VA and my life
avatar
An_249125 posted:
Hello my name is Phil and I am a 27 year old male who was in the Marine Corps for 4 years and have been overseas twice to Afghanistan. On my second tour I was involved in an explosion and was violently launched from my military vehicle. The explosion blew out my Tib/Fib all together and broke my lower back to were I had to have 3 lower back spinal surgeries. I have been currently going to the VA for my pain narcotics and all of a sudden I have been left doctor-less. My doctor had informed me that he was going to be leaving and not returning and that was in early september. Since then I have been relying (sorry for misspelled word) on other doctors at the Southeast VAMC in Mesa AZ to prescribe me my narcotic pain medicine. Since 2005 I have been on everything from morphine to val/percs/Diladude etc. (again sorry for misspelled narcotic names) and that says a lot right there but, I had been off of those all except percocet 10/325. I need that medication so I have a decent life to have with my 2 small children and family. There is a little story of my life so far so, now here is a discussion I want to have. Since, I have been in the hands of other doctors there to write me my prescriptions, this doctor said she will not write me my regular prescription because she is worried about me. How can she be worried about me when she does not know me and know what I have been through? What hell I have gone through to still be alive with the amount of pain that I am in to only get half of my script? Now, I am not the best person to be around but, at least with my medcation I can function. Why would she do that to me?
Reply
 
avatar
davedsel57 responded:
Hello.

Why is there a link in your post to a website for pain medication? Is your post another disguised ad/spam as we have been seeing lately?
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

Dave
 
avatar
Marine0929 replied to davedsel57's response:
Not at all. was trying to get feedback. Thats all.
 
avatar
davedsel57 replied to davedsel57's response:
I apologize. I just posted in another message board and the same thing happened with one of the phrases I used. Could be something within my browser (Firefox) or something new on the internet.

That being said let me thank you profusely for your service to our country. My dad is a Korean Conflict veteran the the VA is actually taking excellent care of him now that he has Alzheimer's Disease.

I have managed moderate to severe chronic back pain for over 30 years but can not take prescription pain medications. Members here that do take these type of meds will more intelligently reply based on their experiences.

I pray you can find solutions and pain relief soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

Dave
 
avatar
smann68 responded:
First of all, let me tell you how much I appreciate you serving our country and I am very sorry for the problems and pain you are now having due to that!! I am also sorry that you are having trouble getting your pain meds now. This new dr. should not be giving you a hard time. period! But we all have or have had this kind of problem before. Do you have to see this doctor or can you go back to one that you have seen before?? If at all possible, I would try to see a diffirent doctor. It pains me that I hear so many problems with our VA system! God bless you and your family and best of luck with getting the meds you need!
 
avatar
annette030 responded:
Thank you for your service in the Marine Corps. My son also served eight years in the Marines, he went to Afghanistan, and then to Iraq twice. It is tough. He has a 90% disability rating, and works full time as a civilian.

It is great that you were able to come off of all your other chronic pain meds, except the percocet 10/325s. How many do you take each day? Are other choices of medications better for you long term? What has your doctor suggested as alternatives?

I assume your latest doctor saw your medical records and made a judgement from those. Has the VA in your area told the doctors to prescribe less opioids? Sit down and have a long talk with her, ask her where she has gotten her info about your case, and ask to see it personally. Medical records errors do happen occasionally.

Being on any opioid for the rest of your life when you are only 27 is something to really think about. If it is the only choice for you, tell her that. Let her know why you are opting for that, and what activities you are able to do on the medication, that you cannot do without the medication.

Best of luck, Annette
 
avatar
srtayl responded:
Phil,

Get a referral to Neurology, Pain Management, and/or Orthopedic Surgery. I was looking through the Phoenix VAMC site and trying to see if you guys actually have a Pain Clinic and you do not. This does not mean that you cannot get that service, they may be able to refer you to an outside agency.

Additionally, get hold of the Patient Advocate and file a complaint as well as a change of physician request based upon the persons "Unwillingness to Treat Your Service Connected Injuries". I assume that your records of treatment and medications are in the system there so, another idea is to go to the emergency room and let them treat and prescribe for the time being as a stop-gap.

There is no excuse for you to have to suffer and this doc is just being, well, a pain. Hope this helps.

Oh, wait.... here is a link to search for the docs in the specialties I talked about... http://www.va.gov/providerinfo/PHOENIX/

Sean
 
avatar
annette030 replied to srtayl's response:
Thanks for your help with this problem. You have been busy as a bee finding resources for this poster. I know my son was really lucky to get a good advocate for his disability rating and hospital care,

Take care of yourself too.

