Posts Tagged ‘coronary artery disease and PTSD’

bedside manner-VA style

August 8, 2010

My anxiety level must be soaring-it has to be the reason I am so paranoid about going anywhere…for the sake of food I finally went to the grocery store yesterday. I forgot about it being Saturday!

I spent the past two days feeling worse stress than my memory can recall. I feel like a fence post is in my throat and stuck at my chest-I am trying to breath around the post! The rest of it feels like a squeeze from some huge hand coming up from behind. Okay…I’ve known in myself something has been wrong for several years. We know these things!

I have mental health issues! I am post traumatic and with that comes anxiety and stress. I spent all day yesterday trying to justify NOT going to the store,but the crumbs here forced the task. It is just that hard-getting out the door sometimes!

There are times when simple issues become quite an ordeal for me to understand. Like the simple word ‘and’!

Recently like other times in other similar situations-I had a verbal outburst about that one word. It was at my bank…long story,and I won’t tell it all-but I was confused over the use of that word (and) on a certificate and could not settle its understanding in my head,so I blasted out at the teller. I have since apologized to her. 

If something so slight as not understanding why the use of ‘and’ can screw me up so bad one can imagine what this letter from the VA regarding my blocked arteries has done.

I wonder what they think? Send out this letter? Why not-no one knows what it means anyway!

What a strange thing to do-really! Is this how private medical care does it…send the patient off for tests and good or bad-they jot the results down in a letter (in terminology not familiar to any lay person) send it in the mail and that is that?

I wonder if the doctor that sent this letter read my record-and saw that I am PTSD and likely to be a sufferer of anxiety-stress? I wonder if any consideration is taken to think what any patient might begin to go through just thinking about it…my heart is sick? My heart is sick? My heart is sick? And with anxiety put in this…my heart is sick 100 thousand times 100 thousand!

Coronary artery disease? Hey…I had to look it up-get some reading in,learn what it is this letter is saying. No doctor has called to say this is severe. My consult date in January 2011,according to this letter. Let’s see? In January 2009 I had to call 911 rescue. The pain in my back-and the nausea I experience ALL the time hadthis time knocked me to the floor. I was taken to the ER at the Gainesville (FL) VA and from that point on I was treated like an interference and an hour later I found myself standing on the curb.

Looking up the symptoms of coronary artery disease on my own I found that the nausea I have described to them (VA) then-and in the past,and the present,and that I lose my breath when ever I simply lay down is included.

I also learned that coronary artery disease has a direct link to ‘post traumatic stress disorder’.  

My friend tells me I never have anything nice to say about the Veterans Administration Hospital.

I have never felt that I had a right to be there as a patient. My military service included just about nothing! I should have been injured in Viet Nam,or in some way connected to being a soldier-or sailor,but being raped in a detention barracks is not the honor from the legitimate wounds.

Interestingly my first knowledge that I could be a patient came from my having severe abdominal pain back in the  1970’s. I collapsed and emergency 911 was called. I was asked en route if I was a veteran…and ended up in the VA hospital ER. The doctors were ready to remove my appendix-but a nurse showed them the hardness in my belly.

From barracks D to this day-I am afraid of public restrooms! My mornings-for every day of my life,the toilet and shower are triggers/reminders. Never a day! Travel and other away from home recreation are not easy for me. The need for special time in the bathroom is an everyday chore.

The nurse back then had discovered I was impacted! Up until then I had avoided the toilet as much as I could-any interruption and I could not relax enough to go. So I quit taking a shit!

I was a patient there for over a week. They gave me something…and I had no choice. It un-packed me!

To this date-I have the blue ID card they gave me.

I have always remembered that-it was back then when everyone smoked and the ladies from the VFW came around and GAVE us cigarettes!

My next experience was about 10 years later. During the deepest times of my practice of ‘damage control’ when my self-abuse was seriously damaging-I ended up in the VA the second time. I had gone out and gotten myself attacked…like a battered wife,I needed to be touched-and the consequences put me there for nearly two weeks. Anyone then could have read my chart-it was not something I would want anyone to read. The doctor at my last consultation was so gentle about telling me what she thought would comfort me-and it was comforting. But I still was doing things out of the normal and right. And did not understand exactly why.

That was in 1982-there about…It was not until 1999 did I find myself back at the VA again.

Even today-I feel I have no right being there. It seems to me all wrong…even though countless others say I do deserve to be there. I have always ALWAYS felt that the description of my military service is documented there for any clerk to see…that is a level of treatment regulated by the level of your active duty service. Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts got the best when grunts and swabs got median care. And my military record had nothing to impress anyone with. Why should I be there?

I’m rambled off the word “and”!

And? What does this letter mean? At what level of worry should I reach? To what degree of ‘preparedness’ should I go for? Is this squeezing in my chest something that should concern me….or am I okay waiting until January 2011? After all,I’ve only been feeling this way for a few years…must not be much! After all-I am sure by now someone would have called me personally!