Vital Signs

Disabled

Dear Dr. R——:

Recently, I read an article about the explosion in the number of Americans receiving disability from the federal government.  In fact, that same government now pays out more for disabilities than it does for food stamps and welfare combined.

Certainly, many of those receiving aid truly require this assistance.  But after perusing some of the sample cases involving disabilities—my favorites were the women who weep at night because of their arduous day jobs—I realized I may qualify for federal disability.  (Doc, I, too, can weep at night if necessary, particularly if I am looking at my bank account.)  According to the article, my college education is a strike against me, but I nonetheless think you may find the following circumstances conducive to promoting my cause.

First, when I was 16 years old, I was accepted into a special summer program for high-school students interested in medical careers.  I spent that summer working in the operating and recovery rooms of Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  During that time I witnessed various surgeries—a nephrectomy, an open-heart operation, and dozens of other operations on various parts of the anatomy.  I toted buckets of blood and urine from surgery to the disposal point and can still smell the pungent odor created by the steel bucket interacting with those liquids. ...

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