Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pre-existing condition

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
After two combat tours in Iraq on a "quick reaction team" that picked up body parts after suicide bombings, Donald Schmidt began suffering from nightmares and paranoia. Then he had a nervous breakdown.

The military discharged Schmidt last Oct. 31 for problems they said resulted not from post-traumatic stress disorder but rather from a personality disorder that pre-dated his military service.

Schmidt's mother, Patrice Semtner-Myers, says her son was told that if he agreed to leave the Army he'd get full benefits. Earlier this month, however, they got a bill in the mail from a collection agency working for the government, demanding that he repay his re-enlistment bonus, plus interest — $14,597.72.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meds from the VA

I recently transferred from the VA clinic in Tulsa (which is part of the network of the hospital in Muskogee) to the VA hospital in Oklahoma City. I was very happy with my doctor in Tulsa but had to transfer because of transportation problems. I'm closer to Tulsa than OKC but only slightly and the DAV won't provide transportation to Tulsa but will to OKC. Sometimes, such as for eye exams, I need transportation even when my truck is running.

I finally got in to see my new primary care physician last Thursday. I got refills on a number of pills and got some prescriptions for some new ones. I had a problem sleeping the night before, and the DAV was picking me up at 6:45 am, so I got no sleep the night before. I had a 1 p.m. appointment with the eye doctor (got my eyes dilated) and a 2 p.m. appointment with my primary care phsycian that wasn't finished until 3 p.m.

I'd been to the OKC VA before for chronic care and knew it would take half hour or an hour to get the pills from the pharmacy, I was operating on no sleep (one of the new pills was a sleeping aid), and 6 other patients were waiting on me for the return trip in the van. So I just told the doctor to have the pills mailed. I had enough of most of my pills to last a few more days and how long could it take. I figured I'd get the new pills in the mail Saturday, Monday at the latest.

Well, it's Wednesday. I ran out of my diabetes meds Monday. No pills in the mail. I called the VA. They told me it usually takes at least 10 days.

Ten days to put a bottle in a sack and drop it in the mail.

My mistake.


Monday, October 15, 2007


Because you never know when one of those crazy vets might go crazy and start shootting people.
Jill Manges guesses that if she’d suffered an epileptic seizure that day in class, she’d still be enrolled at Eastern Illinois University. But Manges, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, instead suffered a flashback during French history that led her to shout and sob uncontrollably.

“I can’t deny the fact that what happened was disruptive,” says Manges, who was sentenced to a year-long suspension by the university judicial board last month for violating two sections of the student conduct code barring the disruption of university functions and the academic environment in particular