If It’s Monday, the Air Force Must Be Threatening Legal Action

When I first fell and injured my arm, I went to my local military treatment facility for care.  As part of the paperwork, I reported that the injury was due to a slip-and-fall.  The paperwork seemed to indicate that since the injury occurred outside the U.S, the government would not pursue compensation from the resort.  I heard nothing further for three years.

No news is not good news, in the legal world.

After my fourth surgery to repair the damage from that fall, I again received paperwork from the government.  They stated that they were withholding payment to my surgeon until I completed the same form I had originally completed, detailing how and where the injury occurred.  Thinking this was odd, since I had already completed the paperwork over three years ago, I nevertheless completed the form again, and sent it in.  Again, I assumed that would be the end of the matter.

You know what they say about assuming things…

In addition to letters from the surgeon’s office inquiring as why my bill has not been paid, I have now received a letter from the Air Force Legal Operations Agency (AFLOA) threatening legal action against me, and suggesting that I should possibly retain my own lawyer.  In addition to the previous DD Form 2527 that I submitted, AFLOA is demanding I also submit “the attached MCRP Questionnaire…within 30 days.”  There are also threats of notification of First Sergeant or Commander if I am still active duty and do not return the form within 30 days.

So now, in addition to dealing with rehabilitation of the arm, beginning physical therapy for the knees, and pursuing diagnosis of the chronic, debilitating disorder from which I suffer, I need to defend myself against legal action from the Air Force because they do not want to pay for the health benefits Spousal Unit and I earned in active duty service to our country.

When the accident occurred, I remember being grateful that I had excellent medical coverage.  After the malpractice that occurred in the military’s treatment of my arm, and the current threatened legal action in an attempt not to pay for my treatment, I no longer consider my medical coverage excellent.

The deterioration of medical coverage for veterans, currently serving military members, and their families is a breach of contracts, both actual and psychological, that the government agreed to with members of the armed forces, in exchange for their selfless service.  We were promised full healthcare coverage for life.  Those benefits were earned through blood, sweat, and tears.  But they are being eroded.  The government is not living up to their end of the agreement.

Threatening to sue veterans because their treatment has become too expensive is disgraceful.  No veteran, service member, or family member should have to add the anxiety of threatened legal action (by the branch of service in which they selflessly served) to the burden of being sick or injured.  No veteran, service member, or family member should have to worry that their health benefits will be denied, or that their assets will be taken from them.

Does anyone know a lawyer with expertise in this area?  Apparently I have to defend myself against the Air Force.  Apparently the greatest fight of my life will not be in defense OF my country, but in defense FROM my country.  May God help us all.

Status Report 22 Sep 2017

Just a quick update today.  Hopefully more detailed post to follow.

The latest shoulder surgery seems to have gone very well.  Range of motion recovery is 3 months ahead of schedule, according to the orthopedic surgeon.  There is soreness during and after physical therapy, but the pain is gone.  The scars are also healing very nicely.  I am hopeful that this will have been the last surgery on this arm.  (The fourth time is the charm?)

Meanwhile, my knees have been getting worse.  (I know I haven’t talked about them on the blog before.)  Due to the drama with the arm, I had been not paying much attention to the fact that I was becoming less able to take short walks and climb up stairs.  But a friend came to visit recently, and my knees were hurting so much on a short walk we took that we had to seriously reduce our pace.  And this time, the effects lasted for at least a week.  Oh, and the stairs – I was hobbling up the stairs at home for at least a week, and some days I would just stay on one floor of the house to avoid the stairs.

Fortunately, I had a (very difficult to get) appointment with the VA not long after that.  My provider ordered x-rays and physical therapy for my knees, after diagnosing me with pes anserine bursitis upon physical exam.  And by physical exam, I mean she poked and prodded and twisted my knees until I was excitedly saying “Yes, it hurts when you push right there!” and “My leg doesn’t *go* that direction!”

The x-rays have been read, and the report confirms arthritis in both knees as well.  I already had a diagnosis of osteoarthritis from my VA intake exam, but had not been offered any treatment previously.  But my knees have deteriorated since then, and I welcome the chance to treat these aching knees.

More to follow soon, I hope, about ways to deal with arthritic knees.  Two steps forward, one step back.

 

Comms Check

Hey, this is just a quick post to say:

I’m still here.

This is the last weekend before my next round of Botox shots, and I feel like absolute rubbish.  There is a new post on the way, but it’s not gonna happen until the Botox takes effect and I get my brain back.  Sorry.

[Of course, I am assuming that anyone is reading this blog…  Since I don’t get much feedback, it’s hard to know whether anyone is reading it.]

In other news, the elbow surgery appears to have gone well, and the surgeon didn’t lie when he said this recovery would be much easier than the recovery from wrist surgery was.  It has been 4 weeks since my elbow surgery, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how non-eventful this surgery has been.

My arm was only immobilized for 2 days after elbow surgery, as opposed to 6 weeks after wrist surgery.  I was permitted to drive as soon as I had no narcotics in my system, whereas with the wrist surgery I couldn’t drive for 8 weeks.  Taking a shower was no big deal.  And I didn’t even have to shower with a limb in a garbage bag this time.

I am very grateful that this surgery has been so much easier to recover from.  It also seems to have relieved the elbow pain that I have had for the past 3 years.  There may still be a slight catch in the range of motion, but we’ll see what happens – maybe occupational therapy will take care of that.

So, if anyone is reading, the elbow surgery went very well, but migraines are currently kicking my butt.  And I hope to have new content up in a week or so.

Here’s to good health,

Crew Dog

 

Status Update

ALCON: The Botox has worn off, and I have two more weeks until the next treatment.  I’m back to spending my days strung out on the couch.  Blog posts will most likely be scarce for the next few weeks.