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HowIWish

Hospital stay has wreaked havoc

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My husband is a combat veteran of the Iraq war. He was 101st Airborne infantry. He is/was also a police sergeant. 

He was diagnosed 4 years ago with PTSD by his private doctor. He has been spiraling out of control for many years, but the past few years his mental health has gotten markedly worse. I begged him to seek help for many years, and finally in June of this year he was seen by a private psychiatrist and diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar 1. To make a long story short, the meds helped a little, but at the end of September his doctor added an anti-psychotic. 

That helped a little, but he continued to have major issues and it was starting to noticeably affect his career. He's been a police officer for over 15 years. He was trying to get help, but if any of you have tried navigating the mental health field, it is not easy. I've been helping him.

On October 15th he went completely crazy and had an episode. I finally convinced him to go to the hospital. I'm trying to keep this as short as I can, so if anyone has questions or needs details, just ask. The private mental health hospital he has been seen at doesn't take out insurance and we pay out of pocket. But inpatient stays start at $2,000 a day, so we opted for the Va. That was a horrible idea.

When we got there his blood pressure was 200/175. They put the mental stuff on hold and over the next 4 days they got his BP under control and did an echo and heart cath. That part of the stay wasn't too bad. 

Then he was released to behavioral health. He was there for 14 days. The psychiatrist treating him told him the very first morning he was there that he didn't have bipolar. She took him off of all of his medications. She then diagnosed him with a personality disorder that made NO sense given his symptoms. 

I started reading everything I could and ran across a Va scandal where they were diagnosing veterans with personality disorders to prevent them from getting VA benefits. At first I thought there was no way that was what was happening. WE couldn't be part of a scandal, right? 

Well, it got worse. I questioned the doctor about his diagnosis, and I told her there was no way she was sending him home to me and our 5 kids on nothing more than an antidepressant. That's what got his bipolar rapid cycling in the first place! He had a standing diagnosis from a very reputable mental health facility, and he was told when they admitted him that they would be so if a monitored med change, not taking him off all his meds! 

Things got weirder and weirder. She was telling him completely different things Han she was telling me, and her diagnoses were changing daily. I know diagnosing mental health problems can be challenging, but she was all over the place, and most of the time was blaming me for his issues. He was getting more upset by the day, and tired of telling them that I had stood by him and was trying to get him help, not doing anything bad to him. The ironic part is that when he's "manic" (if that is indeed what is going on- at this time we have no idea,) he believes that I'm trying to poison him, drug him up, or hold him hostage naked in our bedroom closet. This doctor seemed to be trying to enforce his paranoia, and he wasn't even paranoid by this time in his hospitalization.

So with my husband's permission, I started recording every phone call I had with the hospital. I wasn't sure why, except my gut told me something very bad was happening. I never imagined how bad.

Finally the doctor called me and agreed to do something besides an antidepressant. She said she thought he may have paranoid schizophrenia, and she was going to try a high dose of an anti-psychotic to see how he reacted. 

Well, he reacted wonderfully. I won't get into details, but the drug and dose he is on would never help someone with a personality disorder. It would knock them out. For him, it has helped immensely. He's still having pretty big issues, but compared to how he was, he's at least functional outside of the hospital.

So he came home and had to do a Fitness for Duty for his job, and he failed. Now he has to take a medical retirement.

We went to get his medical records from the VA and hold cow! That psychiatrist flat out lied repeatedly. I'm SO glad I recorded our calls because her version of our conversations are not even close to what was said. 

Here's a brief rundown of some of the gems repeated over and over in his chart:

-Patient states his wife has convinced him that if he doesn't retire and stay home to help her with the kids she will divorce him.

-patient's wife has a vested interest in him being diagnosed with bipolar for reasons of financial gain

-Patient and his wife are working together to convince us that he's sick for financial gain

-Patient keeps saying he's manic but he is not acting manic at all (He kept telling them the whole stay that he WASN'T manic and hadn't been since being sedated for his heart cath)

His doctor also fabricated entire phone calls that I have recorded and her version is not even close to what was said. I kept telling her over and over that I didn't care what his diagnosis was, but that he didn't fit the symptoms of a personality disorder at all, and that his private psychiatrist agreed. I told her that he is dangerous off of his medication, and that if she sent him home with nothing more than an antidepressant, she would be responsible for whatever happened. 

Anyway, he has to supply these medical records for his medical retirement from being a police officer. The entire record is insane, and makes it look like we made it all up. But that isn't even logical. If we made it all up, why was he inpatient for 14 days, and why did they send him home on a massive dose of an antipsychotic? 

