Fighting the Pain and the V.A.


gulffires3  This has been a strange year for me so far. In some ways it was really great, but again my health has stopped me from enjoying life the way I want to. My daughter gave birth to my grandson, Colton James, two months ago and in April I published my first book. You would think I would be really happy, and I am trying, but pain is a real big problem and I keep having to go to the hospital.

Since I moved to Florida at the end of 2012 I have noticed that the V.A. here is just not really that together. I had my share of problems everywhere I have lived, but Florida is just really screwed up for the most part. I sgulffires2eem to have to fight with clerks, nurses, and doctors – sometimes on a daily basis. I should not have to do this. I don’t have a lot of fight left in me.

Today is a scary day. I am fighting to breath and fighting severe pain from my neck to my feet. gulffires1I just got a catheter taken out, but now I am again having to push hard to urinate and I seem to have to go every five minutes. I don’t sleep much these days; maybe three or four hours if I’m lucky. After a few days of this I pass out for about six hours and then I wake up with chest pain and trouble catching my breath.

In case you were wondering where I have been and why I haven’t been writing here I think the last paragraph sums it up. I also have been in the hospital for various serious issues six times this year. I just don’t really have a lot left to say sometimes. It’s hard to write when you feel like you’re dying.

I can’t help but wonder if this is maybe what the VA wants. I am a problem child to them. Every time I go to a doctor they are like, “Okay, tell me what your priorities are – I only have so much time.”

I understand thamean doc 2t other veterans are waiting and I don’t want to take up too much time, but this last time I asked for a longer appointment and the clerk assured me that the doc would take as long as I needed. Of course, he was wrong. So it would be much easier if I passed on than to take the time to actually deal with me. I also have a claim for service-connection so I am a big problem to them. They don’t want to pay me what I deserve and what my family does for sure because they are the ones who care for me and watch my back, they deserve it. My time is short, I know that, but they deserve something for taking care of me daily. My wife has health issues too, but yet she does everything for me and I am helpless to do anything about that.

This was taken on a day when I was having severe pain and nothing seemed to work. But I made it and I am just documenting it - not looking for anyone's pity. Do not pity me - just ask your congressman, your physicians, the VA or whoever is supposed to be working on trying to help vets with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. And I also want to say that I am not complaining. I am merely trying to make a point. I talk with so many vets that say they don't know where to turn and I am just trying to use myself as an example of a vet with the same problems. I have been told by certain individuals that I would rather not name because I don't want to implicate any one organization. Let's just say that certain people working at vet orgs have conflicting views with the way things are supposed to be according to the mandates or regulations or press blurbs or whatever you want to call them - the sec of the VA says that he wants to help us and that's great - but then I am told by certain people that it would take years to help me and that I am looking at conspiracy stuff online and getting excited about that. I have not dilusions about what happened to me. I was obviously exposed to something that made me unable to be employed at the age of 38. I would say that is a good reason to be inquiring why. I have a letter from the VA that states that they do take responsibility for the rare condition I have called Polymyalgia Rhematica or PMR. (look up on wikipedia) if you don't know what it is - it basically makes my joints hurt all the time especially when it is raining or snowing etc.. and on top of that I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I just want to be seen by specialists. I have an appt with a new doc next week and I am hopeful that I can be sent to places like Wash DC or JAX, Fl = there are supposed to be testing places for gulf war illness there. I took the test for GWI and then they wanted me to take it again for some reason. I can't afford to go to all these appt's. on the pension I get. The gas is too expensive and now with sequestration I can't get my travel pay! But I am trying to remain positive.Thanks for all the support and I know that you guys are going through it too - I am thinking of you first - I want you to know that. Of course, not all the time, this day I certainly wasnt, but my hope is that this blog might inspire more vets to try and get the help they need. More on my next post! God bless...
This was taken on a day when I was having severe pain and nothing seemed to work. But I made it and I am just documenting it – not looking for anyone’s pity. Do not pity me – just ask your congressman, your physicians, the VA or whoever is supposed to be working on trying to help vets with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. And I also want to say that I am not complaining. I am merely trying to make a point. I talk with so many vets that say they don’t know where to turn and I am just trying to use myself as an example of a vet with the same problems. I have been told by certain individuals that I would rather not name because I don’t want to implicate any one organization. Let’s just say that certain people working at vet orgs have conflicting views with the way things are supposed to be according to the mandates or regulations or press blurbs or whatever you want to call them – the sec of the VA says that he wants to help us and that’s great – but then I am told by certain people that it would take years to help me and that I am looking at conspiracy stuff online and getting excited about that. I have not dilusions about what happened to me. I was obviously exposed to something that made me unable to be employed at the age of 38. I would say that is a good reason to be inquiring why. I have a letter from the VA that states that they do take responsibility for the rare condition I have called Polymyalgia Rhematica or PMR. (look up on wikipedia) if you don’t know what it is – it basically makes my joints hurt all the time especially when it is raining or snowing etc.. and on top of that I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I just want to be seen by specialists. I have an appt with a new doc next week and I am hopeful that I can be sent to places like Wash DC or JAX, Fl = there are supposed to be testing places for gulf war illness there. I took the test for GWI and then they wanted me to take it again for some reason. I can’t afford to go to all these appt’s. on the pension I get. The gas is too expensive and now with sequestration I can’t get my travel pay! But I am trying to remain positive.Thanks for all the support and I know that you guys are going through it too – I am thinking of you first – I want you to know that. Of course, not all the time, this day I certainly wasnt, but my hope is that this blog might inspire more vets to try and get the help they need. More on my next post! God bless…