Annette
 
avatar
grier responded:
Phil, by now I am sure you have herd everything to help with your pain. As I am much older than you, I do suffer from chronic pain, after years of abuse my spine has had it, I have nnow had three back fusion surgeries and suffer from Neuropathy in my legs. I have been given every opid med possible, injections, nerve burning, etc and nothing works, except for an implanted neurostimulator and CANNABIS SALVE, The cannabis salve is a life savor. One of these days our medical community will wake up and see that marijuana has other usees than getting high. If the state you are living in has marijuana despenseries I would look into how you could get a perscription for the salve. I thought my life was over as well until I started using the salve. Good luck.
 
avatar
terrye responded:
PHIL,MY NAME IS TERRY.I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE FACING AT THE VA.
I ALSO,HAVE A FEMALE DR.(WEATHER IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE OR NOT?).WHEN I FIRST WENT TO HER AFTER SHE REPLACED MY OLD DR.,SHE DID NOT WANT TO GIVE ME WHAT I WAS GETTING FROM MY LOCAL DR.
(MORPHINE,VICODIN).
I HAVE A BACK THAT IS CLASSIFIED AS IRREPARABLE,MEANING THEY WON'T EVEN OPERATE ON IT.
I HAD TO GO TO MY LOCAL DR. AGAIN AND CONVINCE HIM TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE VA DR. THAT MY BACK PAIN WAS WORTHY OF THE PAIN MEDICINE I HAD BEEN TAKING FROM HIM.
THE LETTER DID WORK AND NOW I AM PRESCRIBED THE FULL PAIN MEDICINE THAT KEEPS ME FUNCTIONING.
 
avatar
An_246419 responded:
I am a disabled veteran also and have had to go through the VA for much of my treatment.
I firmly believe that the VA medical service should be closed and all eligible veterans given free health insurance that covers them and their dependents. I think this would be cheaper in the long run plus it would allow many more veterans to get treatment that is not currently getting any service. I read that nearly 40% of eligible veterans do not use the VA medical service either because of the way they have been treated or because of the distance they have to travel.
The VA has helped many veterans, but the quality of care has declined in the last 30 or more years. I took my WWII veteran dad there as well as myself so I know something about the VA from a user prospective.
If you are retired from service for disability then you can use CHAMPUS which is for retired military to cover civilian doctors also if your disability is serious and it sounds like it you can apply for social security disability if you have enough working quarters put in to qualify. If not then try to find a part time job to bring your quarters of work up to the amount you need. Check with the social security administration to find out how much you need. As long as you make the minimun amount per quarter it will count toward your social security work record.
I have had very good doctors and very bad doctors at the VA, but they seem to be getting worst and worst in the last few years.
Be careful how you complain to the VA. I was friends with some of my local congressman's staff and I told them about something the VA was doing that they should not be doing. So the Congressman's office checked it out and found out I was right and put a stop to the VA's plans, but they used my name. Since then I have had a very hard time getting anything done for me. Yet since I am service connected I have to go to the VA for some treatment or I could loose my service connected pension.
Just like the military go through channels when complainingds, start with patient advocate, letters to the director &/ or chief of staff, then the inspector general and finally your congressman or senator and the media.
Personally I use the civilian medical people as much as possible and have my records sent to the VA. I get most of my medicine thru the VA if I think I will need it long term.
Where I go the pain clinic will do nothing for me, even though in the past I got all my pain medicine from them. The new doctors are from former communist countries and between that and my record for reporting them I get no where.
Remember you can not sue VA doctors since they are government, at least not easily, and many doctors there are in training as most VA's are connected to medical schools. Also where all civilian hospitals are rated by various professional services, no one rates the quality of the VA care. You will find some who like it and many others who hate it.
If you are a member of a veterans organization such as the Am. Legion, VFW or any of the many other service groups then they probably have national service officers who can advise you and represent you before VA boards. This is at no cost to you and it does not matter if you are a member of the organization or not. If you are a member go to them, if not and you can afford the cost it might be in your interest to join one. I knew when I got out that they were good lobbying groups for veterans so as the money became available I joined as a life member with some of the biggests ones. When I returned home the local Am Legion and VFW both gave me a 1 year free membership. However, I live in a small town so the local newspaper carried my story and they sought me out. You can ask around through family and friends to see if there are any in your area that you might like. They do offer good advice, but you can get their service wether you are a member or not that is free to all veterans.
Good luck and contact me any time.
 
avatar
annette030 replied to An_246419's response:
Thank you for your military service.

I totally agree with your comments about the advocacy part of the American Legion and VFW. I feel that it is very worth it to seek these people out. My son is a Marine vet and they really helped him, he has a 90% disability rating, thanks in large part to their help when he got out and since then.

Take care, Annette