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If they would just say that their mission is to screw up veterans' care,  inflict more damage than the insurgents did, and offer competent help only by accident, then nobody would be disappointed, would they?

  A year ago---or the year before that, the VA decided it wanted to get in a battle of wills with me over transportation.

 I did a lot of convoys in Iraq, during one of bloodiest years of the war, and I saw some of that blood, because aside from combat, convoying was the most deadly thing you could do.  In our first seven days, we lost our first guy, as well as another soldier who suffered permanent if relatively minor paralysis. Three weeks after that, my squad rolled out and got ambushed, pinned down, and refused extraction, re-supply, or reinforcement for twenty two hours,  which was complicated partially by the attitude of British governor, who kept knocking back gin and tonics during the battle,  then demanding that we hold the site, even while we were running out of ammo.  A Marine general stomped on him and sent us two  gunships, but that Brit gov wasn't done with us yet.  With many of the detachment out of ammo, he stopped the convoy to only then check on whether or not he'd gotten all of his people out.  He went on to write a book slamming my squad in particular for 'not wanting to hold positions on the roof' and 'for not wanting to use the radio.' I spent a few hours on that roof,  getting pinned down by a sniper across the river,  and my squad leader using that CINCGARS in the hummer was the only reason we got those gunships.  

That was one month. I left out the mob we got trapped in, more snipers, and the SF guys getting shot up and limping back to town in a shot-up truck.  And God knows what else.

  So eight or nine months after getting home, I started having what I was later informed were panic attacks----and they always involved vehicles. And they got worse, basically because I spent months gritting my teeth and making fists so bad I carved bloody little half circles in my palms with my finger nails. Then came on so bad I lost consciousnes, and my NCO noticed and forced me to go to the VA.

 The Ninth Circuit in California recently found that the VA was violating veterans' due process rights with their endless delays and incompetence, but of course the VA is appealing that.

 So the VA abruptly informed me---after I'd started demanding to know from my 'team' why they weren't listening to me----that I was no longer entitled to transportation.  Then my doctors told me they couldn't refill my  meds---four of them---because I had to come in to do, and I wasn't doing that. You see the problem there?

    I had to go through withdrawal, more or less simultaneously, from an anti-psychotic drug, an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety drug, and an anti-convulsant. Does that sound fun?

 They thought they could force me into coming into the VA, thus demonstrating that my panic attacks were not as bad as they actually are. Of course, the panic attacks had by then become full-fledged agoraphobia. I mean....agoraphobia. A very good day for me is pulling the garbage can to the alley. Some weeks that just isn't possible. I can't, for example, go as far as the street sign on my block. However, if something gets me angry, I'll be out that door in a rage, only to get stranded in a blaze of terror when it wears off and I suddenly wonder where I am. Adrenalin's a many-splendoured thing.

  All of which is prelude to something that I just realized this morning. I have a Korean War buddy who's semi-retired. I save my Diet Coke cans for him so he can turn them in and while he can't do handyman stuff, he can drive me around.  

 You know how often he does that?

 I was thinking about that. We're into September now. Except for the hospital, it's been a year since I left my house. That's how bad the agoraphobia is. I'm taking something that a friend gave me for anxiety,  because the VA has a new front in screwing me over.

  The issue is anxiety drugs. For at least four years, I've been taking Klonapin, which has never done much for me and now is basically a placebo. Only the presence of my friend and the knowledge of the route, the duration of the outing, and that's for something or someone other than myself---we always manage to swing by Good will or Animal Ark with donations-----make this possible.  

 This is because I asked my provider for a real anti-anxiety drug, something which would do something. I told her I had had to take twice as much as her recommended dosage before a trip to the VA, along with a sleeping pill, and still I tossed and turned and then got up paced the whole night, before realizing I just couldn't do it. When you have agoraphobia and panic attacks to begin with,  going someplace where people subtly or not-so-subtly treat you like a malingering, drug-seeking idiot is not what I'd call incentive.

    My shrink claimed she was worried about dependency. "I've been taking this shit for at least four years," I told her, to her face. "I just told you to your face that I'm taking twice as much to get any effect at all. And now you're worried about dependency? You might as well get worried about birth control when the baby's crowning."

  Then she fell back on what seems to be the favorite tactic of the mental health team around here. "You're shouting at me, gin."

 "No, I'm enunciating at you, because I've asked you the same question five times and you won't answer honestly, and aside from that you once again forgot what I did in the military, as well as the fact that I was in the military entirely." I'm surprised she didn't follow up with a threat to involuntarily commit me, which had been her go-to manuever ever since I got suicidal and asked to be admitted to the locked ward. While I was there a male patient threatened me, and the nurses shrugged and said---and I quote: "Aw, honey, what we can do? He's nuts."  So, in other words, they had no interest in protecting a woman in that environment, when all the other patients were men. This, by the way, has been their attitude in every mixed group. Every time I see a VA press release that trumpets how marvelous their programs are for women, I think, "What programs for women?" It's almost like they're proud of being so horrible at my VA.

  So I have been asking and asking and ASKING for a new shrink, in part because the anxiety is so bad that it keeps me awake, makes me have hallucinations, and has me jumping like I just got off the plane. The scent of smoke and dust haunt my days, and at night,  exhaustion fills my ears with nightmares that I know aren't there---but I'm too worm out to fight.

 I asked my doctor for a drug that I could take as needed for anxiety, provided it actually worked. Instead, she prescribed me a drug that treats neurological disorders. In addition, this has to build up in the system---which is exactly the opposite of what I wanted----and she's not even prescribing the therapeutic dose. I might as well be taking skittles. Got that? It's got off label uses for anxiety----but not my kind of anxiety. Once again, she didn't listen to me, didn't respect me, and then she scheduled me for a sleep study and physical therapy, which I can't go to because---no transportation, and no way to fight the anxiety.   The drug doesn't work unless it builds up in your system.  Apparently I'm the only one who looks this stuff up.  One nurse told me to take one---the daily dosage is three and "(I'd) be fine!"

   Then I talked to the patient advocate. "Well, you're not happy with ** and she's not happy with you-----"

 "She's not happy with me?" How unprofessional, in so many ways. Why didn't she remove herself from the case then?

