEDICAL SOLUTIONS, such as phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, and WATER?  Read the book "Your Body's Many Cries for Water."  I have yet to hear a doctor act concerned about my daily water intake or advise as Dr . Batmanghelidj did.  Put simply, a proper water regimen and diet prevents and cures many diseases.  If you don't have the book, read the transcript of his Lecture at the 2003 Government Health Forum in Washington D.C.  He said:

"So, in twenty-first century medicine, the new truth is that dehydration is the primary cause of painful, degenerative diseases, including cancer and AIDS... water is actually a primary nutrient in the body that your body depends on, on a regular basis for its performance and functions... "

"So, histamine is actually a pain-producing system directly and indirectly through its subordinate systems, and that is why we get the dyspeptic pain and that’s why the pharmaceutical industry uses Tagamet and Zantac to block it. Migraine headaches, anginal pain, rheumatoid joint pain, back pain, fibromyalgic pain, colitis pain, false appendicitis pain.  I have seen a number of people who came to me in the prison with typical appendicitis symptoms, but they didn’t have a temperature, they didn’t have nausea, so I gave them two glasses of water because by then I knew the pain was a sign of dehydration. I gave them two glasses of water and in three minutes their ‘appendix’ pain disappeared. So, these people would normally end up on the table of the surgeon and have their appendix taken out."

"Complications of dehydration raise cholesterol. Obesity is the first complication of dehydration. Raised cholesterol, heart failure, chronic fatigue, cancers, neurological disorders that I explained to you, strokes, and so on, they’re all produced by dehydration."

His books go on to explain the vital necessity of periodically consuming proper amounts of water throughout the day to prevent cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular dysfunction, and many other maladies.  The books should become required reading for every doctor in the VAHCS. 

I already receive vitamins under VA doctor's orders because the doctor knows the benefit.  But, let me explain why you should take even more of a broad spectrum upper hand in this.
  1. It will increase the effectiveness of medical care.
  2. It will DEcrease the cost of medical care.
  3. It will make vets healthier and happier, and thereby give the VAHCS an even better reputation than it already enjoys.
By upper hand I mean you could require all primary care physicians to put their patients on a water regimen AND balanced multivitamin-mineral supplements including megadoses of vitamin C (10 to 20 grams daily).  And have them read Dr. Johanna Budwig's works on the effect of certain diets on blood chemistry and degenerative diseases.

I do not mean to seem presumptuous in giving you directions.  I only mean that I have studied these issues for quite a long time, and everyone knows one needn't be a doctor to recognize the health benefits of adequate water and nutrients.  See this website which I produced from partial research in 1997:

There you will see that I don't treat medical practitioners with much kindness because they generally insist on surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy (all outrageously expensive and ineffective) to treat cancer and those generally have a less beneficial effect than other approaches like Dr. Budwig's diet, an array of cleanses, etc.

I'll give you another example of medical blindness.  My doctor prescribed Atorvastatin Calcium (Lipitor) to help my arteries to stop reducing in size where they enter my heart.  Statins help the liver to slow production of cholesterol and the body to reabsorb cholesterol so it doesn't clog arteries.  Statins also destroy the antioxidant co-enzyme Q10 and increase risk of liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage, and they impair the function of sterols (sex hormones, cortisone, dolichols, and vitamin D), they cause cataracts, anemia, sexual dysfunction, immune depression, nerve damage in hands and feet - see Mercola for reference.  So doctors think they must choose between a patient dying with heart disease and prescribing statins to control cholesterol, ignoring vastly cheaper and more effective alternatives. FYI, I had one cataract replaced two years ago, and go for surgery in early June to replace the  other.  Did the statins I have taken for years cause me to have cataracts?

The body produces cholesterol to patch lesions which oxidants punch in arterial walls because of a lack of vitamin C.  So it makes no sense to remove the cholesterol without stopping arterial lesions which the cholesterol patches.

Read Why Animals Don't Have Heart Attacks, but People Do by Dr. Matthias Rath.  This link gives you chapter 2 of his book which shows the effect of his protocol.

He summarized:

"Animals don't get heart attacks because they produce vitamin C in their bodies, which protects their blood vessel walls. In humans, who are unable to produce vitamin C, dietary vitamin deficiency of this nutrient weakens the blood vessel walls. Cardiovascular disease is an early form of scurvy. Clinical studies document that the optimum daily intake of vitamins and other essential nutrients halts and reverses coronary heart disease naturally. These essential nutrients supply vital bioenergy to millions of heart and blood vessel cells, thereby optimizing cardiovascular function. An optimum supply of vitamins and other essential nutrients can prevent and help correct cardiovascular conditions naturally. Heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, circulatory problems in diabetes and other cardiovascular problems will be essentially unknown in future generations."