Further, they took away his PTSD diagnosis, even though his chart is full of the symptoms of it. 

Just for the record, I figured up the numbers in our defense. With his medical retirement he will draw 36% of his current pay. I'm currently looking for a job after 3 years of being home with our 5 kids. I won't even be able to work full time because he can't be left with them that much. Our youngest is only 3, and our oldest is severely handicapped and will never be able to live on his own. Even if he were to ever get a 100% disability from the VA, combining that with his police pension still only gives him 75% of his current pay. I can assure you that we have nothing to financially gain by faking this. It's been going on our entire marriage, but has gotten to the point where he just can't maintain at work and isn't safe with a gun.

What do we do? If his retirement goes through none of us are going to have insurance, and he needs the VA care. But now we don't trust anyone there. They told him on discharge that he would be seeing a psychiatrist within 7 days and they would continue to try to figure out what is wrong with him and how to treat it. His discharge diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder with psychosis (severe.) That doesn't even align with the meds he's getting, but we just want him to get appropriate care and be able to live in our home and not be a danger to myself, himself, and our kids.

How do we fight all the lies in his chart? How do we get anyone to listen? I filed a complaint at the patient advocate office and nobody even returned my phone call. His psychiatrist called and asked me to withdraw my complaint!

Can our congressmen help us? The IG? Will he ever be able to get VA benefits with 400 pages of lies in his chart?

 

 

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I believe you put in an intent to file? For PTSD...and for OSA?

The VA will ,once the claim is filed formally, set him up for C & P exams.

As someone replied to you before, the VA will not accept any private MH PTSD diagnosis.

I suggest the he apply for PTSD as well as any other psychiatric disability,to include acquired psychiatric disorder, Anxiety, MDD, and even the schizophrenia..

and he should obtain via NARA web site, ALL of his SMRs and inservice personnel files.

Does he have the CAR or CIB on his DD214?

If so as an OEF veteran the VA will usually concede stressor.

If not he will need to establish a service nexis, meaning  proof of an inservice cause of his MH condition.

Has he ever discussed any major inservice stressors? He should focus on one or two that will be easy to prove when the VA asks for a description of them.I am sure his unit has a web site if he needs to get a Buddy Statement.

I worked for the VA with combat PTSD vets and I married one of them.He was 100% P & T SC for PTSD and had the entire gamut of VA PTSD testing, etc etc etc...but this was in his lifetime 22 years ago...and it all involved a battle....

Some vets still fall through the VA cracks,but I am stunned by what you said happened at a VAMC...

because VA,in my opinion, has become the BEST at diagnosing and  treating PTSD.He will get a diagnosis from a VA MH professional at the C & P exam.I have no idea what the diagnosis could be.

"I started reading everything I could and ran across a Va scandal where they were diagnosing veterans with personality disorders to prevent them from getting VA benefits. At first I thought there was no way that was what was happening. WE couldn't be part of a scandal, right? "

That was long ago and the chances these days are pretty slim of another scandal like that one.VA has plenty more scandals to deal with now.

"Can our congressmen help us? The IG? Will he ever be able to get VA benefits with 400 pages of lies in his chart?"

He needs to formally file the claim and get his SMRs, and military personnel file, and also a copy of the 400 pages---do you mean 400 VA pages?  Since October of this year?

does he already have a C file number?

I am surprised he would get 400 pages of medical records or C file if the claim has not formally been filed yet. My husband was a VA patient since 1983  until he died  (11 years) and he sure didnt have 400 pages of VA med recs, or in his C file, although I dealt with many documented VA lies after he died. 

It is whatever the C & P exams reveal that will control whether or not he can get service connected.

Any 'lies' can by overcome by solid medical evidence.

I forgot to answer this:

"Can our congressmen help us? The IG?"

The IG does not get involved in claims issues.

The VA lied to my Congressman and to 2 Senators here in NY. 

I overcame that lie myself with evidence. It was not an issue like you have.

Congressmen/women cannot award service connection or speed anything up.

He needs to file the claims, get copies of his SMRs and all VA medical records,(VA will want to see his private records as well) and think about how he will prove his nexus for whatever MH disability the VA diagnoses him with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HowIwish

Are you referring to the private sector about  his diagnoses and all the lies?

If so

You need to have your Hubby go to the VAMC MH Dept  request to them he see a LCSW, And request a emergency PTSD Screening.

 They will ask him very personal questions and give him a 10/15  questions Test this is very very important as how he answer these question ,but most of all he needs to be totally honest. this is what is known as DSM Testing and he will need to meet 5 phases of this test

After that the LCSW will call MH and he/she will take him there to see a psychiatrist  (this is all VA Dr's) usually the psychiatrist will then analyze and a diagnose.

