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Unable To Recieve Brain Injury Treatment.


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Yesterday I was refused treatment by the VA again for my SC condition. I was given 3 or four "choices".

1. Be satisfied with the inadiquate treatment I'm currently receiving even though I'm told more needs to be done.

2. Seek and pay for private treatment. I went bankrupt getting private care through the claims proccess and there are no brain injury specialists in the area.

3. Move near one of the three VA/DoD brain injury centers. Is it really a good idea for a person with cognative dissorder and major depression to move away from the family support structure that keeps me from being completely isolated?

4. Be admitted to long term mental health care if I cannot cope well without the meds that they will not provide. They won't treat me with the meds that help while saying my problem is neurological, which it is, then say that as my depression worsens, because I'm not being treated for the cause of it, I will be institutionalized.

The whole thing is over ritalin. My brain is slow due to damage. Ritalin is a neuro-psych stimulant and while on it I can proccess information fast enough to be in public. Otherwize, my brain does not proccess information fast enough for memory to be stored so I cannot keep up with normal conversation, nor remember things, nor can I be in places with children or other groups of people because the additional distractions keep my brain jammed up with too much info. This frustration causes severe depresion.

The VA has been very reluctant to continue my course of ritalin that I was on from my private Doc before I had to file bankruptcy on my medical bills. No other alternative has been suggested.

Option 5. I don't have to live this way, nor will I. If my suffering cannot be eased, it can be ended. At 39 years old I do not intend to live this way another 40 years.

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Time- have you stated this to the Medical Director at the VAMC?

It seems to me that they would definitely have to pay for private treatment as this is service connected-

I would try to get that in writing from them and certainly seek private help-I would look into that- although that could involve time and travel but in the long run you will most probably get better care.

This is a frustrating problem for you, I know, and you should not be going through this-

"They won't treat me with the meds that help while saying my problem is neurological, which it is, then say that as my depression worsens, because "

Why aren't they giving you the meds that help?

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>my brain does not proccess information fast enough for memory to be stored so I cannot keep up with normal conversation, nor remember things, nor can I be in places with children or other groups of people because the additional distractions keep my brain jammed up with too much info.

Hello Time,

when I have too many programs on this computer, up & running at the same time, it freezes up & crashes. My brain does the same. In order to cope, I have to step away from the environment causing it, take lorazapam, listen to music, go fishing, etc. Whatever it takes to keep from loosing it. I don't like to let others see how bad I really am. Especially the VA, (the cause of much of my frustration, & needless suffering). And I'm not going to let them slap cuffs on me & stick me in an institute. They better pack a lunch & bring allot of ammo.

>Option 5. I don't have to live this way, nor will I. If my suffering cannot be eased, it can be ended. At 39 years old I do not intend to live this way another 40 years.

>I don't have to live this way, nor will I. Your absolutely right. You can make choices in "life" that can help you. Death does not provide choices to change its course.

> family support structure that keeps me from being completely isolated?

FAMILY? From what I've read, count your blessings. Most vets with penetrating wounds to the brain don't have families to reach out to & are homeless.

Most vets with other sources of brain injury, such as toxins, ARE able to remain in a family setting.

Talk to your family. Let them know your needs & what they can do to help. Let them communicate with the VA for you.

The feeling of being cornered & life is hopeless, is right where they want us. DON"T let that happen and DON"T give them the satisfaction of putting you in that position, is the best advice I have.

Hang in there Vet. You are definitely not alone.

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Berta,

I hadn't thought of getting the VA to pay for private care. But, if they cannot accomodate my health care needs, I suppose they have to. I'll look into it.

They're not giving me the meds because they are unfamiluar with brain injury at all levels, too lazy to read past neuro-psych reports and recomendations along with past treatment with these meds and unwilling to have me evaluated correctly, and scared to prescribe what she calls "experimental medication and doses" of a common childrens ADD/ADHD drug (ritalin) though my dose is the average dose recommended for adults with ADD/ADHD.

Alan,

My situation is simular to yours. I think of it more like being connected to the internet on a 26k modem while every one else is using high speed broadband connection. Ritalin to me is like using a web accelerator. The information I get is somewhat diluted and still quite slow compared to broadband but at least the connection I have is livable.

I often must get away to a quiet place but music isn't an option for me. The one thing I can't 'turn off' is my ears and as long as there is sound going in my brain tries to proccess it and that is usually what causes most of my troubles. It's propably good that my nose doesn't work and I can't smell anything. B)

Thanks to all,

Time

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