"The eradication of heart disease is the next great goal uniting all mankind. The availability of vitamins and other essential nutrients needed to control the global cardiovascular disease epidemic is unlimited. The eradication of heart disease is dependent on one single factor: how fast we can spread the message that vitamins and other essential nutrients are the solution to the cardiovascular disease epidemic."

"This book presents the world’s first patented therapy for the reversal of atherosclerotic deposits without angioplasty or bypass surgery. Once the artery wall is weakened by vitamin deficiency, the body mobilizes its repair mechanisms. Millions of fat particles (lipoproteins) are deposited in the artery wall by means of biological “adhesives,” which eventually leads to atherosclerosis, clogging of the arteries, heart attacks and strokes. Atherosclerotic deposits can now be largely prevented and reversed with natural “Teflon” agents, which neutralize these adhesive properties. The first generation of artery wall “Teflon” agents are the natural amino acids lysine and proline, which become even more effective in combination with other vitamins. Thus, an old dream of mankind becomes reality: the natural reversal of cardiovascular disease — without angioplasty or bypass surgery."

"Dr. Rath’s Cellular Health recommendations include a selection of essential vitamins, minerals and natural amino acids used in combination with a healthy lifestyle."

His protocol:

Cellular Health Recommendations for Patients With Coronary Heart Disease

In addition to my Basic Cellular Health Recommendations (page 25), I recommend that patients with existing coronary heart disease or a high risk for this condition take the following cellular micronutrients in higher dosages.

• Vitamin C: provides protection and the natural healing of the artery wall and reversal of plaques
• Vitamin E: provides antioxidant protection
• Vitamin D: optimizes calcium metabolism and the reversal of calcium deposits in the artery wall
• Folic acid: provides a protective function against increased homocysteine levels together with vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and biotin
• Biotin: provides a protective function against increased homocysteine levels together with vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid
• Copper: supports stability of the artery wall with the improved cross-linking of collagen molecules
• Proline: supports collagen production, stability of the artery wall and reversal of plaques
• Lysine: supports collagen production, stability of the artery wall and reversal of plaques
• Chondroitin sulfate: supports the stability of the artery wall as a "cement" for connective tissue
• N-acetyl-glucosamine: supports the stability of the artery wall as a "cement" for connective tissue
• Pycnogenol: acts as a biocatalyst for improved vitamin C function and improved stability of the artery wall

I want to know why my doctor put me on Lipitor instead of the protocol above.  Actually, I don't really care why.  The dangerous side effects don't justify statins when the nutrient formulation above can accomplish a better result without the danger.

The VET-CENTRIC thing to do is to change protocols to the above recommendation of Dr. Rath.  Don't you agree?

I realize the medical center has to answer to Washington DC leaders and to the AMA and FDA to some extent.  But you have the position that allows you to effect an accelerated change to a protocol that saves money and lives and makes everybody but pharmaceutical giants happy.  If it weren't for the inertia that binds your hands and feet into inactivity on this point, I'd rate "Going all out for the patient" with 2 stars because I consider it INSANE bordering on criminal to ignore brilliant, cheap solutions like those of Drs. Batmanghelidj, Rath, and Budwig.

Please do pass this around to your Chief of Medicine and the various chiefs and other doctors and nurse practitioners of cancer, cardiovascular, diabetic, and pulmonary care and pain management.  We're not talking about turning Veterans into guinea pigs here, for the research is done and conclusively proven - proper water and nutrition makes people healthy, but pharmaceuticals, radiation, and surgery put them at terrible risk and often sicken or kill them.

So why not earn the Bay Pines VA Health Care System a 5-star rating by steering doctor attention and commitment to solutions like those above? Just think of how the VA could save money prescribing vitamins instead of dangerous drugs.

And by the way, if you can get me a lung transplant or portable oxygen concentrator, I'll sincerely appreciate it.  And I might live long enough to thank you over, and over, and over, and...

Thank you for having the patience to read this message. And thank you for being an excellent director.


Bob Hurt            Blog 1 2 3   f  t  
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1 comment:

Bob Hurt said...

And BY THE WAY, I cannot imagine a company giving better OXYGEN service and support than RESPITEK Medical Services of Tampa, run by Gary Anzulewicz ( That company handles everything I need (including vacation oxygen) fast, with great courtesy and a smile, and without messing anything up. I sincerely appreciate their making my life easier over the past 15 years.