  And then yet another prescription ran out, and the director of the womens' center, after listening to me complain about this, promised me she'd handle it.

  She didn't.  And you know how I found this out? I ran out and I called the pharmacy. Then I called the Director of the VA, the patient advocate---oh, wait, he'd quit---and my Senator.  The new patient advocate has not returned any of my six phone calls over three weeks, and apparently people at the VA do not keep promises, return phone calls, or give any shit at all.  The result is this: I'm leaving my home for the first time in about a year, for a place that's not a hospital.  It's going to make me collapse into a coma when I get home, because it's so exhausting for me, and frankly, I just don't like having one of those gasp-and-jerk-around reactions in front of strangers.  When people see a short-haired guy do that, they know enough to think he's a veteran. When they see a middle-aged woman with long hair do the same thing, she's just a freak.  

 The VA is doing a 'review' of my case, which means they'll read what other VA doctors say about my case.  What do other doctors say about my case? They'll stress the time that I took a cab to the ER one night,  out of my mind with the pain from what turned out to be an abscess in my jaw. My blood pressure was so high (and I normally have low blood pressure) from the pain that I had blood from burst blood vessels in my eyes, and intermittent nose bloods. Their blood pressure machine was broken and they couldn't be arsed to go get another one from down the hall.

  The VA tends to leave out stuff like that abscess, the pain (which I described as a ten, something I didn't say when I broke my leg in three places and walked around on it for an hour), the blood in my eyes, the nose bleeds, and the racing heart beat and pallor and clammy skin. I'm sure they note or hint that I was probably exaggerating about the pain. They tend to do that a lot with veterans. We're all drug-seeking debutantes to them, it seems.

 They'll just mention the cab ride.  How do I know this? Because that's what my therapist did. Repeatedly.  "But you took a cab that one time!"

 So once again I had to call a Senator just to get my anti-depressant prescription filled, and I have a history of suicide attempts.

 I called the Assistant Director for Veterans' Affairs in Washington.  Somehow, in all the phone calls and messages and offers of this time they'd take me seriously, nobody mentioned the option of serious escalation.  

   I have no idea how to finish this off.  But the next time you might see a middle-aged woman gasping and flinching somewhere,  it's entirely possible she's a veteran like me, and if the VA can't manage to grasp that concept, I guess it's hardly surprising that ordinary people don't.

 You don't have to sympathize. You'll note there's a lot of sarcasm in here. But unless people know how bad it is,  how actually harmful it is,  then they won't understand some facets of mental illness. I didn't have a clue before I myself got sick.  What's sad is that the VA itself still hasn't gotten that far.  

Originally posted to ginmar on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Mental Health Awareness, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Holy crap, I hear you. (10+ / 0-)

    There's not a damn thing I can do to help, but I hear you. Write any time.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:41:38 AM PDT

    •  DAV.... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zooecium, alizard, martini, Zinman, begone, llbear

      Disabled American Veterans.

      I'm a member. This org ends up representing 80% of the serious cases.

      You're a serious case.

      Btw: the "Vet Centers" are make-work shows for psychologists.

      Jus' sayin'..........................................

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:20:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, ginmar, try the DAV ... it's free (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zinman, vets74

        and their sole purpose is to help veterans like you to get all you are entitled to... they send veterans to schools to learn how to process VA claims and give max assistance...
        They helped me

        and if you have trouble let me know ... my sister-in-law is the National Commander of the DAV Auxiliary  so if the local DAV is doing its job .. she wants to know!

        If nothing else, they can help you document your problems with the VA ... this is important because in addition to training VA service reps The DAV lobbies Congress on behalf of vets ... good luck and let us know how things go ...

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The DAV helped me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I walked out of a military hospital after they had done a great job of patching me up and then down the ramp I went into civilian life. On my way to civilian life I saw a DAV volunteer sitting at a card table. He saw me limping along on my crutches with my discharge papers in my hand, our eyes met, and I saw a friend I had yet to meet. Long story short, that DAV volunteer helped me get a compensable disability rating which enabled me to get preference for a government job and a monthly disability check. I don't know if they are as good now as they were then, or whether any of this pertains to your situation, but my little bit of advice from my experience is to seek out some help from the DAV.

          "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

          by Zinman on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:05:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your service, how can (8+ / 0-)

    I (we) help? I get really pissed off when I see our vets treated like a used condom.

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:57:17 AM PDT

  •  I am so upset after (19+ / 0-)

    reading your painful diary.  I have been looking for pro bono help -- because, basically, this is a denial of health benefits.   Perhaps you could contact Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, send them a link to your diary, and see if someone can help you.  This is an utter disgrace.  Besides having a therapist who should find another career -- the lack of response from the VA in general is nauseating.

    I am sending warm regards and heartfelt sympathy.  Thank you for your service -- I wish the VA would thank you properly as well.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:10:19 AM PDT

  •  Stop Bitching and get yourself going man (27+ / 1-)

    Here is the deal.  Contact the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to represent you in your efforts with the VA.  Thanks for giving your service to this country and thanks for your post.  Now, go on down to a Veterans Service Officer that handles your neck of the woods, usually you can locate them at the county level.  You will have to make an appointment with them, keep it and file a claim for disability to get your meds going for you.  Before you go, make a copy of your DD-214 to take with you.  Ask the Service Officer to submit your claim to the DAV and make sure the Service Officer appoints the DAV as they will be your advocate.  Stay the hell away from the American Legion, as I have found them to be a bunch of half wits and right wing nuts.  If you are drinking, stop that, as  we need you around and I am telling you that it does not work anyway.  It just further pisses you off and you do not need that right now.  Do not get all demanding and full of yourself either, you were a soldier once and you above everyone else, should practice the self discipline you were trained with, and you will need it.  You can get more done with a clear head than one full of anger and resentment.  You are on a mission to heal yourself, stay on the path and get'r done.  

      •  Would you be willing to give any other advice to (12+ / 0-)

        vets - we would love to see a diary that we could refer vets back to when they are having a hard time.

        I have been working on a basic 'how to file' a claim and I will tell you that just the process can be overwhelming. Writing it up in a single diary is almost a joke. But there must be a way to do it - I think because I haven't had to go through the process myself, I don't see how to streamline it.

