September 26, 2013
I am writing in regards to the appeal hearing of my son, Anthony Lang, which was around July 10, 2013. During the past three and a half years, my son’s health has gotten worse. With all the health problems that are listed below, he has not been able to work since December 2009. His health problems: COPD, pleurisy, gout, large mass on left side of lungs, numbness in hands and feet, 30 percent lung capacity, fluid on his brain (which doctor said could eventually cause him to lose his eyesight).
He is also on 24-hour oxygen and C-Pak machine, which he uses almost all day and night. He gives out of breath from just walking from the house to our mailbox (approximately 30 feet). His feet swell up at least once a week, so that he can’t even wear his shoes. About twice a week, I have to bathe him because he can’t hold out to bathe himself. His weight has increased from 185 pounds to 312 pounds in a year from his health problems. He uses the bathroom at least 20 times a day (sometimes passing blood in his stool). He has sleep apnea, so that he stops breathing about 76 times an hour, if he can’t use his breathing machine.
How could he hold a job, even if someone would hire him? Would you hire him?
He has pneumonia because he coughs constantly and sometimes loses his breath and gets strangled. The Richmond County Health Department helps him with Advair, Spiriva and rescue inhalers, but they don’t always seem to help.
He has severe headaches and the light inside and outside hurts his eyes, so much so that we have to watch TV in the dark.
He has black-out spells with no warning. He has been severely depressed since his health deteriorated. He went to Day Mark for over a year, and the doctor there has written a letter saying Tony is disabled.
We don’t have the money or the means to have Tony treated for all his health issues. We have had to cancel doctor appointments simply because we could not pay. The doctors have worked with us in the past because they knew I am on a fixed income. Now they insist on $100-$150 before they will even see him and I can’t pay that.
We don’t understand why some people get help without even going to a doctor. Why is that? My son is 40 years old and had worked since he was 14 years old. He cannot get the help he so desperately needs. He wants to work, but can’t. As his mother, I see and know what he deals with every day. I sometimes have to walk out of the room so he doesn’t see my tears. He wants to die because he is helpless and hopeless to change his life. I don’t understand. When he worked, he paid his taxes and Social Security. Why can’t he get what he’s entitled to? My son is really sick and tells the truth. It seems the system rewards people for lying about their situations. I thought the Obamacare bill was for people like my son. We know many situations where people receive help and abuse it, by selling pills for cash, etc.
Doctors have told us that Tony is a walking time bomb, but he can’t qualify for disability. What is wrong with this picture? How sick do you have to be to get help? How can my son get better? What do we do next? It’s just not fair. I don’t want to lose my son. Please, just read between the lines of a concerned mother.
My son needs help. Please help him.
Gracie Cowick Lang
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Lang is a native of Anson County and currently works in Wadesboro.)