Sunday, December 21, 2014

#DearVA Addiction to Drugs...

#DearVA,

Addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, but more specifically things that move the adrenaline again...

Oh yeah, I am having this topic tonight. I have a friend. He is addicted to alcohol. I blame you as much as I blame him. You see #VA, while he never saw combat, he started getting that adrenaline rush while you trained him in boot camp.

Now that he is a "normal civilian",  he seeks to recreate that rush through drinking, drugs, and several suicide attempts. Where are you #VA? He tells you about these issues, and where are you? You aren't helping him, obviously.

The #NewVA needs to realize how many Veterans get out and seek to recreate the rush. They should be following up regularly with Veterans who have attempted suicide. A Veteran who says that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs should be referred to programs that can help.

Friends and Family are not equipped to be therapists #VA. It is time for you to step up.

PM
Caregiver

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#DearVA,

This week finds me scolding my child for losing valuable objects and nonchalantly moving on with his life as if it isn’t a problem to no longer have those items or to come up with funds to replace those items. In fact, currently those items will not be replaced in order to help him learn to take care of his things and take responsibility for his actions. These are the life lessons I am currently teaching my 13 year old. It saddens me to see how these same lessons don’t seem to pertain to the #VA. I am dismayed at the stories I hear of vets not getting the care that they have earned and even that is specifically noted within their files. It’s disheartening to hear of caregivers reading through their husbands book like medical files only to find critical information that is years old that was never divulged to them. If the VA were my 13 year old, the valuable items would be our vets. They’re not being taken care of and they’re being lost. And nobody is taking responsibility for this. This is probably one of my highest top priorities on my wishlist for #NewVA, accountability.

Accountability doesn’t just mean taking responsibility for your actions but also for your inaction. It means that there should be some recourse for those that are mistreated and left in the dark. I hear stories of vets with issues so large that their only recourse is legal action and yet the VA is such a large organization that you can’t even get legal representation unless you have endless bags of money and no sort of timeline. The #VA is a Goliath and our David has the rocks to throw (in the form of medical records as evidence) but no slingshot willing to hold such a large load. It is unconscionable that this goes on. That vets are mistreated or not treated at all and all they can do is file a complaint with the patient advocate only to never hear anything back. There is no recourse for the staff that leaves them in pain because the #VA can’t afford the loss of staff members. And the staff that does want to help is limited by internal protocols that leave them no options but to deliver less than adequate care.

Obviously I don’t mean that this is happening to every vet every day, but it is happening at an alarming rate and as I said, there’s not much a vet can do about it. What kind of faith can a Vet have that they’ll receive quality care and that issues will be solved if there is a problem. They can’t. I read an article once that stated that most vet’s who are 100% disabled are likely faking it because as soon as they get their 100% rating they stop getting treatment. This is false, the truth is they stop getting treatment at the VA. Once a vet has a 100% rating they often qualify for Social Security disability and are then afforded the luxury of Medicare. Medicare allows them to see doctor’s that are held to a higher standard than the VA doctor’s. Doctor’s that they can file a complaint about if there is wrong doing and there is a much higher likelihood of repercussions. But most importantly, they get to see doctor’s that are much more likely to share openly and freely with them about their own medical status and options without protocols and limitations. They adhere to their oath more stringently than many that work at the #VA. This is the reality that we face. We are literally dying to get care outside of the VA where we have a better chance at living longer and in less pain.

#NewVA Wishlist: Accountability.

Sincerely,
100% Navy Wife 

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