        •  There are a (9+ / 0-)

          number of good resources for how-to's on filing a claim. email me off list and I'll send you some links and some advice. I've been a disabled vet since 1979 and along with testvet and few others around here, we can help.

          -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

          by zamrzla on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:35:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I could do that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angelajean, chimene, alizard, martini

          I'm way past the filing a claim stage, though. Getting a decision in your favor does not by any means end the fight.  

          •  Sounds like we really need a series of diaries. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimene, alizard, rktect, martini

            A "How to Navigate the VA"

            We could take turns writing diaries and folks would just need to search the series title to find the advice they might need.

            •  Angelajean and some of us (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              martini, chimene, angelajean

              are trying  to put together a How to Diary and the whole thing boils down to three things.
              1.   Do not depend on anyone but yourself or family member to gather your evidence to support your claim

              2.  Get a good service officer and no one cannot say these are the ones because different chapters in different locations work well for some and not too well for others...One can always change service officers.

              3.   Do Not give up. The VA acts like it is their own money they are adjudicating and it is very easy to get frustrated and give up..JUST DON'T BECAUSE YOU WILL
              GET SOMETHING DONE IF CERTAIN PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED.  Tried and True more than once.

              We all have advice on how to wade these waters...The goal is to not to.  No vet or family member should have to go through so much for which they were promised when they got into the military and sacraficed. Our goal is to make this a smoother process.

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:53:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  My VA experience has been positive (0+ / 0-)

              Most Americans will thank any vet for their service but at the VA its been my experience that they walk the walk to back that up. They have provided me thousands of dollars worth of health care, saved my life a couple of times, and always been friendly and helpful.

              I think the right way to navigate the VA is to remember that if you want the right answers you have to ask the right questions. Learn what your med's are for, how your diagnostics inform your doctor, what you can do with diet and exercise, and listen when they tell you alcohol is not your friend.

              As to your agoraphobia, my experience with fear is that it has an event horizon. You can think about it like going off a cliff. Its scary thinking about it; once you are over the edge it goes away like when you rush out of the house angry.

              The trick is to teach yourself how to go through the door and then function once you are on the other side. That's just basic training, you need to practice doing it until it becomes automatic.

              Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

              by rktect on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:16:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              • (0+ / 0-)

                 YOu know, I have to wonder, when someone's complaining that they're, say, one of the thousands of veterans who've been treated like shit by the VA, why some people fell compelled to say, "Well, I haven't had any problems."

                   Your advice doesn't apply to my problem. I'm so far beyond that it's not even funny.  And frankly, telling me to just get over it is never going to be helpful.

                •  I'll allow that there are thousands of veterans (0+ / 0-)

                  who have been treated like shit by the VA. There are millions who have had more positive experiences.

                  I'll allow that the goal should be to have zero complaints and that the goal isn't served by telling veterans to just get over it.

                  What I thought I was offering was some support that does apply to your problem. My experience is that you can work with your VA to get what you want.

                  From my own experience I can tell you that it is possible for you to be a part of the process that results in zero complaints if you use the system to its best advantage.

                  I'm not saying what has happened to you so far is your fault, just that its within your ability to make a positive change for the better in the future.

                  The way I ensure that there aren't any problems is to make an effort to communicate with the VA. When someone tells me something I try and listen to what they are trying to say.

                  Back during the acid wars of the sixties many veterans had what I'll refer to as a bad trip. Trying to explain it to someone who hadn't taken that trip just wasn't possible.

                  Imagine that your panic is similar to someone having a bad trip and just take a moment to ask yourself why the world is so scary to you. Try and imagine what it would take to make yourself more comfortable with it. I can tell you that it's possible to do that from my own experience and I offer that to you as a suggestion intended to help.

                  Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                  by rktect on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 04:42:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  reading your latest diary (0+ / 0-)

                    Some of your anger appears to be coming from financial pressures. Your house is underwater. I'm guessing you are like the rest of us and pretty strapped for cash.

                    I have been unemployed for three years and taken a $10/hr part time job to try an make ends meet. I forage for food and pick at the dump for the same reasons.

                    If financial pressure is a part of your problem there are  veterans benefits that can help. You can get money to go back to school, to help refinance your home, disability comp of up to over $3,000 a month

                    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                    by rktect on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:11:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Don't guess, don't assume, try asking questions (0+ / 0-)


                         Read the post. What did I say? Is it not clear? Then ask a question.

                       You know what I"m angry at? I'm angry at the legion of condescending assholes on this site who blame the victim, have an obvious "man=assertive, woman=bitch" double standard when it comes to anger, and then top it off by apparently making up happy little fun stereotypes about women in their heads when they arrogantly address a woman whose words they haven't listened to or read.  Then they whine when she gets angry.

                      •  I'm familiar with anger (0+ / 0-)

                        with rage and frustration, with the unfairness of poverty and disease thwarting my good intentions. I could get angry about having the VA telling me they won't recommend a treatment because I'm too old when I don't feel old at all, but my question to you is what good would it do to waste what time I have left being angry and bitter?

                        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                        by rktect on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:06:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  You have to be shittin' me (0+ / 0-)

                     If you're not going to read the post, and if you're going to offer shit like "Imagine it's a bad trip!" and "I'm not blaming the victim BUT I totally am" just leave me alone.

                    "Ask yourself why the world is so scary to you."

                     Um, dude?  You really should not talk to anybody who has PTSD.  Go educate yourself before you go inflict yourself on another person.  

      •  Having an advocate to help you nav (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, chimene, alizard, Vetwife, martini

        navigate thru the paperwork is essential.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:27:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •   Yeah, it might be, if it were five years ago (5+ / 0-)

        Fucking thing keeps eating my goddamned comment.

         I'm rated 100%.  I don't need advice on how to get benefits. I'm already there. I already fought that fight. The problem is the unique shittiness of my local VA, and the fact that as a woman, I get treated to an extra measure of shit.  These people are just not doing what they agreed to do.

      •  Bingo ! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini, ginmar

        Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

        by vets74 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:22:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Five years ago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq

        it was.  This is what it's like after you win your case and try and get adequate treatment.  

      •  It's not advice, it's a lecture (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq

        from a troll who's never written a diary, has commented nineteen times, and comes off as a patronizing, arrogant ass.  

