Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My love/hate with the V.A continues

I have a love-hate relationship with the V.A.  Most of the time, it's more hate than love.  Then, occasionally, you have a LOVE moment......A recent example would be Hubby's last C&P where the doctor was phenomenal and actually got it.

Today, it's more hate than love.  For well over two years, I have been my husband's caregiver through the V.A Caregiver Support Program.  Basically, we get a small stipend for all the things I do for him. To get this, we had to apply, have doctors assess us, and have a home visit from a nurse.  To maintain it, we still have a nurse come quarterly to visit with Hubby.

For the last few months, Hubs has just really spiraled downwards.  It's bad....I mean, bad.  The poor guy has anxiety attacks when I'm at work and relies heavily on me to do a lot of stuff needed for him to receive care.  I broached the topic of a rate increase almost a month and a half ago to the Caregiver Support Coordinator.   He explained that the need would have to be long term and started telling me, "you know, think of if your husband had an operation.  He'd need additional care for awhile but not long term so we wouldn't increase it for that".

That comment annoyed me.  My husband has PTSD.   It's not going away......ever.  

Anyway, I said I understood and he also said that it's hard to have doctors go back and reassess.  Well, I get that.....Except his original assessment was done in North Chicago and he hasn't seen those doctors in quite awhile.  More so, he was very good at hiding how bad it was for him.  Since then, he has opened up to his doctors and the totality and severity of his disability is now evident.

For all those reasons, I pushed to open it back up and reassess.  Who knows, maybe we won't qualify for the higher tier, but won't know unless we try. 

The irritating part is that this guy, the Coordinator, has been taking his sweet time getting back to me.  When I called him in December to as him about this and also to ask for help for me, he said he'd be right on it.  I was desperate for counseling of my own.  After all, this was the Caregiver SUPPORT program and I needed support.  Well......It took him a month to get back to me.  When he finally did call me, he apologized and told me I was sounding much better.    Well......okay......but no thanks to him and his "support".   

I've called and emailed him again several times about this reassessment.  Supposedly all he has to do is send it back to Hubby's providers.   Hubs meets weekly with them, and they haven't heard squat.

It's frustrating for sure to have someone who on one hand, says he is "There for you" and tells you that "you can call me anytime for anything" just to have him fall way short of that.  Please don't make promises you can't keep.  Especially to worn out, stressed caregivers and their stressed out spouses.

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