I am having a bad day and this is just me venting to the President of the USA>
From Daniel M. Wiberg
This is an open letter to the US President and the US Congress as well as the Secretary of the VA.
I am a veteran who has been misdiagnosed by the VA more than a dozen times. I am the Veteran who waited 27 years to have a damaged neck diagnosed and 19 years to have a damaged back diagnosed. I am the Veteran who was diagnosed in 2002 with ALS and in 2005 given End Of Life Counseling and asked to sign a Do Not Resuscitate Waiver. Only to learn in 2014 when finally seeing qualified Doctor from the Medical University and subsequently have 7 vertebrae fused. 17 of those years in a wheel chair waiting for a proper diagnosis in pain and subsequently learning that some medical wizard placed in my records that I was malingering.
Now to today. In January I told My primary Care Provider that I was having problems with my foot. In March I called him because the foot problem had worsened. On March 6th he ordered a splint for Plantar Fascitis with heel cups. On March 26th that splint was delivered with no heel cup. No cup was ever delivered. I went and purchased an expensive Dr Scholls heel cup from Walmart. Today is May 2nd. The heel has gotten worse.
Now mind you I still have not actually seen a doctor in person about this. I have not had an Xray or had an official diagnoses.
Around April 13th I talked to my Primary Care Provider that the pain had gotten worse and he said he would call in a consult for Podiatry. On April 18th I received a call for an appointment by scheduling, the earliest appointment would be May 23rd. There is a "new" VA policy that any appointment taking more than 30 days qualifies for the Veterans Choice Program. On Thursday April 19th I called around and found a local provider who said they could see me on the next day. Unfortunately I was not placed into the system for a Veterans Choice referral. On April 20th I had two appointments at the VA and I stopped in to Podiatry to make sure I received that referral. It was still more than 30 days so I qualified time wise.
While at Podiatry the crew got together to learn how to place a Veterans Choice referral and I was given a number, 2977392 as my referral number for the Veterans Choice Program.
On Tuesday April 24th I called the Veterans Choice line to see if I had been placed into their system and I had not. I contacted the VA Healthcare Advocate, Tracee who said she would see what was going on. I had also messaged multiple departments at the VA to find out as well. I received a message a few days later from scheduling telling me the referral Podiatry placed had been done wrong. So their referral was deleted. Nobody contacted anyone else to get it corrected and I called Tracee again.
Today may 2nd I received a call from Podiatry at the VA giving me an appointment for may 30th. I was not given any reason the original referral was not completed but because "It is not an emergency" and because the May 30th appointment is within the 30 day requirement I could no longer get the Veteran's Choice Program.
I have been having this problem since January well more than 30 days. When I received the first call for an appointment April 18th I was told I "qualified". Now today I am told I do not qualify. From the original request to my Primary Care Provider around April 13th to the new appointment on May 30th it will be 48 days.
Meanwhile I have been wearing this leg splint since March 26th. Every night I wake with the foot throbbing multiple times. I cannot walk without pain. The splint I was sent is an extra large and I have an size 8.5 foot so an extra 4 inches of the splint hangs out. I was never even asked by the Primary Care Physicians assistant what size foot I actually had. So the velcro ties on the splint do not close properly because they are too long.
I have been patient, I have been dragged AS USUAL by the VA, I have been maimed by VA delays and practices. It has been 3 weeks since my ENT doctor placed a referral to Gastro for an appointment to deal with Barrettes Esophagus and I have been having severe reflux caused by NSAID and previous damages because the VA failed to follow up on the Barrettes Esophagus since 1997.
I am tired. I am sick and tired of the VA delays and excuses. I want a written apology from the VA Head Administrator, the Podiatry Administrator and from the Secretary of the VA. I want the proper and promised medical care I served 22 years and earned.
I want the People of the USA to truthfully understand what happens and continues to happen to Veteran's daily at the VA.
I want people to understand what it is like to patiently wait 27 years and 19 years respectively while sitting in a wheel chair 17 years waiting for a proper diagnoses as well as how the VA purposefully delays proper medical care and how we Veterans have no choice to get proper medical care. I also want the American People to understand how frustration can cause anger and if that anger is displayed we Veterans are labeled as belligerent and subsequently treated worse because of it.
Back in 1999 I went to a VA Neurologist who placed a comment about how my cane tip was not worn (they are replaceable) and insinuated I was malingering.
I want the American people to understand how a mis-diagnosis of ALS prevented proper medical care for 12 more years. I want people to understand how I have lived decades in pain with contractually promised but totally inadequate medical care. Today I am suffering from severe reflux because of additional damage caused by a 2010 reduction of Omeprazole which allowed the reflux to come back with a vengeance. I want them to understand how I was told by my Primary Care Provider that I had "a little arthritis" after an MRI on my left knee but learned from Physical therapy the MRI showed a torn Meniscus, torn tendons, torn ligaments and a fatty tumor in the back of my knee. Subsequently given a poor quality knee brace and told the knee will need to be replaced in 10 years. No matter the pain and disability between now and then, I want the people to understand how massive doses of NSAIDS has caused even more damage to my pyloric valve which also causes cancer and I have to take baking soda 2 to 3 times a day while eating antacids like candy.
I want Americans to know the VA provides antacids that have aluminum which causes Alsheimers as well as Omeprazole which also long term causes Alsheimers. Yes I am experiencing that as well mildly at this point. I want Americans to understand that because of VA delays and "other" problems I an reticent to report medical problems to the VA in the hopes they will go away but they do not.
I want the American people to understand the VA has a policy of "One problem at a time" and all other problems unless EMERGENCIES are not dealt with appropriately. I want Americans to understand how Veterans are used as guinea pigs to test new medications and procedures and that we suffer through this with resolve because we have no other choice.
My left hand is almost useless it also needs care because of osteo arthritis and needs cortisone shots to hopefully permanently reduce the pain. My left knee with all it damage has never has any sort of shot to reduce the pain or mitigate the damage like simple surgery to remove the damaged cartilage or re-secure the joint.
In addition to the above I also have a damaged right jaw joint, damaged sinuses, a hugely swollen liver, (I don't drink) hardening of the arteries, chronic pericarditis, bone on bone cervical damage and most of this is because of military and VA misdiagnosis. While serving honorably for 22 years.
Please share this letter widely, because every letter I have sent regarding the VA to members of our government so far have received zero responses.