          Nobody talks to me like this guy. Period. He's talking to me like I'm a fuckin' two year old, with attitude and condescension.  You think that's okay? Boy, doesn't that prove my point about the VA.

    •  That's important (2+ / 0-)

      The indignation is necessary as a political appeal to improve the system, but it's not useful to you (the diariest), for your situation, right now.

      Let us resolutely study and implement the resolutions of the 46th Convention of the Democratic Party!

      by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:56:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do they have any options to help vets who have (6+ / 0-)

      problems with transportation, like this one?

      Because the sad limitation in your otherwise good suggestion is that Ginmar can't GET down to the local DAV.

      •  Yes.....and this is why a vets advocate or how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to diary is soooooooooooo necessary. However,not  all VA medical centers are alike or offer the  same services.
        A trip to DC as a Vet advocate sitting eyeball to eyeball in the HQ does wonders for the mind and scares an advocate to death.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:59:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One advocate just quit (0+ / 0-)

          And it was three or four years before I realized that I even KNEW they had one. And the new one has not returned one fucking phone call in three weeks. At that point,  what I do? Mail them a cattle prod?

    •  Except you're assuming I haven't already done all (6+ / 0-)

        I wish people wouldn't assume I'm  just sitting here with a thumb up  my ass, complaining.  

       Here's some facts you might have picked up from earlier diaries:

      1. I have  fighting the VA for five years.

      2. I am rated 100% connected. Your advice is old.I've already done every single on your list and  then some.  

      3. I'm not in the mood to be patronized.

      •  They are not trying to patronize. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, neroden

        They are honestly trying to help.

        You know, some Kossacks are great at listening.

        Other Kossacks need to solve problems. The guys giving you advice are honestly trying to help you solve some of these problems. Really.

        •  Neutral observer here (6+ / 0-)

          and the tone went patronizing at the comment header.  The same advice could indeed have been offered in a much less antagonistic way.

          Trying to help is a great thing.  Doing so in a non-aggressive tone is better yet.

          And that's not even commenting on the double dose of sexism in the comment header, with 'bitching' and 'man' both shoved in, which also, one might note, show that the commenter didn't even read the diary carefully, since the diarist stated she was female several times.

          •  I'll give you that. The leader was patronizing. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socalmonk, chimene, Vetwife, martini, neroden

            But the advice wasn't.

            I also don't think the writer meant to be patronizing... I think he meant to speak soldier to soldier. Maybe he can let us know.

            Here at DK we can be asses sometimes. But sometimes we look like asses when we don't mean be.

            •  No patronizing here, just the truth (2+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              angelajean, Vetwife
              Hidden by:

              I read her post and I have read all that she is speaking of.  It is bitching and she acts as if she is the only one in the world who has had a difficult time dealing with war and the aftermath.  War ain't pretty and gin knows that and I know that too.  Man and bitching, are expressions that are genderless for me, if the good doctor or anyone is offended by that, so be it.  I stand by my comments and will say that the attitude of gin will not solve a goddamn thing.  That just pisses people off and nothing gets done.  If the party at the VA is being the shits, go to an advocate and keep trying.  Write a letter, but stay the hell off the phone, because gin is not able to handle that.  If gin wants her drugs, she has to go in or go someplace to get the blood work done as this shit messes with you liver.  Patronizing is not what a fellow combat vet ever does and that means to both women and men.  That ain't how we roll.  

              •  I had a feeling. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You were just trying to tell her straight.

                •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i like bbq

                  How if he is he's so shitty at it.  He got my gender wrong, he was an arrogant ass, and he talked down to me like he was delivering info from on high.   He really shouldn't give advice----if you want to call it that----in that fashion.  All this get over it shit is bullshit.

                •  No diaries, 19 comments (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i like bbq

                  And if you think his shitty attitude is okay, Just no.

                  •  He might be writing diaries for us. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Sounds like he has had his own experiences with the VA. We could use lots of people writing about how to work the system. I know for every diary like yours that we see, there are hundreds more stories out there that we never hear about. I want to see you and all those others get the care that you need and deserve. That means finding out what does work for people. And why. Why does it work for some and not for others? Where is the system breaking down and what is causing it to happen?

                    BTW - we are all new here at some point in time. The very person you are asking us to help has been here since 2004 without a comment or a diary. Does that mean we shouldn't help him? I don't think so.

                    •  Where do you start? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      i like bbq

                      It's almost funny to me that I get slammed for my attitude while he doesn't for his.  

                      •  I don't think I slammed you for your attitude. (0+ / 0-)

                        If I did, it wasn't my intent and I'm sorry. This online stuff can sometimes be a pain in the ass. I am much better with facial signs and hand signals added in.

                        What I want is to foster conversations between all of us. If that means trying to explain the he said-she said conversation, then I will try. Maybe I shouldn't try at all. I get to involved at times. But I care. I care about you and about him too. I care about all of us in the Military Community. Let's face it. A lot of times we only have each other.

                        Be mad at him if you must but it sounds to me like you have enough people to be mad at without adding this guy to the list. Seriously, he really is on your side even if you don't like the way that he told you.

              •  Gin (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Sometimes the vet trying to accomplish gets them thrown backwards when they become extremely frustrated. There are people at the VA..liasons with congresspeople, and advocates who are passionate but have to present certain aspects of the veteran's frustration in a more tactful way to get results.   Real anger directing inside a facility can land one on the psych unit and this is basically what I felt the writer was
                trying to say.

                We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                by Vetwife on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:04:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i like bbq

                Fuck this shit. You  were patronizing, arrogant, and you didn't read the fuckin' post carefully.  Your advice sucks for anybody who's been fighting the va for five years, and aside from which,  taking the attitude that somebody needs to get over it is sheer fucking bullshit.


                You're wrong.  The only person here with an attitude problem is you.  

                 Go to an advocate? IN THE FUCKING POST. Write a letter? Do I have to enumerate everything I've done? How about you stop being an arrogant know-it-all?

                Don't tell me what to do until you actually pay attention to what I HAVE DONE.  That's on you.  

              •  Oh, and you know what else? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i like bbq

                I'm not 'acting like I'm the only one'. Why you're not hide rated I don't know.  You're patronizing. I got a news flash for you, dude:  the person doing the patronizing doesn't get to tell the person they're patronizing how to take it.  

