Patience During PainMarch 29, 2021
Although I do not necessarily have anything bad to say about the care I have received through the VA (In SLC and here in Ogden), I can say that they are so under staffed and over worked that the appointments are ridiculously distant when you are able to get one.
My left shoulder started to ache and lost almost all of its outward motion starting around July or August (2020). My first observation appointment (aka: Video induction physical) was not until October. The following appointment was with the muscular skeletal doctor in mid March. The Muscular Skeletal doctor put a request to start Physical Therapy in the system that day, but I have not heard from them for an appointment as of this posting (I have “Frozen Shoulder” by the way).
I also had some irregularities on my right cheek that I wanted them to look at. I asked for an appointment in December, and they saw me a week and a half ago (Mid March). They found that it was cancerous, and sent a request to the University of Utah to perform the Moas procedure. The University called yesterday to make the appointment (early April, not too bad).
Finally over the last 7+ months I’ve been having debilitating difficulties with my emotional state. I first called the VA Crisis Center late at night sometime in February. They submitted a request for an evaluation appointment and it was finally granted for mid March. Ended up just being for a change of medication (From Zoloft to Effexor). Unfortunately the communication between me and my medication provider weren’t in line, and I ended up starting my taper off of Zoloft early, and the Effexor didn’t’ show up in the mail until I was almost done tapering off Zoloft so I was/am a completely mentally exhausted man. I have finally started my full dose of Effexor last night (after tapering up for over a week), so we’ll see if that can ease the stress enough my mind can focus on healing again. My therapist has been in contact with me on their secure messaging system and is going on vacation for a week. He gave me some more direct phone numbers for the Crisis Line, and encouraged me to contact them anytime I felt like things were just getting too bad (Not just for suicidal thoughts).
My hope is that the VA can help me with identifying the feelings I have been experiencing (vocabulary), coping skills for when I am absolutely falling apart inside, and of course to find reconciliation for the truck load of regret, guilt, and disappointment I have been re-experiencing the last few months. Some are probably triggers from child hood, early relationships, parts of my military career, and of course, the last few months back in the dating arena (It is FUCKING BRUTAL).
I have learned that once an appointment is made, it gives me something to focus on while I am experiencing physical and emotional pain. Sometimes it is really hard to hang on, but there are some little lives out there that will need me some day, and I hope they see me as a strong, dependable, and loving man in their lives, instead of a man that was exhausted both mentally and physically to the point he saw an early end as the peace he needed regardless of who he hurt in the process.
Mini rant complete for now. I have absolutely no idea how many will ever see my hole in the internet, but it is therapeutic for me to write these things down and see them in words instead of hearing them in words.