Durham County maestro battling both ALS and a VA – WTVD
April 22, 2016 - als
Don Koenig was only 43 when he found out he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
It wouldn’t be prolonged before a former soldier was losing a use of his physique and, in 2005, his mother Carmen Morales-Koenig says they motionless he should get a tracheotomy.
That was 3 years before a Department of Veteran’s Affairs would change a process on ALS. Now, veterans are lonesome during 100 percent disability. Then, Carmen says they had to quarrel harder to get care.
She says a VA wouldn’t approve a tracheotomy for Koenig so she sealed him out of a Durham sanatorium and wheeled him opposite a travel to Duke.
“In sequence for him to validate for a tracheotomy,” Morales-Koenig said, “what they told me was, ‘Don needs to stop breathing, go into respiratory distress,’ and afterwards they will circle him in.
I travel into Duke Emergency room and said, ‘They don’t wish me during a VA, he needs a tracheotomy since he’s on a bi-pap appurtenance 24-7, and they’re like, ‘OK.'”
She says that kicked off over a decade of hardships, mostly driven by decisions done by a VA.
“We quarrel a battles as they come,” she revealed.
Among a initial of their battles was a special bed designed to revoke Koenig’s bedsores.
“Don was in a circle chair for dual weeks before they pronounced OK.”
Then, it was a tiny ventilator with a longer battery life so Koenig could get out of a residence for longer stretches.
“We go out to restaurants,” she said, “we go out to movies, we go out to a grocery store. We have a life.”
Morales-Koenig says Medicare came by on a ventilator where a VA did not.
More recently, it’s been that bed again. The VA finally certified one, though Morales-Koenig says it’s damaged a half dozen times in a final dual months. And each time a tech comes out to repair it, she says her father is in agony.
“His heart rate goes adult like crazy, so he’s really anxious. The pain is outrageous.”
Morales-Koenig’s life has altered too.
“Once we didn’t have word anymore and we had to rest on a VA for a care,” she said. “I had my initial psychogenic seizure.”
She says she gets seizures roughly each day – infrequently adult to 16 – on comment of a stress.
“Every time all this things stacks up, we go into a seizure and we pass out.”
And she says that should validate Koenig for 24-7 care.
“We’re removing 12 hours of nursing and 8 hours of CNA, that still leaves us a 4 hour gap,” she lamented.
Morales-Koenig tells a story of how, 4 years ago, she installed her father and his helper into a automobile and gathering to Washington, DC to protest to anyone who would listen during VA Headquarters
“I circle him in there, we go by confidence and they’re like, ‘Why is he here?’ And we was like, ‘He has a complaint.’ And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t see veterans here.’ And we said, ‘But you’re a Veterans Administration and he’s a maestro with a censure about one of a other VAs that is not providing a care.'”
What did they tell her?
“That basically, we was in a wrong state.”
Now, Morales-Koenig says it’s all about gripping adult a fight, despite during a some-more counsel pace.
“We live one second during a time; one hour during a time. We quarrel a battles as they come.”
Because of her possess health issues, Morales-Koenig says she takes it one conflict during a time.
“When I’m down, he picks me up,” she said. “When I’m during my worst, he binds me. we put my conduct underneath his palm and i feel a energy, a strength. And we feed out of that.”