              •  They're genderless for you? Yeah, they don't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i like bbq

                exactly effect you.

                 So you really don't have a place to to go telling women what they think about when you sling sexist slurs around.  Your advice sucks as well, but I suspect that's why your account is so sparsely used. New one to take the place of one recently banned?  

        •  Check out the guy I was replying to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

           I think you can click on parent and find out just how patronizing and condescending he actually was.  Plus he got my gender wrong and basically told me to get over it.  

        •  Then how come they're succeeding at it so well? (0+ / 0-)

          Hello,  I'm long since past the stage where I need an advocate and all that crap. I have done everything they say. I even said as much. Furthermore, they're revealing they haven't read the damned post or any post.  They're lecturing me on how to be more of a ladylike person, because otherwise I'm a bitch who asked for it and probably pissed the VA off.  

      •  ginmar, I responded above to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a mention that about the DAV ... please contact them and let them know that you are not being helped properly by the VA ... they will help you document this and if they don't, let me know .. my sister in law is National Commander of the DAV Auxiliary and i will let her know somebody ain't doing there job ...

        VA clinics and such do not like the DAV filing complaints about them ...

        and you need to do it for the other vets also .. many VA clinics have really dedicated workers, but many also have workers who treat Vets despicably ( I am a disabled vet, so I speak from experience) ... You are entitled to this care .. for your own sake, and for other vets, please pursue every avenue ... and good luck

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:23:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I do volunteer advocacy for veterans who need (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, martini, neroden, angelajean

      the VA for health care...good info...ever'body, lissen up!

  •  Did you hear back from the congressman's office (9+ / 0-)

    at all? You said you contacted them and I am curious to know what they had to say.

    If they ignored you, are you willing to share their name? More than a few of us would gladly write a letter asking their staff to get off their asses and to help you out.

  •  What jasan said. My husband is rated 100% (11+ / 0-)

    disabled by the VA and he counts the DAV as being the most helpful, next to the VA rep that came out to our town one day a week.

    Also, when we were having trouble getting a response, we called our Congressman's office.  He has a staff aid who specializes in working with VA issues.  Yours probably does as well and is in a better position to help than your Senator.

  •  {{{{{{{{{{ginmar}}}}}}}}}} (7+ / 0-)

    I had a great uncle who was a WWI vet who drove ambulance on the front lines.  He never drove again.  Ever.  Lived to be 94 years old and never drove.  Either he walked, or his little sister drove him everywhere for the rest of his life (she just died this year at the age of 110).
    Do I have any helpful advice?  No.  I sorely wish I did.  I just want to let you know, you aren't alone.  People have had this problem since WWI, so it should hardly be new to the VA.  I actually work at the VA, but in research, not treatment.  I do know the VA is absurdly underfunded everywhere, and all year we've been getting messages of "your funding will be cut; the joint resolution hasn't passed, so we don't yet know whether there will be any funding at all; you have no say in where the funding will get cut -- whatever it is will be across the board; figure out some way to furlough but not cut back services; etc."
    My extension is close enough to patient advocates that I get frustrated, angry, tearful calls from frustrated, angry patients fairly frequently; they generally hang up on me before I can give them the right extension, so deep is their frustration.  
    Will it get better?  I don't know.  This is what I do know.  My great uncle was my favorite uncle. The only other quirk he had by the time I came along and knew him: He would begin to laugh, and tears would come instead of laughter.  Other than that, and his never driving, my impression of him was that he was  incredibly kind, intelligent man who loved me dearly and would do anything for me (except drive me somewhere). He did not strike me as ill or odd in any way, shape or form by the time I knew him. I have no idea how long it took him to get over shell shock enough to be able to otherwise function.  Almost no one would talk about it, but I do know he had a very rough period, likely back in the 1920s.
    Keep at it until you get what you need, whether through the VA or somewhere that understands what you're going through and can actually help.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:04:00 AM PDT

  •  Ginmar (5+ / 0-)

    I have a dream.  And like all dreams it is just possibility not reality.  I have a friend who works at safehome for abused women.  And I have worked with her trading sessions on a system called repatterning which only has an incidental part in my dream.

    My dream is a place for veterans and homeless that has all kinds of treatments - acupuncture, psychological therapies, physical therapies and maybe even branching out from there to include animals and gardens.

    But you've presented to me something that I hadn't thought about, agoraphobia.  So I'd like to ask you something about your limitations.  Getting in a car or a cab or just going outside is the problem?  Once you get to a destination and you are inside are there problems with being in another place?  Is there any kind of transportation that doesn't bother you?


    We have a generation of leaders – Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron – who don't seem to have the faintest idea of what they're doing. Politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed... - David Hare

    by glitterscale on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:23:10 AM PDT

    •   Let's step back a bit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, chimene, martini, neroden

      I don't go anywhere. Period. I don't get in cars. Period. Every couple of months or so I go to the VA, courtesy of the DAV. That last time before this time I went somewhere else,   it was a year ago.  I don't go to other destinations. I don't go anywhere at all.  Anything with wheels and a motor makes me panic.

      •  I had a friend (haven't heard from her in a long (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, chimene, martini

        time now) who had several similar issues, including the agoraphobia on top of PTSD and chronic pain.  She was able to get a mental health service animal, a German shepherd, that helped her immensely.  Unfortunately, we've fallen out of contact, so I don't know which agency did the training or placed the dog with her.  I don't know if that might be something you are interested in, but if so, you might be able to search the idea up on the web, if you're interested in trying to add some non-pharmaceutical alternatives to your anti-stress and anti-anxiety regimen.

        •  Maybe I can train my kitty? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, i like bbq

           My house, ironically, is the one in the neighborhood where the kids come. And I'm really strict with them, too.  They seem to eat itup with a spoon. I tell them to wait their turn, to listen to what someone else says, then let the other person speak.  And....they drop off kitties at my house. One of them is this huge long-legged tom cat who's a love bug who swaggers like John Wayne on four legs.  He loves everybody.  

             I'd love to take him around on a leash.  He just comes over and snuggles when I'm feeling bad.

      •  But is there more? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Is it agoraphobia or phobia about wheels?

