Lufkin VA back open and bed bug-less, delivered here in a wave of HST nostalgia

Some good news for veterans who use the Lufkin (Texas) VA clinic just appeared on my mojo wire. Actually, it came by e-mail which sometimes seems to bring mojo of one sort of another. Hunter S. Thompson actually used the term “mojo wire” in his classic “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.” My estimation of who knows Hunter S. and who is reading this blog is not imaginable. So Thompson, whose style of work as a writer was called “gonzo journalism,” was probably the first gonzo journalist. All of those young writers — Me? Guilty — whose instinct was to fight the “system” emulated Thompson. In the end, only Hunter S. was Hunter S. His ashes shot from a cannon on a 153-foot tower shaped in a double-thumbed fist holding a peyote button, and all. Forgive me, I was cast adrift on a wave of nostalgia.

Perhaps it isn’t appropriate to make a blog post about a VA clinic reopening with references to a drug-addled maniac. But Hunter was an Air Force veteran, where he began his writing career as a sports reporter. I think that means something or other here.

My point is that a news release from the Department of Veterans Affairs came to me this afternoon announcing the Charles Wilson —¬†of “Charlie Wilson’s War” or “Good Time Charlie Wilson” fame — VA Clinic in Lufkin is reopening after a good debugging.

¬†” … a veteran came in to the clinic seeking medical assistance for a rash, the press release said. Clinic staff found bed bugs on his clothing and wheelchair. While the patient refused help and left, the staff immediately took action.”

The clinic reopened today after exterminators “extensively fumigated the building” and found no more bed bugs.

This dispatch raises several questions. One is, why did the patient refuse help? Was it because they planned to fumigate him? A Wikipedia article on bed bugs said the insects were a big problem on U.S. military bases during World War II.

Initially, the problem was solved by fumigation, using Zyklon Discoids that released¬†hydrogen cyanide gas, a rather dangerous procedure. Eventually, DDT was found as a “safe” alternative, said the Wikipedia article.

I am not insinuating that the VA would use the WWII method on the bed bug-ridden vet who sought treatment and touched off warning bells. Some vets just don’t have the patience one needs at times to travel the road to VA assistance. “It’s socialized medicine,” said a VA employee awhile back. And so it is. But it is all many of us veterans have.

A VA microbiologist/control specialist noted that bed bugs have become a problem again due to increased travel and reduced usage in pesticides, said the press release. DDT? Remember running behind the mosquito trucks in the smoke as a kid?

Bed bugs were pretty commonplace when I was a kid and gradually they were gone and now they are back and they are pissed!

Oh well, if you are a veteran and have been bitten by bed bugs or think you have, here is a good article from a reputable source (The Mayo Clinic.) Make mine with mayo on the side … I’m sorry I don’t know what gets into me. And after reading the Mayo article, if you need help, then get it!


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