Email correspondence with a USA expat:
10/09/08: "Hi Mark, Have been reading your blog re: move to NZ with interest, and all the problems you have had with the welfare system. It is almost deja vu! Also had tooth problems, but easier to wait for the tooth to rot away and extract, than to repair and rehabilitate. Was not aware that you had also experienced nystagmus, tinnitus and balance problems, these can be directly related to upper cervical problems, and not surprising that you have had auditory loss as well.
As you well know my expertise lies primarily in health issues and I have come to the conclusion that the closest parallel I can draw to the treatment of disease symptoms and life! is that they must have come out of the same mold. There is no effort made to correct any of the causes of diseases today, you attend a physician with a symptom or a set of symptoms which he/she has learned terminology for, and has a name for, and then proceeds to write a prescription for a drug to eliminate that set of symptoms, not knowing anything about that specific drug, other than what the drug salesman/woman has told them, and they are so busy writing these scripts that they don't even have the time to sit down and read the side effects associated with these drugs. In the P.D.R. (Physicians Desk Reference) there are well over 1000 pages of information related to every possible medication available. Every drug has some adverse effects related to its consumption, even aspirin. When these occur the patient goes back to the Dr. with different symptoms to get more meds to combat the side effects of the previous one. So to cut a long story short, health care is likened to what I call the 'Band Aid Syndrome,' and this has been carried over into every aspect of our lives.
The 'Band Aid Syndrome' in life is bullshitting everyone that everything is fine when it is far from it. Of course when you are dealing with a bunch of parasites (politicians) who generally were unsuccessful attorneys, and pathological liars to boot, they will tell you anything to put a band aid over the symptom, so it appears a fix has been found. Unfortunately it is only people like us who have enough sense to understand what is going on, but have no control over our own destinations because we need financial assistance from a system that is already broken and abused!
It was designed for idiots who don't want to further themselves, but want to stay on welfare forever. When an individual who has a degree and a brain needs assistance to re-establish themselves, the 'system' cannot handle the individual, as there are no parameters for someone with a cerebrum, most employees of the system are void of them, to think about the situation, and react accordingly. Rules are rules!
...I really think that anyone who wants to deal with disabled individuals should be artificially disabled for a month, to see exactly what it is like for someone who is not able bodied to survive in today's environment. We still need assistance even if employed gainfully, depending on the severity of the disability. The program that I am on is designed for useless, non motivated minorities, drug addicts, morbidly obese, too tired to walk, alcoholics, mainly to silence the critics, and we are limited as to what we can own in the way of assets. Being married we are not allowed to have more than $3000,00 in cash, otherwise we have income reductions. 19 years ago we had been underpaid by S.S.A for a couple of years, and were unaware of it until a check for $5000,00 arrived in lieu of underpayment. I received a letter a couple of days later informing me that I was not allowed to have that amount of money in cash, and unless spent in a certain time frame, I would have monthly income docked.
So life goes on, and we having grown up in S.A. with many opportunities, we now have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of countries who don't have a clue.
Stay well my friend, until I am able to speak to you in person."
My 10/09/08 reply:
"Ja. We've travelled similar roads with different disabilities, in different countries with different indifferent bureaucracies. We too had the 'too rich for a benefit' nonsense thrown at us by a slippery, power-mad bureaucrat: embarrassing & a waste of our time. I would've had to be on the bones of my bum to get a benefit for tooth repair. After 13 yrs NZ residence, we still haven't applied for NZ citizenship, (always other expenses), & the citizenship application bods keep a sharp eye out for applicants who've ripped off the welfare benefit system. NZ wants healthy, wealthy immigrants to prop up its welfare system for Kiwis on the dole for years. I regularly see media reports of Kiwis who've stolen thousands from the welfare system: often over-payments, or not telling the welfare department of change of status, like kids leaving home, or re-marriage, partner moving out, divorce, etc, with welfare payments continuing for years. TV interview last week of a bloke who'd ripped off the welfare system for years, with multiple identities in different towns. Reminded me of the movie 'Catch me if you can.' All that fraud energy could've been better used in real employment.
Big Kiwi news currently about Foreign Minister Winston Peters in disgrace about not declaring (compelled legally to do so) thousands of dollars donated to his NZ First party. PM Clark hasn't sacked Peters yet. Never mind waste of taxpayers' $s re. the Serious Fraud Squad investigation. Peters, a lawyer, was previously sacked by PM Jenny Shipley's National government from his state Treasurer position.
Maybe I should go to Leah's old chiroprac to get my neck cricked. Would be wonderful if it cured my deafness, etc, & scary to think of all the wasted years & hassles. All ENT Drs I've consulted in SA & NZ opined that I had Menieres Disease. I've lived with it for nearly 3 decades, since I was 30...
A Cape Town expat told us of floods in CT. Your pics give spectacular confirmation. Wonder if that's Sea Point sea wall in the one pic? Leah & I strolled the sea wall when we escaped to CT from Kleinzee for naughty weekends, before Jake was born. I'd forgotten about all the foam on stormy SA beaches. I think the Zulu word for white beach foam / white scum is 'umlungu.' Misty this morning in Chch, a sure sign of spring. We have mists before & after winter, heralding autumn & spring."
USA expat's 10/09/08 rely:
"I really hate to think about the insidiousness of welfare fraud, it really makes my blood boil, as the people who really need help can't get it, because those in control of the $$$ have no accountability. Do you know that over a trillion $ has been raised for the national cancer society and there is still no indication that a cure is knocking at the door? Pitiful!
Menieres Disease usually responds well to chiroprac care so if you can find a good subluxation based chiro I would say go for it. I would however ask whether they practice straight subluxation based chiropractic care. If you could find a practitioner using Gonstead technique that would even be better.
Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.
See Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) for Consumers