Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Story: Quality Care, Not Haphazard Care

In August of 2011 my veteran’s back re-herniated in the same locations it did while he was active duty in the army.  When the back pain first started up in full force, he went in to see his doctor.  She scheduled an MRI, refused to prescribe him medication, and told him to talk to someone else (who was not available), then left on vacation.  She did not assign anyone to look over his case nor prescribe him anything to help with the pain.  She was gone for two weeks during which he was forced to go to urgent care for his pain (she later prescribed him narcotics over the phone).  She returned for a week, told him what was wrong with him and left for another week.  She was gone so much an urgent care doctor came to know my veteran by name. 

When my veteran’s PCP returned my veteran attempted to have her fill out FMLA paperwork.  She did not have time to see him in person, but she did talk to him on the phone.  During the conversation, she agreed that he was unable to work at this time.  However, when she completed the paperwork she said he could work four hours a day without informing my veteran of her decision.  My veteran then had to redo the paperwork, which meant switching providers.  The VA stated it would take six to eight weeks to arrange a new PCP.  My veteran had less than a week to submit the paperwork.  The PA’s hands were tied, there wasn’t anything she could do.  My veteran contacted the congressman’s office who in turn contacted the VA to request a new PCP fill out the paperwork.  Thankfully, it was completed in time.  But if we had not gone higher up the totem pole, my family’s livelihood would have been in jeopardy.  Had he gone back to work, he may have hurt himself further.  If the paperwork had not been completed, he would have lost his job.  It was a potentially lose-lose situation which could have affected our whole family. 

In addition, the PCP acted as if she did not care, delayed caring for my husband, and caused unneeded suffering.  This ordeal sent my veteran’s anxiety through the roof, which could have easily been avoided if he had been provided adequate care.

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