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John Purser

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Okay, in October I filed a claim to increase my disability level for my back as I'd been bed ridden for most of the last year which I think makes me a bit more than 20% disabled. In just three months I spoke with a very nice nurse's aide who scheduled me for a 2 hour torture session at the local xray facility.

Three months later I get a letter from the VA saying that since I could still do office work (from a bed apparently) my claim was denied. I filed a notice of disagreement through my rep with the VFW and was informed that it would take 10 months to hear back on that and then probably 2 more years awaiting the appeal. These times were from before the Iraq vets started flooding the system though so they might be on the sunny side.

I went to my Senator's office and spoke to the aide for veterans affairs. She assured me that while they couldn't actually change the outcome they could look into my case and in just two weeks they will be able to tell me where my case was two weeks before that. Now that's service!

I returned to my primary care provider at the VA and asked her what we could do about me not being able to work for the next three years. She lied to me about the Prozac I'm on and then put me on a pain killer which does have the one effect of making me pass out for about 4 hours. I'm to take 3 a day.

However out of all this I did get a referral to the "devices" department of physical therapy. There I received some actual material aid! A very nice young fellow gave me a rubber tip for my walking stick so the next time I came crawling in there I wouldn't scratch up their shiny floors. He also told me that he was going to order me a cane instead of the "big whupping stick" I was carrying and if it didn't show up in the next three months I was to let him know.

So, out of all that, no job, no income, no hope for three years, meds that knock me out, and a health care provider that lies I managed to get a rubber tip for my walking stick.

Just 6 months for that. I wonder how long 100% disability will take?

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