        We have a generation of leaders – Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron – who don't seem to have the faintest idea of what they're doing. Politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed... - David Hare

        by glitterscale on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:42:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She talked about issues getting the garbage to the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, neroden

          curb, so I'd guess agoraphobia.

        •  Flashbacks, agoraphobia, panic attacks, PTSD (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glitterscale, i like bbq

           MY panic attacks are like getting hit by a train.  The VA's never really dealt with them. As I understand it, if panic attacks aren't treated right away, they get worse---and that's what happened to me.  My therapists keep downplaying them, and so they don't get treated.  My therapist in particular.....they treat me like a neurotic drama queen, not a soldier who's had this shit dumped on me.

          •  I agree that they are glossing over your (0+ / 0-)

            problems and it sounds as if they get upset if your symptoms don't magically disappear with whatever drug of choice they give you.  And it doesn't sound like they are giving you PTSD therapy either.  For all of this you should be having intense therapy sessions because, if I read it right, reliving this stuff in safety allows you to deal with with it rather than having it come to you in flashbacks, which are disorienting at best and terrifying at worst.  Not fun doing therapy, rather like digging up a cesspool and seeing all the nasty stuff we've hidden away, but necessary to move on.

            The horrible thing is that psychiatrists these days are limited to pushing drugs.  You have to have both a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist.  Pitsy system in my view.

            Take the advice of one of the commenters and talk to the DAV and see if you can get an advocate.  And there might even be some kind of advocate system within the VA (or should be.)

            We have a generation of leaders – Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron – who don't seem to have the faintest idea of what they're doing. Politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed... - David Hare

            by glitterscale on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:44:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I wish you weren't having to endure the trauma (6+ / 0-)

    that caused the agoraphobia--and the callousness of doctors who don't care.  I almsot feel like VA doctors should have had to be in combat before they are allowed to treat PTSD patients, because otherwise it's all theoretical to them.

    Navy WIfe for 15 years. I had clinical depression again 91-2.  It was just a build-up of stress from  he death of my first husband and a lot of other issues hitting critical mass.  I used a civilian counselor in Family Services. I fired her after 6 weeks  because she didn't listen. Her suggestions woudl be for stuff that would work for a 21 year old  froma small town, who's a maisntream Christian, with little education other thana high school dgree and a baby. I'd tell her WHY none of those worked.  Next week she'd trot them out again.   I fired her and got the whole FSC staff shit canned--they mad ethe mistake of sending me a comment form form DOD (DoD was runnign the survey). SOme of my neighbors got them too--and we all complained. They fired them all.

    Had a military shrink force me to take the MMPD before he'd decide whether I needed my meds  changed--meds for night terrors.  He told me I was too angry.  Because he didn't underztand why I had nothing in common with women 20 years younger with nothing in common other than our hsuband's employer.  I complained about him too.  The Captian inc harge of the hospital listened, too.

    Problem is,t he VA doesn't seem to give a shit. It's understaffed and overworked, and they don't seem to grasp that WOMEN are in combat and often have different reactions and pproblems than men do.  I am so sorry you're going through this. Myhsuband has PTSD, and just talkign to me helepd him a lot--but his was base dont wo incidents rather than many tours.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:41:56 AM PDT

    •   Are you my twin?! (5+ / 0-)

       They put me in a therapy group with housewives and told me to be 'tactful'.  Yeah. How do you talk about combat in a tactful way? And why?

       I used to ask the staff if some contractor-driven form of 'therapy' was peer-reviewed and they'd look like they got with a mallet.  I just asking my therapist questions till she gets honest.

       The VA seems to think that the only women out there are dependents, spouses, or children. That's it.  

      •  I don't understand why you are in a therapy (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, vets74, chimene, martini, neroden

        group with housewives. (I am one and I have to admit I hate the term but can't think of anything much better). Shouldn't you be in a therapy group with other vets, regardless of sex?

        •  Last group before then was sex offenders (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, chimene, martini, neroden


          •  disgusting, ginmar (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch, chimene, Vetwife, martini, neroden

            I don't understand the huge disconnect.

            Have you actually written down exactly what you want and expect from the VA? If you haven't, it would make a great diary. And then you could share it with Congress and with the VA. Share it with us first, though, so we can add our two cents and help make it better :)

            •  They're civilian docs for the msot part, hired (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              angelajean, chimene, martini, neroden, ginmar

              by the VA. They're not combat vets, and there's a lot they don't get.

              Hell, a lot of military medicine (I learned this during 7 years in Japan) docs often treat all spouses as if we're all alike and any solution should work for everyone. I was the square peg and refused to allow my corners to be knocked off by the military shrink I described above, so he put some very insulting and unprofessional comments into my chart. We removed the pages.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:10:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I simply refused to see military mental health (6+ / 0-)

                I saw someone off post, who had been a hard-core military brat (her father served 30-ish years). She was also a PTSD specialist.

                I told my (military) doctor, my therapist, and eventually my psych (very non-military) that I simply didn't trust the Army to keep my mental health records confidential. They all agreed it was a valid concern.

                Non-combat PTSD? Impossible! LOLOLOL

                "Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices." — Terry Pratchett

                by LoreleiHI on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 04:23:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's in his record--but it's (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  angelajean, i like bbq

                  also highly classified.

                  And abused children often have PTSD.

                  I only went to family services becasue we were ded broke,a nd it was free.  It took me months to get a civilian shrink,  because I first had to get into the system and then wait for an opening. But they'd put me on anti-depressants (turns out part of the issue was actually night terrors; I would wake up without remembering it, screaming, several times a night and next morning I'd feel as if I'd had no sleep at all) which helped a lot.

                  I lived on base in Japan for 7 years, so all my doctors we re military. Most were good--though I told one FP type he was fired; he'd never had a patient tell him to leave the room or she'd scream very loudly before.  The patient advocate, a lovely nurse who outranked him--LTCDR to his LT-- hated him and this gave her an excuse to rip him a new asshole.  I had two excellent gynies, three great GPs and one wretched dermatologist.  Much dpeends on whether you are willign to fight the bad ones and complain.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:39:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  My previous doc violated HIPPA---and actually (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  angelajean, i like bbq

                  admitted it.  In writing.  What the hell? That was around the time she threatened me with forcible committment. I told her, "You're fired."

