1310 users online (272 members and 1038 guests)  


The Killing Season - Websleuths

Websleuths News


Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oh Captain, My Captain
    Posts
    28,051

    VA refuses veteran a colonoscopy-Vet now has Stage 4 cancer

    I actually wanted to put this in "Crimes In the News"-I have lost two loved ones to stage 4 colon-rectal cancer. It is a terrible way to go. I suppose that there will be all kinds of review at the Congressional level, hearings will be had, people will testify. 18 months or so down the line there will be a press conference expressing outrage-and perhaps even an apology at trying to cut corners around a 1200.00 test. It will bring little solace to this brave man and his family.

    I have heard this story way too many times when it comes to the VA.

    http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/Veteran...opy-has-cancer
    email me


    Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
    Amazon: Purchase Long Lost Love $1.99


    Bob Harrod SAR


    “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Whidbey Island, Washington
    Posts
    1,135
    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    I actually wanted to put this in "Crimes In the News"-I have lost two loved ones to stage 4 colon-rectal cancer. It is a terrible way to go. I suppose that there will be all kinds of review at the Congressional level, hearings will be had, people will testify. 18 months or so down the line there will be a press conference expressing outrage-and perhaps even an apology at trying to cut corners around a 1200.00 test. It will bring little solace to this brave man and his family.

    I have heard this story way too many times when it comes to the VA.

    http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/Veteran...opy-has-cancer
    Me, too; and active military as well. I live in a military town and their medical is just unbelievable! I personally knew one woman who had a son almost DIE of rectal bleeding that they said would self-correct. Fortunately, she had enough sense to take him to the civilian hospital. Many friends have told me of waiting for 24 hours to be seen at all in the EMERGENCY room. It is a nation wide problem and I hope this sheds some light on it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796
    I hate to spread fear but I have had versions of both of the above incidents happen personally to me as a Military spouse. I had to fight for a colonoscopy but it took me four months to get it and they outsourced me but then MADE me come back into the system when I was diagnosed with colon cancer of which I have never fully recovered after the crappy operation and treatment I received at Walter Reed. My whole digestive track is messed up and I can't get the help I need to find out why. I received very little aftercare when it came to having an oncologist or instructions on how to follow up - I had to make sure I arranged all of that myself and when I'd show up at some Military facility they'd say who are you? It has been very hard. One civilian Doctor said to me "you mean you have not seen a Surgeon since leaving Walter Reed (I saw the Surgeon once post-op but he retired right after that and moved to FL and I didn't receive instructions that I should make sure I saw one again). I have all of this scar tissue and stuff because they had the students do my operation. Lucky for me I had the colonoscopy at Arlington Hospital and the Doctor was skilled and was able to take out (he thought) the cancer. But then I had to have a colon resection to remove the surrounding areas and check the surrounding lymph nodes. I was so fortunate that I went back and argued with the Post clinic that something was wrong with me - I mean I threw a controlled fit - and they allowed me to go for a colonoscopy finally. I was 44 years old then. There is so much more to this story what happened to me the following year when I went for followup and the prep almost killed me - anyway I've said enough.

    Once two days before my son's second birthday I got stung by a teeny, tiny little bee. The night before his birthday I had to attend a meeting and my friend said that she thought I should go to the hospital because my wrist was three times it's normal size and I had a red streak going up my arm. So right after the meeting I went straight to the emergency room. I checked in. While I was waiting, a bunch of paratroopers came in with ankle injuries and stuff. Finally at 5 AM I approached the desk and held out my wrist and asked should this be seen? The guy said "yes" and finally took me to a Doc. He prescribed a very potent antibiotic and told me to call him in 24 hrs. if nothing looked better as he would have to admit me. I went home and could not enjoy my little son's b-day because I hadn't gotten one wink of sleep. By the evening I looked at my arm and it was going down but I had hives all over - anyway the medicine did the trick but I was allergic to it but no real harm done. It's just that it took the Doctor literally three minutes to figure out what to do for me and I sat there all night long and would still be sitting there had I not approached the desk again when I did!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    14,187
    Thank goodness my husband has Medicare and we don't have to depend on the VA to diagnose or actually treat severe problems. He gets some of his medications through them and regular checkups, but that's about it. The clinic here doesn't even accept walk-ins from Veterans who are sick and need meds for the flu or other contagious illnesses, but they do have a van that will take patients to the VA hospital and back a couple of hours away. My husband is over age 50, and I don't believe they've ever even recommended a routine colonoscopy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796
    This opens up a can of worms for me big time. When I met my husband and agreed to marry him he already had 13 years active duty in the Army. I had a good job in the export business and am a college graduate. Of course I wanted a husband and a family. We met at a University. Little did I know, that down the road, I would be made to feel like a second class citizen because I had to use the system of healthcare within the Armed Services. By then I had been with and supported my husband through multiple deployments and two commands. I worked my arse off for three solid years as if I had an outside job organizing, learning, meeting, arranging, communicating, decorating, cooking for large groups of people, distributing information, etc. For the most part I did this with a helpful spirit. Then, because I got sick (but not outwardly yet), I experienced a reality check - that I really was not appreciated.

