OK, I had my compensation exam at the VA on Thursday the 9th. The Doctor examined me and asked many questions concerning my present state. My answers were somewhat complicated because a lot of what I am experiencing now is due to my Chemo and It's side effects. Both Vicki and I felt he didn't get the cancer and chemo thing at all.
He stated that an Echo Cardiogram was required for the compensation board. I couldn't tell him I could remember ever having one. So..he called my Cardiologist's office and tried to get them to fax some more of my files.(I provided several with my application) The desk guy told him he would need a Hippa form signed by me. Vicki and I agreed to go by my heart doctor's office and get them to fax the requested files. As far as I know that happened on that day or maybe a day later.
So you can imagine my surprise when the very next day I received the VA compensation boards official decision which had been mailed from their office in Jansville, Wisconsin on the 7th, a full two days before my exam. WTF?
Unless the VA is in possession of a working TIME MACHINE it seems that they just used some lame formula and gave the lowest rating at 10%. For this reason alone I will be getting some help from an advocate and appealing this decision.
Secondly, their decision completely ignores the fact that my open heart surgery in 2013 delayed the diagnosis of my cancer for a full year. By that time I was late stage 3 and the cancer eventually metastasized to my lungs which now 3 years later I am still being treated for. (excuse the preposition at the end, I am just too lazy these days to go back reconstruct the sentence) This has significantly diminished my life expectancy. I am 3 years into what most oncologists think is a five year window, with no sign of an end game where I don't have Cancer.
You would think they might take this into consideration. Vicki thinks not. I am hopeful that these people can understand that.
Last, I wonder why the left hand of the VA(the compensation board) and the right hand(the PHX VA Hospital) don't communicate effectively with each other. Is this common practice? Is this another example of the VA's disregard for Viet Vets and our issues? Or is this just a mistake which they will correct?
We will see.
In the meantime Vicki and I are getting prepared for retirement. We have a broker coming tomorrow to get us set up with medicare and the supplements we will require to keep my cancer treatments and scans and surgeries and whatever from bankrupting us. We met people during Vicki's chemo that were forced to declare bankruptcy due to medicare not paying the full amount of their chemo treatments.
On the plus side we had our eyes checked today. Vicki's Cataract surgery has been successful and she will not need anything beyond reading glasses for close work. I got new frames and glasses and our insurance covered all but a couple of hundred bucks. This was way better than the last time when we both got exams and glasses.
In geezer tech news, I bought a good microphone to record background music for videos we hope to produce when we go on the road in an RV. I was going to buy a small GoPro camera at Best Buy as well, but it turned out they don't stock the accessory kits in the store. Peter, the salesguy helped me through all my questions about setup,downloading, editing,adapters and attachments. In the end I decided to move up to the second least expensive model called the Hero 5 Session.(I think that's it) It turns out that when I buy the GoPro drone it's camera and stabilizer will work with this model. It seems you need a different mic adapter (at $50 each) if you get the cheapest little GoPro.
Anyway the guy was a great help and after coming home, cussing at my laptop with the very defective windows 8.1 to get the damn thing to start up I was able to record a couple of tracks with my new mic(which won't work with any GoPro I buy) which with Wavepad records with very good quality on this soon to be replaced laptop.
My plan is to go the Apple Exchange in Tempe this coming week and buy a refurbished Mac of some sort. I am done with Microsoft's crummy glitchy software. When we're out on the road the last thing I want to do is spend hours trying to get the damn computer to boot.
We are still searching for an RV. My initial impression of RV dealers is not good. They leave good looking deals on their site long after they are sold to drive traffic to their homepage.
When you request availability on a good looking deal the reply is always SOLD.
Nevertheless we will find one. Vicki is unwilling to commit till we know how we will manage my treatment and if I will be physically able to travel. I believe it will happen.
Alright, that's it. Too chatty tonight.
Hang in there,