He will see other Dr's as well after the diagnoses and be ask to or offer treatment  and be assign to a Phyistrist and a Therapist on  A WEEKLY VISIT depending on his symptoms as to the treatment he will need (take this offer).

Getting your Hubby in treatment at this time is the best thing to do.

As for as a claim  this will be hard for him being the private Dr's have lied.

VA will request those records when he signs a FOI Form.

 but if you can prove to the VA they fabricated a lot of his diagnoses and said things that were not true b/c you will need to prove all of this is indeed a fabrication.

Also its mere speculation as to say they were keeping your hubby from getting his VA Benefits. (unless some thing is in writing they can say they never said such a thing  and phone calls. so Always get it in writing.

as for as what they say in the progress notes  you can confront that Dr in person and show him /her your evidence as to what was said and what not was said  and request an Amend this is with the VA  notes.

Private sector maybe more difficult to over come.?? IDK?

So your going to need strong medical Opinion Documented from the VA Dr's  or from Private Dr's to disagree with what the other private Dr's mention in his medial records...a specialist can do this  this is known with the VA as an Equipoise meaning a specialist Dr can trump what another Dr mentions in his/her report with better opinion and  in more detail about his diagnoses and medical problems from the past (google Equipoise)

Read up on PTSD CFR's and PTSD SYMPTOMS & Educate yourself with VA law .

and if you need you can Hire a Va Rep to help you but before you do make sure you check him/her out as to there experience with the VA..There's a lot of Free Representation out there  Like DAV, AMVETS, VFW, ect,,,ect,, And private Attorney's

Just always check their back ground and reputation because a Bad Rep will & can make it hard for your hubby to win his claims & take useless years to do so.

AND/OR

You can always just stick with us here on Hadit  Ms Berta is better than most VA Attorney's & what she says to you please listen carefully take notes from her she Is probably the best Veteran advocate we have here on Hadit   (Her and a fellow hadit elder member Asknod) Asknod gives free valuable advise here on Hadit  as well as he is a certified accredited Veteran Advocate as well.

So welcome to Hadit and ask your questions (its a lot better if you keep your questions in the same post)  the subject may change with different questions but its a lot better to just keep all your questions in the same post so other members can help and give you advise as well & keep confuse-ment  at Bay.

Also if you wish  you can always call in to hadit blogtalk radio shows they have here on Hadit usually on a weekly bases it will be advertised when and what time, J basser and Jerrel Cook will be glad to take your calls and you can ask questions ..sometimes its easier to ask a question verbally vs in a forum  to get a more specific answer.

I wish you and your hubby and your children the best.

Just be ready for a long fight with the VA if need be.

.................Buck

Edited by Buck52

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Buck, my take was that this veteran had problems when he was in a VA hospital.

The spouse posted:

"so we opted for the Va. That was a horrible idea.

When we got there his blood pressure was 200/175. They put the mental stuff on hold and over the next 4 days they got his BP under control and did an echo and heart cath. That part of the stay wasn't too bad. 

Then he was released to behavioral health. He was there for 14 days. The psychiatrist treating him told him the very first morning he was there that he didn't have bipolar. She took him off of all of his medications. She then diagnosed him with a personality disorder that made NO sense given his symptoms." etc etc etc.

I can add only one thing...I agree with you Buck that this vet needs to see a vet rep who can keep this all on track , as to what he is claiming, and I suggested to claim all MH disorders (except of the personality disorder BS)

and one more suggestion....

that the veteran go alone to the vet rep appointment.

 

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I agree with you ms Berta  its better this veteran goes to the VA doc's Alone as well  and let the VA Dr/asses this and make there own conclusion on a proper diagnoses & treatment.

HowIWish

No Offence directed at you  and we know you love and care for your hubby , its just that when a spouse is verbally in disagreement with a Professional Dr  it has its consequences in the end. you can accompany your hubby to the VAMC to the proper clinics but let him go in alone.  If you think he maybe to aggressive with the Dr's  they have staff that can assist the Dr's.

So let the VA Dr's do there work  and get medical documentation & any treatment your hubby needs and later you/your hubby can depute anything you disagree with & Always remember in a Veterans claim for compensation   Medical Evidence is  the most Important.

Your Hubby my be requested to get an IMO/IME ( INDEPENDENT MEDICAL OPINION/ Examination ) to offset what the VA Dr's or any private Dr mentions in their medical reports...but this comes later on down the road.

Your Hubby needs a MH PTSD Diagnose from the VA.  From  the Git Go .

Edited by Buck52

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