VA Care and Activity

Post your experiences dealing with the VA Disability Filing Process for GWS, issues with VA diagnoses, and so on.
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delta197wife
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by delta197wife » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:33 am

It's amazing when I read your posts because you are describing my hubby. The sensory overload issues, and the difficulty with large crowds are huge stressors
for him. Even our 3 children are overwhelming to him at times. Of course, it's me and our 3 teenage girls, I think any man might need to hibernate in his "man cave" from time to time. LOL. But I see the pain on his face sometimes and am sad that he is suffering. To be clear, its not pity, I am pissed that its been 19 yrs for him and all of you and no outreach.

For so many years, he has struggled and could not put it into words. Then our youngest daughter, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Adrenal Disorder, and a host of other immune related maladies. When I explained to him the diagnosis and the details of the issues she struggles with, it was like he finally had the words to express himself. I'm sure many of you went through this too, maybe feeling that something wasn't quite right, but couldn't put your finger on it.

I have always been amazed at his ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other, though. I guess those long road marches do have a purpose, they teach you to keep moving forward.

I am proud of my soldier and I am proud to "know" each one of you!!
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:55 pm

Wow cool words. Thank you. Get your husband some help. Will he let you go with him to the mental health doc? My wife did and she was a big help. I could'nt say "aww I'm ok". I'm glad you found this web site. Their are some cool books out there to help families deal with PTSD loved ones. Good flick was Home of The Brave. It's about different people with PTSD from Iraq.

Oh and you are right. It is amazing when I go to group. We all have and do a lot of the same things.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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delta197wife
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by delta197wife » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:14 am

2 yrs ago, he woould not even think about going to VA. But I asked his Vietnam Vet dad to speak to him and after that, he was more open.

And yes he has asked me to make sure I can come with him to his appointments, so I am very encouraged by that. I think it will be great to hear what he has to say to a counselor, to hear his perspective on how he is doing. Yesterday, he said he felt like it would be cheating to actually get a disability rating and/ or money. I don't think he has connected his thoughts and actions over these last 18 yrs to his experiences yet. Is that something I should bring up or will a mental health evaluation reveal that for him? I really don't want to sit there and point out what I think is "wrong" with him, as he puts it. I don't think anything is "wrong" with him, I think "wrong" was done to him.

I guess my biggest fear right now is that when he begins talking more and more openly, the full effects will hit him hard and he will crash. He has stuffed all his feelings for so long. Did you notice that you felt worse before you got better or did you just feel relieved that someone was finally listening?
haze
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by haze » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:39 pm

197wife
I don"t know you, but i"m still proud of you for sticking by your husband, and for trying to understand what has happened to him. many wives could"nt or would"nt even try to understand these things. your husband is a very lucky man to have you.i know ,my wife is very understanding,tries to help all she can,to be there when you need each other, even just to listen, or hold you when it gets rough, and not say a word about it. thats what love is in my book.
I too feel like i"d cheated somebody also, about getting a rating an such, its held me back for many years now. but this week i"ve decided to try in get help. after talking it over with my wife about it, and a few friends, ( thanks for the advice redfish,tricky). I hope all turns out good for you an yours. take care....haze
72nd. ENGR. CO.
197th. INF. BDE(m)(s)
24th. INF.DIV
18th AIRBORNE CORPS
SAPPERS FORWARD!
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:09 pm

He earned everything he gets. If he is like me, this has changed his life and limited his capacity to enjoy it to the fullest. That is the definition of disability. It ai'nt cheatin' or free loading or moochin'. He earned it. Y'all have earned it.

You won't be tellin' on him but making sure he is accurate about his feelings. Many times us guys will just say aw I'm ok it ai'nt that bad. You just won't let him sell himself short. He needs you there for assurance and support. You need to be there so you know what is going on so you can understand @ home with he.

Bad news: It will get worse. At least it did with me. Remember you have my wife's email. She can give advice and help if you need it. Trust me, I have put her through. She is my all and she knows all. She is a huge asset. I can share and feel and be myself and not keep up the tough guy facade. She has seen me go through it so she knows. She has many times been collateral damage. What an angel. You will be this for your husband.

Good news: It gets better. The healing can begin. Hang tough. He needs you.

Analogy: PTSD is an infected wound that won't heal. The therapist will go in and clean out the infection and then it will heal. There will always be a scare but the infection will be gone.

Lots of us are in this with you. You will find more around too.

The infected wound hurts, but, to heal, it's gotta come out. I'm thankful he is open to start the process and you are there with him.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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FA1SGret
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by FA1SGret » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:26 pm

A few of my thoughts:

Be patient and available if or when you husband wants to share his thoughts and/or feelings with you. It's real tough, I still can't share much with my wife. She knows, she goes to the doctor with me, but when I see the therapist it is just me and the doc. They always ask discreetly if I want my wife to join us, but I decline. Not that I don't trust her, I've got my hands full managing my own thoughts and don't think I could handle hers as well. She is great, don't get me wrong, but there is not me, and doesn't see things the same as I do.

Hard to explain and I almost erased this, but I'm pushing myself to continue. Be there, be supportive, but be flexible and be careful not to misread what you see and hear. This is hard to explain and I am tearing up ... too much ... damn ... I hope this is helpful.