            •  Yeah, I want to be listened to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              angelajean, i like bbq

              It really doesn't get simpler than that. They treat me like I'm stupid. It's 2:34 AM, and I got three hours of sleep. I woke up flailing so badly I woke myself up, gasping for breath. I can't remember the nightmares. Sometimes I go for days without sleeping, which means I have hallucinations and a sky high anxiety level.  I also smell smoke all the time----and it's not there.

                 My therapist says primly, "Well, the best treatment is therapy." Yeah.  How do I get there, I keep asking pointedly.  She shrugs and ignores that.  

      •  Actually we disagree on a number of thigns, though (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene, martini, neroden

        we're both strong feminists. I was a Navy spouse, though, and have a husband with PTSD. I learned the hard way after a Johns Hopkins doctor --after being told 3 times to his face and three times on paper including my admission papers--tried to order a test involving iodine dye injected into my liver when I am deathly allergic to said dye.  I learned to be my own advocate, and toi fight the system when necessary. I checked ou of the hospital and found a new doc.

        In my case, I was 42, two grad degreesm a kinky WIccan feminist liberalk who'd published short stories in pro mags. Her solutions were :

        1) join a church (like you can look covens up in the yellow pages)

        2) volunteer at my kid's school (childless by chocie which she knew)

        3) volunteer at the base daycare (if I'd wanted kids, I'd have had them; I like oder kids and they aren't in daycare)

        4) volunteer with a charity (we only had one car and the rape crisis center and Planned parenthood were 3o miles away)

        5) meet toher Moms through playgroups (see #2 and #3)

        Et.c, Etc., Etc.  Suggestions that woul ahve worrked for 22 year old new Mom with no job and who belonged to a fundy church....

        FYI, the military regards family members (PLEASE don't call us dependents; many of us work for a living IF we're able to get a job which isn't the norm and keep things stable so our spouses can co their mission) as second class citizens. I've put up with lots of crap from military women because of this--most are supportive but you get the minority who feel that if you were worth anything, you'd be military yourself (I remarried at 28 and I was a tad old to sign up to be an officer). We have to wait until after active duty is seen to get appts for many specialties.  It isn't fun at all.

        There is NO tactful way to describe combat.  It's hell, and what you have been through , if you can speak about is coherently, you're doing better than most. You shouldn't have to keep prodding your therapist--her job is to ask you questions so you can heal. At  least that's what GOOD therapists do; I've fired two over the years for foisting their values and religion on me, to replace them with better ones who got the job done.

        My husband had to kill a  Saudi teen when he was doing flightline duty in Jedda--kid (didn't know who was doing it but it turned out to be Teenager) was firing at him and he defended himself until Security showed up.  That incident Never Offically Happened, along iwth the time he got sent into Kurdistan to investigate rumors that Saddam was gassing the Kurds again (he was; but that incident also Never officially happened and never made the papers) with a bunch of Marines and saw what dead women and babies look like several days later.  He didn't talk about it for 10 years or more, and then he broke down and cried in my arms. I've always suspected that his pTSD dates to his childhood under the reign of terror of an abusive father. It got better after that.

        Keep fighting the good fight--and try using the ideas some of the vets suggested.  I don't ahve any experience with VA myself.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:07:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yours is not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaNang65, angelajean, Vetwife

    a universal experience.  My brother and I and a lot of our friends are perfectly satisfied with our VA care.    I'm sorry you are having these problems...but the whole system isn't rotten.

    It's the Supreme Court Stupid!!!

    by regis on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:28:40 PM PDT

  •  Some of the care I get at the VA rocks (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, vets74, chimene, martini, neroden

    but much of it differed from yours only in the details and they irk me so much that I have never been able to write about them. The 'Patient Hidevocate' system really sucks. My six page complaint was discovered not to be a formal complaint even though it was written on VA stationary, in a VAMC, while suffering surgical complications.

    I am never setting foot in VAMC Roseburg again. I don't care what anyone says.

    •  Keep on Trucking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and do the best you can with what you have.

    •  Yeah, exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

       I got sent home with a second abscess they didn't tell me about. It burst. In  my mouth.  

       Then I discovered that there no pain pills in the bag from the pharmacy.  

    •  eww Roseburg! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, neroden

      they're working (AT LAST) on a mid-level clinic (?) project for the Eugene-Springfield area...  it's gone back to the drawing board for some reason, but DeFaz is on it.

      (actually, I don't know anything about the Roseburg VA, the "eww" is based on the Roseburg part!  for non-Oregonians, well, you sorta might as well be in darkest Alabama or Mississippi....  except for the dearth of actual dark skin)

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:51:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, martini, neroden

    I used to work for the VA, and your story sounds all too familiar. Their are a lot of good people who work for the VA, but not in management, but that could hold true for civil service in general. Hope it gets better.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:18:21 PM PDT

  •  I think I remember (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the story about that rooftop.

    I queued this at Mental Health Awareness.  It usually takes a day or two to republish.

    Best wishes to you.

    When shit happens, you get fertilized.

    by ramara on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 04:45:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm alive because of VA. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, martini, neroden, angelajean

    When you get first-rate treatment, there's little better.

    This situation is described in terms that do not suggest a direction to go for improvement. You are so damned stressed out that you don't get healing periods.

    Also, likely, the drugs are interfering with sleep.

    No good long deep REM sleep, no way to heal.

    As a guess, you will need a residential treatment regime and reduced medication. But I'm not a doctor -- a database guy who's done medical treatment databases for 30-odd years.

    Btw: one more thing.........................

    We're seeing the PTSD guys have some luck, some of them, with hypnosis. This is treatment with trained, licensed medical professionals.

    It's not a majority success rate. One thing is that nobody comes out worse. Zero risk.

    When it works, professional hypnosis can help with sleep and with getting out of flashback/overgeneralization stresses.

