September 21, 2011

Family, Health, Mike, Veterans Benefits

It’s a day.  Neither a good day nor a bad day.  A busy day…but still just a day.  We’ve been up for hours because today is the day the super duper high efficiency heat pump/air con is being installed.  What a project it is too.  Mercifully the temperatures are cool today.  This afternoon brings a rash of appointments for Mike…Dr. Yeager, the physiatrist, Dr. Diorio, the neuropsychologist, and Lisa, the Speech Therapist.  By the time we get home Mike and I will both be ready for naps.

Finally all the charts and records from the various docs and hospitals are all in my hot little hands.  Some morbid curiousity compelled me to read every single page….somewhere around 1000 pages total…and I can’t say reading them was necessarily to my benefit.  Certainly, I better understand how we reached the February 18 cardiac arrest better.  (And I have been kicking myself in the behind for not having insisted that I accompany Mike to his cardiology appointments in the prior two years.  Somehow I should have recognized that there was more to his situation than met the eye and that his behavior was some kind of fatalistic denial.  Perhaps much of this year’s agony could have been mitigated if I had realized.)  Sure do have a clear picture of what went on in that catheterization lab…and that picture is permanently etched in my memory.  It was not a pretty picture at all.  I find myself wondering if I was really listening to the docs when they told me of his condition and talked to me about making decisions.  They definitely did not paint the picture I see in the chart.  Grave, which is what they called it, does not begin to describe the reality of that cath lab reality.  In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t know everything then.  I suspect I would have made different choices.  Mike wouldn’t be here if I knew and believed the docs.  And while impaired, he is NOT as impaired as they feared…or as he could/should be.  I value every second with him alive…regardless of impairment.  I guess I’m reflecting on this today again because I was just checking out P-Dubs blog and she is celebrating her anniversary.  I think back to June…our 31st.  The anniversary that almost wasn’t.  Ok.  I’m weepy now.  Enough.  Moving on….

With all of this paperwork in hand, I can now complete the submissions to the VA for Mike’s Agent Orange claim.  Ischemic Heart Disease is one of the AO conditions…and all of the brain damage and other physical damage created in trying to save his life from the Ischemic Heart Disease  should also be service connected.  This buys us free prescriptions and free VA health care.  And VA disability.  Which will help pay for therapies and such when the insurance won’t do so any longer.  Since it takes a long time for a decision and there is retro pay, assuming he is to receive compensation, the first things I do will likely be laser surgery on his eyes (he is extremely myopic and can no longer wear his contact lenses) and hyperbaric oxygenation therapy.  Hopefully it can help with the memory and speech.  It’s a gamble.  I’ll roll the dice.  I have nothing to lose but money…and lots to gain!   So tomorrow my day will be spent, scanning each of these 1000 pages into files to be uploaded to the claim at the VA.  Then printed so that I can mail hard copies.  Three copies.  SIGH.  Did I mention?  There’s no document feeder on my all in one, thus, it’s one page at a time.  Staples is 25cents a page.  Geez.   I had to PAY to get the records.  I can’t afford that price to scan/copy them.  Nope.  How I wish I had my old office access…and their highspeed printer capabilities.  LOL.

Well…time to leave for the doc.  More tomorrow.

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