Sunday, June 9, 2013

MedBoard Starts Here - (MedBoard Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 1

 Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis- McChord
A place I'll be spending a lot of time at.

So I am now in the process of getting a MedBoard. Here is a little timeline of how I ended up here:

2011: I notice I'm getting frequent headaches, but can't figure out why. Try to do research online for cures to my symptoms such as drinking more water and reducing sugar intake. Nothing helps.

2012 (Spring): I finally go to the doctor to see if they can find out why I'm getting headaches all the time. X-Rays, CT scan, Physical Therapy are all done. No medications so far have helped.

2012 (Fall): Finally referred to a Neurologist who schedules an MRI and also tries a nerve block by injecting a substance in the back of my head near the top of my spine.

2013 (February): My Neurologist gives me a permanent profile after nothing so far has helped. This permanent profile triggers the MedBoard process. I am contacted by the WTU (Warrior Transition Unit) in Heidelberg to start the process. I put in for Ft. Lewis since it is close to my hometown and end up getting orders to head there. My original orders had me arriving on July 10th, but they moved it up to June 9th because of the closure of Heidelberg.

I'm very glad we chose to stay in Frankfurt for our last weekend. It was nice to be away from anything army, and my wife and I had some quality time just hanging out together. We really enjoyed our last weekend in Germany. The flight was straight through from Frankfurt to Seattle…10 hours on a plane. I have no complaints about the plane or the service from our Lufthansa flight crew. We were served either meals, drinks, or snacks several times throughout the flight. I had enough legroom and we had our own in flight entertainment system. I ended up watching "The Last Stand" and "A Good Day to Die Hard". Those along with music and podcasts on my iPhone helped pass the time.

We arrived in SeaTac and after making our way through customs, there was an NCO at the baggage terminal waiting for us. She gave us a ride to Ft. Lewis (actually it's now called JBLM - Joint Base Lewis McChord, but this is mainly just in name only…they are still basically two physically separate bases). She drove us around and showed me the hospital and the WTB barracks and offices right next to it. There was a lot of police tape in the parking lot with MPs standing around. I later found out that a WTB soldier had just killed himself! We then checked into our hotel where my wife and I were picked up by a friend shortly after.

Our friend took us to surprise both of our families. Nobody knew we were coming back earlier (everyone still thought the date was in July). So big surprises everywhere and lots of visiting with both sides of our family. We were able to borrow my father-in-law's car and took that back to our hotel on base, where we promptly passed out…it's been the longest Sunday ever!

1 comment:

  1. At this point in my journal things start to get a lot different. I start feeling more like a civilian and less as a soldier. I see my posts getting more negative throughout the medboard process. I also end up spending less and less time at Ft. Lewis (JBLM) throughout the process. Most days there is not a lot to say, but you can get a general feel of what happens when you are in a WTB and how long the process took for me.