Hmmmm- - - -it seems that once the VA gets rolling, they sort of resemble a train- - - -hard to get moving, and hard to get stopped. Now that they're more or less through whittling on my eyes, it's time for the other end! I just got a call from the VA clinic in Nashville, confirming my appointment for a colonoscopy! Since I'm 70-something miles from the facility, they're going to provide overnight lodging the night before the procedure. That's definitely better than strapping a porta-potti onto my trailer for the trip north!
Boy, the VA sure has changed. My Brother is a 100% veteran and his only provider is the VA. In 1970 when he was discharged he got a sliver of steel in his right eye in transit home. A few years later a cataract formed and the VA botched the surgery causing him to loose his right eye. Note: I purposely didn’t mention this before in order to keep Jerry’s stress level down. That along with PTSD and Agent Orange exposure made him qualified for full benefits. He has spent hours on end in waiting rooms to get various treatments or procedures done. The last few years he has mentioned it has gotten somewhat better and he can under certain circumstances use private providers if approved by the VA.
My annual income disqualifies me from any medical benefits. That is a big sore spot with most Veterans but discussion on such is political and against site rules.
Martin ... maybe if we moved the VA portion of this discussion to the Legion Hall forum, and kept the discussion limited to those of us with bonafide service-connected disabilities (eligible for VA benefits), it might be manageable. I'm up for giving it a whirl.
I've found that once I get to the actual care providers they are skilled, dedicated people who are doing their best to care for their patients. The problem is with wading through all the red tape and inertia thrown out by the paper shufflers and bureaucrats before getting to the caregivers. It's not uncommon to have to deal with several layers of bureaucracy before getting the attention of the one person who is actually interested in getting something done! In my situation it took getting the attention of a Senator and a Congressman with some very blunt emails to get the ball rolling in the first place!
John, you may want to edit the thread title. I tried to prior to moving the posts but when moved it jumped back to the original title.
Martin, I thought the same thing but I get hearing and eye care. When I went to have my hearing checked they said that I needed a full medical check-up and they did it. But, some things don't change. When I was there a couple of weeks ago I was waiting to make an eye appointment and the man before me about my age at least told the receptionist he was late because of a traffic jam. She abruptly said he would have to reschedule. He had to come from out of town because we don't have traffic jams, some delays yes.
Martin -- It's probably fine. We all/mostly know what the discussion is.
I think Jerry nailed it. That was my experience, too -- Once I got through the administrivia to see a provider, the provider (and quality of care I received) was outstanding. I'm hesitant to go again for much because I still have pretty good health insurance that carried over when I retired from Civil Service and I don't want to get in the way of a fellow vet using the resource who's need is greater than my own.
I am very happy to see a brand new out patient clinic built just up the road. Across the "street" (4-lane divided highway ... with lights) from one of the best VA rest homes (or whatever you call the long-term care facility -- place where your family warehouses you when you become too much of a PITA) in the country from what I hear. I told my daughter that when the time comes, she can either put the 1911A1 within reach and leave the room or she can just swing into the VA home portico, push me out and keep going. She's probably going with Plan B as she doesn't like anyone making a mess in her house -- especially me.
So the VA gets a split score from me -- big thumbs up for the providers, thumbs down for the admin. Yes, they have come a long way and they are trying, but they have a long way to go yet.
Sometimes I wonder how many of the admin people I have to deal with have ever worn a uniform and gone into harm's way to defend our freedom. I doubt that the number is very high. Every phone conversation begins with a bored-sounding recitation of a canned disclaimer giving me all sorts of options to stop the claim I'm making and pursue other treatment options. That's after negotiating my way through several levels of voice mails before a real person comes on the line!
On the other hand, having seen how the WW II vets were neglected and sometimes abused in VA facilities, us young sprouts have it a lot better. Back then, a VA hospital was where an indigent, homeless vet went to die! Some of the funeral escorts my fellow Patriot Guard Riders members and i participate in are for those guys. One funeral home in Chattanooga Tennessee provides no-charge burials at the national cemetery for vets from the local VA facility there whose relatives can't be located or can't be bothered with their final arrangements. We ride escort for those guys pretty frequently.
Update- - - - -I survived the "probe"- - - -and there were no gray aliens with teardrop-shaped heads and big eyes anywhere in sight, unless they called them in after they put the magic juice into my IV! And- - - -contrary to the opinion of a few moderators on several internet chat rooms- - - - There are a couple of defects! A few internal "roids" and diverticulitis don't require any drastic action, so they said "Come back and see us in 10 years!" By then, I'll be 85!
Now, the next chapter of the story will get written in one week- - - -I 'm scheduled for a re-test of my hearing loss by yet another VA contractor. The first test back in February was "inconclusive". My father was 89 years old before the VA figured out that piloting a B-17 and listening to four 1200 HP unmuffled Wright Cyclone radial engines for hundreds of hours caused his hearing loss- - - -so he was only able to collect a few months' worth of compensation before he passed away. I hope they're ready to deal with a very persistent patient where I'm concerned!