    Good luck.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:44:59 PM PDT

    •  Like I said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, angelajean, vets74

      Not all VAMC are the same. Some are the cream of the crop and some are bitter not butter,,milk.  They need to be more streamlined and not so state orientated. Federal Funds are handed down to the State operations of the VA Facilties but they still have say so if the State is not properly overseeing the operations .  There are some bad apples at some state VA facilties which areFederal VA facilties and funding is everything. That an oversight.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:19:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gin....May I make a suggestion (0+ / 0-)

    The reason there are many disagreeing with you on here  is not personal. Many on here and out their backdoor gets help beyond measure from the VA medical
    teams.  Treatment that is top notch and very responsible.   The problems you are experiencing is somewhat VA oriented but the majority of the problem is
    understaffed, underfunded, overworked and overwhelmed.   There are so many veterans, combat troops coming back and funds being  cut they cannot please all nor handle  the huge demands.  It is like a great big pie of sorts and 50 people trying to get equal
    portions but only 25 can get a slice and the other 25 get either left out or are handed crumbs off the plate.
    Now that is reality.  The people who fund the facilities have to make sure the facility has enough pie or build another pie.

    You problems are better in some ways than many veterans I speak to. Terrible and sad as they are.This is straight talk.  Many seeking care do not get a disability that they desperately need.  Many do not get seen.
    Many have no clue where to go.  Many are so desperate
    for relief and the VA scrambles to meet many...too many
    needs with more wars and less funds.  This is why administrators, directors,advocates, congressional aides, organizations,try to help and every day folks are wanting the wars to end and people to understand, one can only drive with a flat tire so long before the thing blows out.
    The suggestion I have is to take that negative energy and turn it into a positive.  Many have rushed to your aid with suggestions and answers.  You have a friend avet, and yes I offered our organization up for donations to help a little but Gin, there has only been one small 50,00 donation.  Why?  Because stepping on people trying to help with defeat attitude is not helping your cause or the people you would like to help.   You probably do not realize that you are finding problems with every suggestion people are making.   My suggestion.  Stop it.
    You can complain to directors and advocates but they will eventually quit trying because they feel no matter how they try to solve YOUR particuliar won't let them or find a problem when they are offering solutions to the best of their ability.  

     I thank you for your service.  I appreciate your sacrafice.  I know like everyone on here that there are veterans waiting in the wings and if the people who are trying to assist you like your fellow Kossacks and other well mening advocates in organizations and hospitals get shoved aside then it hurts all trying to get relief in the end.  Find a solution somewhere in this thread and look at your better angels that have been around for you and take the VA and organizations on one by one to suit your particuliar need or change VA medical facilities.  There are solutions and the VA is not your enemy.  They help many.
    That is not condescending...that is fact. We love you and
    want to help you but you just keep fighting all of us.

    I would not give them trouble beyond belief because unless you have a permanent and total 100 percent..they can reevaluate and knock down the size of that disability.   Just sayin.....Be careful.  There is a difference in total and permanent and 100 percent.
    Please look for the good  and try to get help to deal with  the bad.  That is what we all do.  Leave the lobbying to some of we advocates who try to make the case without malice.  Just sayin.  I hope you understand this is a positive suggestion.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:56:47 AM PDT

    •   Are you this way with the men? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      Because basically, it amounts to blaming the victim.  You don't love me if you don't see that, and think that people like Jasan are not helping.  You and everybody who's criticizing my attitude is basically saying it's okay for a man to be an asshole---especially to a woman---no matter that she herself is a veteran---but if she's the slightest bit uppity she's asking for it.  She's not entitled to get angry. Why not just flat out come out and say that the reason the VA is fucking with me is because I pissed them off, just like the so-called good guys who didn't bother the read the fucking post and told me to do shit I did years ago?  End the pretense.

    •  Did you really just tell me to STFU because others (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      have it worse? Seriously? You did. Holy shit,  I hope to fuck you  never say that to real live veterans.  Besides me, that is.

      •  No I did not say that (0+ / 0-)

        and I don't think bullets can tell the difference between
        men and women and sorry that you read it that way.
        I myself have been a victim of abuse years and years ago so I do not believe in blaming the victim......
        I still think you need to take another look at some of the good you have and try to deal with the bad and no matter who a person is ..or what their circumstances, there is always someone worse off....always.   That is reality and yes I do appreciate your sacrafice and your
        abuse and continued abuse is unthinkable but the anger IMO is misplaced.  Do I think the VA is perfect..Not by a long shot.  Do I think they are an evil institution.. Absolutely not.
        Sorry you think I told you to STFU.  I don't think I ever once said you had it easy.  Neither do some trying to help you either.  
        Combat is combat.....and abuse is abuse and gender should not even be an issue of discussion.   But with that I shall back off of this as I must not be helping and making you luck and God Bless.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:58:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I still think you need to take another look at some of the good you have and try to deal with the bad...
          I think you need to be less condescending and preachy to someone who's been through more than you can imagine and has every goddamned right to be angry, especially at fuckwads who waltz in and try to mansplain the VA system to her.

          Maybe that approach goes over well, say, at your local church when you're doling out Beneficience to The Deserving Poor. It's not universally applicable.

          Recommended by:
          i like bbq


            And here's the money quote:

          You problems are better in some ways than many veterans I speak to. Terrible and sad as they are. This is straight talk.  Many seeking care do not get a disability that they desperately need.  Many do not get seen.  Manyhave no clue where to go.  Many are so desperate for relief and the VA scrambles to meet many...too many
          needs with more wars and less funds.  This is why administrators, directors,advocates, congressional aides, organizations,try to help and every day folks are wanting the wars to end and people to understand, one can only drive with a flat tire so long before the thing blows out.
          The suggestion I have is to take that negative energy and turn it into a positive.  Many have rushed to your aid with suggestions and answers.  You have a friend avet, and yes I offered our organization up for donations to help a little but Gin, there has only been one small 50,00 donation.  Why?  Because stepping on people trying to help with defeat attitude is not helping your cause or the people you would like to help.   You probably do not realize that you are finding problems with every suggestion people are making.   My suggestion.  Stop it.

             That is about as vile a thing as anybody can say, and then you top yourself.


        •  Spare me the platitudes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

            You know what? If you were abused,  turning around and telling somebody that hey need to swallow shit, that they don't have it as bad as others----and to top it off, blaming me for why your charity didn't get any donations....

           I QUOTED YOU. YOu said I  had it better than others, that I should take that 'negative' energy and turn that frown upside down and whatever bunch of crap you're peddling from greeting cards.  You're not fooling anybody.  

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