Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am Allergic to Bureauracy!

If you have read any of my blog over the last couple years about us and our journey... you have probably already figured that out,I can be very vocal about the craziness of life that we live...due to Rodney being wounded in combat in 2006. There have been many blessings and as well as challenges. We have learned to dance steps to a dance we didn't know and play a game we didn't know the rules to. Dealing with all the processes and powers that be has been the most frustrating situations I could ever have imagined. So from now on in my life I am diagnosing myself allergic to bureaucracy! Which could be interesting since I am going to be a social worker, believe me I am going to try and not be part of the problem.
I thought I would update as to where we are as of today. Since I haven't done that in awhile..so here we go!

1. Rodney has still not finished the med-board process & yes it has been over 3 years since he was wounded. In fact he has another med-board appt. tomorrow at Ft. Riley, for behavior health.Hopefully this is the very last one but we are prepared for the possibility it isn't. This means he is still formally in the Kansas National Guard...limbo actually since he is not able to participate in drill. They extended his time in the military by another year...since the process in still in motion. the worst part is not having ANY communication about what is happening, say for instance a case manager who calls us once a month..no way, we call, we call and they don't call back.We have come to expect that as horrible as that is! We do have a FRC (Federal Recovery Coordinator) now, but she is clear in Georgia. I have been doing this for so long now, I sometimes feel I know at least as much as she does, and probably more consider I live it every day.
2.Physically & emotionally Rodney is worse off than he was when he first came home. He is 46, not one of the younger soldiers. He is now wearing a knee brace and uses a cane most of the time. He will need to have a knee replacement at some point (VA likes to wait until age 50.His pain level depends on the day. He had an appt. recently with his primary. Rodney is on about 15-20 meds a day from psysh drugs to blood pressure to high cholesterol to pain. We keep the list on the fridge so we can grab it in an emergency. I know Rod struggles emotionally with his TBI & PTSD as well as not feeling as capable as he was before. I wish I could say him going to the hospital as an in-patient has helped, but I would be lying. His memory, his ability to follow through and his impulsiveness seem to get a little better then go the other direction. I am so defeated some days. Honestly there is so much and it is so difficult on our relationship and his relationships with the kids.
3. The decision from Social Security has been made but we don't know what it is yet...we have to wait for it to come in the mail! We are of course hoping for the positive and that we will get some financial support since Rodney cannot work. So we should know soon...I will let you know!!!!
4. I received my letter that I am good to receive Chapter 35 education benefits. This means that I will receive a stipin to help pay for grad school according to the hours I am taking. So since I am going part-time I should get around $400 a month and they are paying in arrears to when I started school last fall...so this is good news!
5. We are now on Champ-VA medical insurance, so no more paying $600 for health insurance like we have been doing since Rodney lost his job in June. This is going to be a huge savings for us. I am not sure about the coverage yet but we will figure it out.
I am done for now, it is late and after writing I realize how far we have come but it may not lead us where we had all planned. We are still waiting to see where we will end up...same as we have for years now. It is exhausting! I look forward to the day we feel more in charge of our own lives!

Send good thoughts that Rod's appt. goes well tomorrow.

Trying to Keep Imagining!
Tracy

2 comments:

This is the story of.... said...

Sending more than "good" thoughts your way, I am sending the "very best" my mind can muster. Good luck to you both, and please let us know what is ultimately decided.

Domenica

Dana said...

Tracy,
I can not believe that you guys are still having to deal with red tape. I can't believe that ANY of our wounded warriors would have to go through this hell on top of dealing with life changing injuries. I hope his appointment today does go well! I think you all have been through enough! Congrats on the schooling and the monies that you are finally getting!