    Here is the clincher - that Doctor who retired right after he oversaw my surgery - actually said these words to me, "What do you want for FREE medical care." I was so stunned I said nothing to him but it has been burning me up inside for years. Why do they allow family members in the system then if that's how they really feel about it? And I had NOT been a freeloader. The way I look at it I serviced my country along with my husband for fifteen years at that point and that's how they talked to me. We moved so frequently because of his varied positions that it was impossible for me to dig my heels in somewhere in order to establish my own benefits like the ones I had that I left behind when I married him. What, he is never to have a family, a wife? He waited a lot longer than some do which is neither here nor there.

    By now you can tell that as much as I cherish some of my experiences as an Army Wife, I was hurt deeply (and almost killed) by the treatment I have received and have not received. I hope this is not what socialist medicine is like. I could go on and on because I have so many other stories that involve friends of mine, some with very bad outcomes.

    One more, I finally got an appointment with a Surgeon (because a test I had was inconclusive and he was supposed to interpret it for me as this is not something you want to hear when you have had cancer). When I walked into his office, after driving an hour to get there, he said the normal greeting of, "Who are you? Why are you here?" They never seem to review their appointments - like brief themselves about their day. After that he can't seem to find my information in the computer. Doesn't have my chart open for review - nothing. He begins to tell me that he is upset because he thinks he might have to deploy soon and (lucky me) that was the day he was waiting to find out his verdict. I wound up comforting him, telling him I know how that is - the waiting, wondering, wishing him luck, etc. - I left there not knowing one iota more about my cancer status or why my test had been inconclusive than I did when I arrived. That is last time I set foot into a Military Hospital. I drove toward the lake and when I got there, I parked my car and cried my eyes out for over an hour. I felt so helpless.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3,579
    Woe be gone, I hope and pray you will find an avenue to pursue your health care that will be more helpful, give you the information you need and the treatments you require. Having been in the nursing profession as long as I have, I have seen good and bad doctors in many situations.

    My son in law is in the US Army and is suffering from injuries due to his service in Iraq. He deals with his medical problems on a daily basis. The sad thing is, that treatment is dependent upon who is treating him and when. I have advocated for him and many of his friends and they have been seen and treated at our hospital on numerous occasions.

    Bottom line, there will be other hospitals/doctors in your area that take tri-care. If share of cost is an issue, (understandable), explore your options. A friend of my son in laws traveled away from base on leave, to be able to seek non military care. He had a much better outcome due to his non military care.

    Hugs and prayers! I wont even get into the debate of the history of the VA and veterans treatment. DDeplorable in many cases!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796
    SunnieRN, Thank you so much for your kind message. Yes, I began seeing a Doctor outside the system recently. No luck getting to the bottom of things yet but time will tell. Thanks for your encouragement.

    And you're right about the who you see part - I credit a Nurse Practitioner for being the first cog in the wheel for saving my life as she listened to me, believed me and helped me obtain permission to get the test which turned out to be with a skilled Gastroenterologist(sp). So I encourage anybody who thinks they weren't given adequate attention to seek another appointment with someone else if the first Doctor didn't listen or take their concerns seriously.

    I hope your son in law's health improves with every passing day. God Bless!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    887
    Uggg. These stories make me so angry. My husband was 35 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Because of his age (32 when symptoms started), the gastro assured us that there was nothing to worry about and treated him for hemorrhoids instead of doing a simple colonoscopy. Ha! 3 years go by and my husband is still seeing various doctors about his symptoms. Finally, after the 20 minute procedure that we had been requesting for years, we had the answer as to why he was bleeding daily and having severe stomach pains. A liver and colon resection and six months of chemo later, we are still afraid. How do you explain to a 3 and 6 year old that their daddy has cancer? They are now 9 and 12 and don't remember life without Daddy having to go to Houston for check-ups. I'm not complaining, because it couldn't have ended a long time ago. We are so lucky and my husband is a walking miracle.

    God, MD Anderson and Dr. Stephen Curley saved my husband's life. Don't waste your time seeking cancer treatment anywhere else.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796
    Spurcer, that's what I was told at first too. They assume if you are not 50, then it's not cancer. All the while the disease continues.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    887
    Quote Originally Posted by Woe.be.gone View Post
    Spurcer, that's what I was told at first too. They assume if you are not 50, then it's not cancer. All the while the disease continues.

    Yep, that's how it usually pans out. I've heard numerous stories just like these. I don't understand why insurance companies, VA, and other providers don't want to pay for a simple procedure that could save them money in the long run. Treating Stage I colon cancer is much cheaper than treating Stage 4 colon cancer.

