Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Follow-Up Appointment (Life After The Army)

This morning I had a follow up appointment I made because my prescriptions (pain killers) were running low. I called about a month and a half ago and this was the first date I could get. Luckily I had just about enough pain killers left by my calculations. My pain is pretty much a constant these days. I do have some good days, but I average about 2 to 4 pain killers a day. I am continuing to see a massage therapist once a week and a chiropractor twice a month both using my civilian insurance.

My VA doctor is nice enough, but I felt rushed the entire time. I’m not sure if it’s because he just has too many patents to see, or maybe because it’s the day before Thanksgiving. He did put in a refill for my pain killers and after looking over my blood work from earlier this month and said I should be taking 2000 IU of vitamin D daily. I gave him my medical records from the army, which he asked me to bring in. After that he said I need to have my blood work done again in 6 months and see him again in a year. He then got up and opened the door for me to go. I was a little shocked, I guess I just expected a little more time to go over how I’m feeling, maybe see if there is something better than Vicodin for pain killers. I just expected a little more personalized attention after waiting so long for the appointment. Instead I felt like a number that just needed to be checked off. Prescribe more pain killers and move on to the next.

Luckily I work for a company that is very understanding. At least once a week I end up having to leave early because my head is killing me. A few times a week I’m able to take an hour or so and just lay down on the floor in a vacant office with the lights off & ice on my neck, which is usually enough to help me get through the day. I guess I was just hoping for the VA doctor to have something that would help me out a little more. Now it will be a year before I see him again. So I guess it’s the same ol’ same ol’ for another year. I’m thinking about using my civilian insurance or my Tri-Care insurance to see another doctor. Maybe I’ll get some better service and some more individualized care.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

To Say the VA is Slow is an Understatement (Life After The Army)

I noticed my last couple of deposits from the VA were a bit smaller. I wasn’t even sure where to start checking in order to find out why. I logged into the eBenefits site ( which is where I can see the deposits made, but that is about all it shows. I then happened across the claims portion of the website. It was there that I realized what the heck was going on. Back in July I received a letter from the VA stating the dates each of my kids turn 18 and the drop in my compensation each time one of my kids turn 18. The drop isn’t much (around $30), but it is noticeable. The letter also included forms that I could fill out if my kids will still be going to school after they are 18, which is the case of my oldest daughter. She turned 18 in September, but is still only a senior in high school. I filled out the forms and returned them with all the required information stating when and where my daughter will be attending high school. I wanted to make sure she was still covered under my insurance even though she was 18. I didn’t care too much about the drop in the monthly payment. Mind you that I filled out and returned these forms the moment I received them in July.

Now it’s November and I see in eBenefits that my claim is “under review” and the estimated claim completion date is 1/4/2015 to 5/25/2015! By the time they get the claim processed my daughter will have almost already graduated! To say I was shocked was a little bit of an understatement. I can’t believe a simple form like the one I sent in is going to take so freakin’ long to process. It should only take a matter of minutes, but this is the VA we’re talking about. I really hate dealing with any government office!