I recently tried to receive home health care and I got called by a nurse practitioner who had a problem with my request. She said I was too young. I agree, I said, but I didn’t choose to be sick. I have so many issues that I have to carry around a list of meds and conditions. She was so rude. She asked me a series of questions about whether or not I was in diapers and things like that. I think she missed her calling as a drill sergeant. She kept harping on my age and I have heard it before. Kids get cancer – why can’t I have gulf war illness? I was, after all, in the gulf war! If you go to the website for home health care at the Orlando VA they state that age does not matter. I guess she didn’t get the memo. Typical.

 

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2 thoughts on “Fighting the Pain and the V.A.”

  1. Dave, As a consultant to a leading member of the Botanical Legal Defense, I became aware of your website and have followed your writings . I’m concerned about your deteriorating health and the burden that it has placed on your family. If you were interested, I believe tha I could arrange for a Member of Congress from Florida to contact the Orlando V.A, facility and urge them to devote the attention to your case which it rightfully deserves. Please let me know your thoughts.
    John

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, I am sorry it took so long to reply. I have been going through a lot in the last year. I separated from my wife in FL and moved to MI for two reasons. First was that my wife treated me with disrespect and acted as if my illness was a burden to her and she was also bipolar and yelled at me a lot. She wanted nothing to do with the VA and would not even listen to me when I tried to explain to her what I was going through. Since my move to MI I stayed with my cousin in Hollly, MI and she helped me a great deal. I also qualified for medicaid since I left my wife and I am getting better care through that but recently I was hospitalized for mini-strokes. My whole right side went numb and the doctors acted like they didn’t believe me. I also was unable to walk and the nurses in the hospital acted as if I was making it up and in addition I was unable to urinate one night and the nurses reaction was – well you’ve been urinating all day so I don’t see why suddenly now you have a problem and my doctors are no better than the VA. I am convinced that the entire American healthcare system is just really crap everywhere and that even though I am getting some things done here that I could not in FL I still am getting treated as though I must be making all these things up even though I was diagnosed with them by the VA. I have an attorney trying to get me some service-connected rating. RIght now all I have is a cruddy VA pension that is not enough to live on and I feel as though I may never ever get help. I am very appreciative of your help. If you are willing to contact a congressman in MI I would sincerely appreciate it. I seem like I was doing fine and then one day my whole right side went numb for an hour. So I thought well, I have a doctor’s appt tomorrow – I’ll just ask himm and then it happened again later that day and I could not walk after that. I was taken to the hospital and they told me I had what is called TIA or mini-strokes. They take on the symptoms of strokes but have no lasting damage. However, nobody has offered to figure out why. THey are sending me to a neurologist but I really think from my research I need to see a cardiologist because I was cold on that side too and that must be some sort of blood clot because I wasn’t getting circulation to the right side. And the scary thing is that from my research on TIA’s they are sometimes a pre-cursor to a real stroke or death or a disease. When I brought this up to the doctor she said maybe you should stay off the internet. I am baffled. I really don’t know where to turn at this point. I did have a therapist confirm that he thinks that my depression and anxiety are due to the war and the conditions it caused. I asked my new medicaid doctor to fill out the DBQ forms for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neuropathy, degenerative disk disease and his response was – we have a lot of paperwork to do as it is so we will see if we can try and maybe fill these out if we get a chance. In other words – NO. So I am stuck and my days are filled with a lot of anxiety and depression and it’s almost to the point where I am ready to just throw my hands up and forget about everything. I certainly don’t mean suicide, don’t get he wrong idea – I just mean I don’t know how to fight anymore with nobody on my side. That’s why I started this blog. To bring brothers and sisters like you together to try and figure this mess out. To support each other and to try and help each other find the answers to why we are all so sick before we are even fifty years old. If you have any connections or anything it would be great. Call me any time if you want – just email me at rockstarinart@gmail.com and I will give you the number. I am desperate and I appreciate your concern.

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