    I should note that we weren't denied coverage for the test. The doctors would not write the order for the test.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by Woe.be.gone View Post
    I hate to spread fear but I have had versions of both of the above incidents happen personally to me as a Military spouse. I had to fight for a colonoscopy but it took me four months to get it and they outsourced me but then MADE me come back into the system when I was diagnosed with colon cancer of which I have never fully recovered after the crappy operation and treatment I received at Walter Reed. My whole digestive track is messed up and I can't get the help I need to find out why. I received very little aftercare when it came to having an oncologist or instructions on how to follow up - I had to make sure I arranged all of that myself and when I'd show up at some Military facility they'd say who are you? It has been very hard. One civilian Doctor said to me "you mean you have not seen a Surgeon since leaving Walter Reed (I saw the Surgeon once post-op but he retired right after that and moved to FL and I didn't receive instructions that I should make sure I saw one again). I have all of this scar tissue and stuff because they had the students do my operation. Lucky for me I had the colonoscopy at Arlington Hospital and the Doctor was skilled and was able to take out (he thought) the cancer. But then I had to have a colon resection to remove the surrounding areas and check the surrounding lymph nodes. I was so fortunate that I went back and argued with the Post clinic that something was wrong with me - I mean I threw a controlled fit - and they allowed me to go for a colonoscopy finally. I was 44 years old then. There is so much more to this story what happened to me the following year when I went for followup and the prep almost killed me - anyway I've said enough. . . .

    It's just that it took the Doctor literally three minutes to figure out what to do for me and I sat there all night long and would still be sitting there had I not approached the desk again when I did!
    This is a horror story! I'm so sorry to hear about it and the OP. Is this what's in store for a "public option"?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796
    The Military Medical System made no bones about the order of care that would be given on Post and it was stated as Active Duty Soldiers, Active Duty Family Members, Retired Soldiers and their families. Since 2001 things have changed because of the full activation of the Reserves and now their families, etc. My situation took place in 2001 before the big influx of additional troops and family members so things could be even worse now if you're an active duty family member living near/on Post. Mind you, Fort Bragg has a newish state of the art hospital so, let's pretend I had had the same problems there and lived on/near FB, I may have had a totally different experience (in a good way.) That is, there isn't consistency in the quality of care one receives across the board within military provided healthcare.

    What became clear to me when I went through what I did, was that internally the Doctors and Nurses had attitudes about who they were treating (not all of them). They must have been overworked and developed welfare attitudes towards family members. That is how, in hindsight, I felt I had been treated. So, the question is, can that attitude be overcome in socialized medicine in a capitalistic society? If we have an even playing field within the healthcare system in our Capitalistic society, how does that play out? Does the guy with the money who is already paying through the nose for himself and one hundred other people who are strangers have to settle for substandard healthcare or is there a secret nod/handshake to bring him to the head of the class?

    Another issue I had with my experience at WR is that I felt like a guinea pig. They used me as a training tool for the Resident, who I called the sleepwalker as he was always so tired, needed the experience working with one of these drains and removing it, etc., so he gained it through me (it involved an external drain - nevermind yuk! - that was still used in some cases on other types of operations). A civilian doctor told me that he would never use one of those drains with my type of operation. It was interesting to know that but then I felt mad too because it caused me added anguish when I had complications with the drain that I never needed in the first place.

    Also in my former life, I had worked as a civilian for fifteen years prior to being a Military Spouse so I had already experienced how it felt to be a "deserving" recipient of services. The experience was a rude awakening. That said, outside of the military hospital, I did not feel the prejudice even though they may have known I was a Tricare (Champus) insured patient. The Army MADE ME return to their system (Walter Reed) rather than getting my operation through Arlington Hospital where they had sent me initially, because of the cost of an operation but did not provide equal care.
    Last edited by Woe.be.gone; 12-12-2009 at 12:51 PM. Reason: sp

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    onthecouch
    Posts
    12,796

    Attention! State Your Status! Yes, Sir! Go to the Back of the Line. Yes, Sir!

    The thread started out about how a Veteran has been neglected which is a sin.

    My husband wasn't too happy though, while on Active Duty, to have his wife being treated the way I was because it was as if it was happening to him as well. At that time, he may have received excellent care. Now maybe notsomuch?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    12,329
    I am so sorry to hear such horror stories. I feel, coming from a military family myself, that vets should receive the utmost care - the best and NO less. Personally, I am blessed, but I have to pay for it dearly - $500.00 a month just for me. This doesn't include co-pays or perscription co-pays. I had uterine/intestine/stomach cancer last year (a 10 hour surgery that cost over 100K). I had the best docs, but can't imagine what I would have rec'd had I had not paid my monthly fee.

    There is definitely something seriously wrong with this entire picture. My dream is for everyone to have the same type of care, at a price we all can afford. If I have to pay more for our vets, I would glady do so. One life lost is one life too many.

    I'm SO tired of these for profit insurance companies and feel they should pay damages, regardless of what releases are signed.

    My blessings to all of you, and may an answer be found sooner -- not later. You are all heros to me!

    Mel
    Last edited by Melanie; 12-12-2009 at 01:27 AM.



Similar Threads

  1. mom loses kids cause she has stage 4 breast cancer*RIP*
    By sadnews in forum Up to the Minute
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-01-2012, 03:37 PM
  2. Broken Window - to stage or not to stage?
    By Voice of Reason in forum JonBenet Ramsey
    Replies: 99
    Last Post: 06-04-2005, 04:00 PM