My husband said he never wanted to have anything to do with the Veterans Administration. He watched his father die at the VA hospital. When he came home from Vietnam, he walked in the hospital, saw other veterans with missing limbs and knew that he was better off than most and was convinced they needed the care more than he did.
For years, my veteran managed his war afflictions and medical expenses to the best of his ability. Healthcare is so very expensive and our health insurance for him alone was more than our house payment. One of my friends who works for the VA in Fargo North Dakota shared with me that we could get assistance with at least his diabetes medication from the VA. She shared it would take a couple years to get him into the system but that we should apply. We did and she was right, it did take almost 2 years. However, since being involved with the VA, they have taken very good care of him from stem to stern.
One diagnosis was Christopher’s hearing loss. Apparently, he has become a very “creative guesser” as well as lip-reader. For years, he told me I was mumbling and dropping my words. It turns out he can hear consonants better on one side and vowels better on the other, oh, and also, I wasn’t mumbling. We believe it started with the jet engines on the flight deck above his sleeping bunk which was also next to the turbines in the engine room.
Lack of respect is one of my sweetheart’s triggers and he almost immediately has a hair trigger around it. Because of his association with the VA now, he has been doing a lot of personal work and I am eternally grateful.
I believe we need to be our own best health advocates and we also need to advocate for each other, no matter what health system we are involved with. Health Care Providers are there to facilitate our healing, it is our jobs to be informed and take actions on our own behalf.