A few positive VA things to report

dog houseSorry for my recent silence but “life” has interrupted my online activities.  I would like to share that we had some good news from the VA all within two weeks.  #1 The most important event was that the NOD we filed for spousal support was granted without making us jump through hoops. We had a call from the RO asking for clarification on one date, was told that the BVA was granting it and to expect a letter within a week. Four days later, my old Marine was paid a small amount to take care of me within days (including back support).  I joked that he can afford to buy a nice dog house and chow with the extra funds but we do appreciate it nonetheless.

# 2.  My spouse received a paper “Veterans Choice Card” but with orders not to use it since he may not really be eligible!   He has to call first.  This was a surprise since we live about 34 miles from the VHA and not over 40 miles away.  He doesn’t expect to use it because here in the land of A Prairie Home Companion, the schedulers are efficient.  Still, it’s nice to have as a back up, especially when travelling.

#3.  He switched to the Met Life High Dental plan offered through the VA.  Unable to find a comparable plan for myself, I called them and was allowed to be added on to his with no hassle.  The premium is higher than the Delta plans but this one offers more value in the long run.


“Do I look like a bug?” VA provides basic frames, not vanity fashion ones. UV shades clip on and fit well.

#4.  My spouse had a VA eye appointment was was told that he could get a new pair of glasses each year since he’s SC.  We had just purchased new lenses ($200) for an older frame he had so now he’ll always have decent eyewear and a back-up pair.  His eyesight went downhill after HCV treatment and ignoring his eyesight is not an option.

Meanwhile, I just found out that a surgical repair for a hiatal hernia I had five years ago has failed. I wasn’t expecting that news.  And my endoscopy itself was a nightmare because the meds didn’t put me to sleep and I gagged through the entire procedure.  I don’t know why the IV meds didn’t work this time or if this is typical.  Still, I’m glad I had the follow-up because everything looks good except the hernia.  I mention this common condition only because HCV can cause a wide range of digestive problems but hiatal hernias are sometimes the cause.  It’s something to ask about if digestive problems persist.


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11 Responses to A few positive VA things to report

  1. Karen S. says:

    “Should” work, but it’s not working.

  2. John King says:

    I have Medicare and if I need endoscopy or colonoscopy I get real hospital to do it. I have heard too many stories about VA screw-ups and people waking up in middle of procedures. What it is I think is that they are petrified you may die under and they will get the blame so they under drug you just to be on the so-called safe side. I have nothing good to say about the VA except they send me a check every month which I deserve. I was getting pain meds at VA and they insisted I drop half of my pain meds even though I had been safely taking them for 8 years. If a patient is happy make them unhappy…..VA creed.

  3. Frank says:

    The *card* was for the whole world to see. The *card trick* won’t get anywhere near the same publicity.

  4. SquidlyOne says:

    I started to gag on the Endo but then the nurse yelled at me and pushed more Demerol into the vein. I really think that the Endo CAUSED my hiatal hernia. They want to schedule another Endo now because of the esophageal varices that were found in the last one, 2 years ago. Gives me the willys to think about it. All I can afford is the VA right now. I can’t refuse the treatment if I want Service Connection. Good to see you back with a blog Kiedove!

    • Kiedove says:

      When I had my first endo, it was in an fancy private edoscopy center that did nothing else. I went to sleep. They woke me up. Everything was perfect. I was fine. This time I was in a back room with a private gastro doctor and a nurse in a nice suite of offices. I think I got the Medicare factory line rush job. I was sore and angry for several days and will not be returning there. I think John is right about their fear of patients to ODing so they under-medicate–even though we sign those releases. Live and learn.
      When you go for a follow up, talk to the nurse so they are prepared to deal with your gagging reflex if not put to sleep. Maybe get a relaxant 15 min. before too. But at least I now know I don’t have cancer, ulcers, barrettes esophagus, or celiac disease.

  5. Karen S. says:

    Sorry to hear about the endoscopy. This is why I WON”T have a colonoscopy at the VA, too many of these stories. Mileage for VA Choice Cards is “as the crow flies.” However, I haven’t flown any crows to my appointments at the VA lately.

    • woodguy11 says:

      so what is it? 40 miles to a clinic or hospital?

      • woodguy11 says:

        sorry my name is ray

        • SquidlyOne says:

          40 miles by air from a facility. My “facility” is a CBOC 30 miles away and has 4 chairs and a TV. I am not eligible with the card but they sent me one. I need 5 different specialists that are at the VAMC 100 miles away. As far as the 30 days gig with the appts. goes, a doctor can determine if it is needed with in 30 days. Unless you arrive in a casket, they won’t approve it and you will be stuck with the bill. The “card trick” really ended up being a bad joke against Veterans.

      • Kiedove says:

        My understanding is that you won’t get an appointment if you are near ANY VA medical establishment, even if it’s just a clinic with limited hours. But there are some exceptions apparently–especially if you have to wait over 30 days for an appointment. appointment.http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/
        But, according to point 3, more veterans may be able to benefit after the initial roll-out so you call call the number for info. Congress set aside a separate fund (not part of the VA budget) so veterans should use it! It sounds to me like you should be able to see specialists close to your home but of course you have to get pre-approval and they’ll help set it up. Let us know if I get help. 100 miles to too far to travel–especially in winter.
        Good luck.

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