Another anology is that therapy is like peeling an onion. Layers upon layers are covering the core of the problem. As the layers are peeled away, the emotions are very raw. Emotions that are unfamiliar, so the coping mechanisms are also unfamiliar ... but it does get better, so hang tough.

As for the leach feeling ... I deal with that often. Getting a gov't handout with taxpayer dollars doesn't sit well with me either. After all these years I still don't like it. But I accept it for my family. I can't work ... can't ... so at least the disability payments provide income for my family ... so I accept it for them.

I really hope this doesn't come across wrong ... just trying to be helpful.
Desert Shield/Desert Storm/Cease Fire
3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
210th FA Bde
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:52 am

I've wrestled with the idea of a "hand out" as well.

In my humble opinion:

It a'int a hand out it is workman's comp. Tax payer's dollars? They get to be a tax payer thanx to the sacrifices of this country's vets. I'm a tax payer too. I'd like to change where a lot of my money goes. Fraudulant claims are one thing but real injuries must be tended to. Any body on this site advocate shorting another vet's compensation? Why would you short yourselves then? Did you know that in Britain, after being in combat their vets never pay taxes again? Do you think the majority of people on welfare give a crap about it? They never saw combat but are on welfare their whole lives. Food stamps, welfare and medicaid are programs put in place in this country as a luxury to help the needy and less fortunate in this country. Not disability compensation from combat. That was established to provide veterans and their families compensation to prevent further hardship on our veterans. You have endured enough and you have earned everything you get. They are not giving us anything we earned it. If I worked at Mickey Dees and feel off da dang roof and hurt my back. The government would, and mickey dees would, provide disability for me so I could provide for my family. It is a benefit of living in this country given to our citizens by the veterans. Why should we expect less or get less? I filed my paperwork in English not German or Japanese thanx to our veterans.

Every round you fired in combat, every death and tragedy you witnessed, every night in misery, every waking hour full of exhaustion, every drop of blood, every drop of sweat, every tear (for the last 20 f'ing years), every nightmare filled night every drink and drug taken in pain and every flash back.... we earned every G.D. penny.

For our wives and family for every anxious moment, every tear, every night up, every dollar of bail money, every unkept promise, every disappointment, every moment of fear, every let down, every concern, every worry, every moment away from us, every hardship and all the hugs love and support.. no sir, you earned every cent.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
haze
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Your Gulf War Unit: 72nd. ENGR. CO. 197TH INF. BDE. 24TH INF
Location: ky,

Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by haze » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:09 am

damn redfish!!
you have been practicing! maybe we need to send you talk to the VA board an tell them whats what for us. maybe congress also, it don"t take a genius to figure out that something is wrong with us, i"m just a ole line dog,but i know bullshit when the gov/va talks. hopefully with them looking at old claims it"ll change.....
72nd. ENGR. CO.
197th. INF. BDE(m)(s)
24th. INF.DIV
18th AIRBORNE CORPS
SAPPERS FORWARD!
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:58 pm

8) Been wrestling with this topic for many years internally. My dad was in the 101st airborne 2 years in nam. His brother johnnie was in the 173rd sky soldiers 3 years in nam and his brother Robert was in the Corps at Ahn Khe and was in nam 2 years. They convinced me.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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FA1SGret
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by FA1SGret » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:39 pm

You are right ... very well put ... supportive words like that make it easier for sure.
Desert Shield/Desert Storm/Cease Fire
3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
210th FA Bde
DS (OPCON) 3/2 ACR, GS 1 ID
FIRE MISSION!
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:52 pm

Thanx Top.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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delta197wife
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by delta197wife » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:04 pm

I totally agree with you about it being workman's comp. I will show my husband these posts and maybe it will make him more comfortable.

Keep up the good work on here. As far as I am concerned, you are being paid by the VA to advise, support, and encourage those of us who are
just beginning this process. Just wish I could recommend you for a promotion or increase in pay!!!

God Bless<
delta197wife
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redfish
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by redfish » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:08 pm

Speaking the truth is easy. As I'm sure with all on here, if it helps even one vet, paid in full.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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FA1SGret
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by FA1SGret » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:04 am

Yep, paid in full, from the beginning. Like redfish says, "just payin' it forward".
Desert Shield/Desert Storm/Cease Fire
3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
210th FA Bde
DS (OPCON) 3/2 ACR, GS 1 ID
FIRE MISSION!
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delta197wife
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Re: VA Care and Activity

Post by delta197wife » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:47 am

Top o' the mornin' to ya, all!!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Yesterday was "our" first appt at the VA. All went really well: the doc was amazingly patient and thorough. She even suggested for hubby to apply for Comp & benefits just to get name on roll. She also is checking with Gulf Registry to see if she needs to run any more or different test than she already is planning.
She is keeping him on his current meds, Cymbalta. It works really well for the anxiety/depression (PTSD I suspect). And is also excellent for chronic pain and even sleep issues.

She also ordered several xrays, knees, shoulders, neck. He already had basic labs done and everything was normal, so that's great. All in all I was very pleased with the visit and am very thankful he agreed to go.

Thanks guys,
God Bless and have a great day!

delta197wife
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