After Step 2

So I met with a doctor….who first informed me that if I don’t see her at least once a year the VA drops you from the system. Thanks for that warning.

The doctor got my back story as I have explained about 100 times, I am sure someone is putting this into the system, she answered every question I had and anytime I spoke of what I thought might have caused my condition she went into her Doctor babel using big medical terms and denying that anything I have researched was not the cause. So I asked, “Whats the cause?” Her response,” we will have to watch your progression of the next few years to determine the appropriate course of action.” WHAT? A condition that I have had for 11 years which has progressed into worse than 11 years ago and you want to wait some more years to see what happens. Try telling that to a Cancer patient or someone that just had a heart attack. In short, what I got out of the appointment was, she has no answers for me and doesn’t know the appropriate way of getting those answers. Though she was very knowledgeable about my condition which she called Post Phlebitis Syndrome and not the condition that I have been told I have, Post Thrombotic Syndrome. Case in point, the Phoenix VA hasn’t gotten better.

What should have happened in my opinion was to make me an appointment with a specialist that specializes in this condition and anything along those lines. Tell me that you have to monitor me for a few years is pathetic. I would rather you tell me I only have a few years to live then to tell me, lets just wait and see what happens.

Well after waiting an hour for my appointment, 2 hours for my medication I have come to a conclusion….that you join the military to have a better life and to serve your country and then when you get out, well its like you were before you went in. You spend the rest of your life trying to have a better life, but the VA takes that from you.

I know what this country has lost and its compassion, the ability to do for others that they can’t do for themselves, to stand and fight for what is right and wrong, do exhaust every solution before you give up.

Step 2

So today is the big day. First day in 6 months that I will be meeting with an actual doctor about my condition. My hopes aren’t high as I am waiting to hear the same thing I have been hearing for 10 years, “we don’t know whats wrong with you.” I have a lot of questions and I am sure I won’t get many answers, but its the next steps to a solution or an answer. All I can do is keep fighting and keep demanding answers. I have come to the conclusion after 11 years of pain and the unknown that there may not be an answer as to why I have this condition, but at the end of the day its not the why, its the how and what the future has to hold. I also can’t keep up this no Vitamin K diet…gaining nothing but protein weight without the ability to work out is frustrating enough and having to ask my family to change their diet isn’t ideal.

In other news, soon I will be making the video for the CVA (Concerved Veterans of America) as the day gets closer I pray and hope that the words that I say are conveyed in a way that sends not only my message and concerns, but also shows to those that will listen that this is a real problem that can be fixed. Emotions are high for me concerning this video because it is an opportunity to say what really needs to be said, I only hope and pray that people listen.

As for my next steps with PTSD, I have now an ongoing session once a month to talk about my PTSD and its affects of my life. Someone said the other day that I need to write a book, I don’t think I would know where to start, my life to me isn’t that interesting, but it seems people want to hear about it. But at the end of the day I have to ask myself, will a book about my life and PTSD help another soldiers? I guess that’s where I start.

My thoughts are really all over the place today. I received an email a short time ago from someone at CVA asking if I wanted to have dinner with the CEO of CVA. I am floored to think that someone of that caliber would want to speak to me. In a sense I never thought my words were loud enough and I can only think God that they are.

So Step 2, VA doctor to get answers, PTSD doctor to get help, CVA to convey my message, then to fix the world.LOL

Mental Health

So it is true….PTSD can be repressed and then resurfaced years later. When I was in Iraq I experienced a lot of things that made me who I am today. The loss of a fellow soldier in April of 2004 didn’t really affect me as it did others. He was the first soldier we lost in Iraq. At the time I took his death as another soldier down, time to stand up and keep moving on with the mission. I never truly grieved or truly tried to understand. My mind went into a different mode, one that just said, “this is war and it happens.” We should never look at those we lose because of war as just another casualty. We should see them as another brother that has sacrificed his life for the betterment of the rest of the nation. Here is now over 10 year later and those feelings of sadness and grieve are finally surfacing. I suppressed them for so long that it not only affected those around me, but has affected me and the person I should be.

During my Mental Health appointment yesterday I first the first time in 10 years cried about what happened in Iraq. For the first time it was emotional to me and not just a reason that I changed my life or another statistic. It became real after all these years. Not only did I cry, but I did it in front of people I didn’t even know. Normally if you asked me about the situation I would tell you the story and tell you as much as I could about him, because for years afterwards I learned all I could about him to remember him. No emotion behind telling the story, just a combat story that we as soldiers tell. But yesterday was different. As I met with my team of Mental Health doctors that I had just met for the first time, they asked me if I had experienced anything in Iraq and then it was like a flood gate.

I think it was because I was talking to someone that really just wanted to know what I experienced instead of wondering if I was in combat, they truly wanted to help. A 30 minute meeting turned into an hour. At the end I felt a slight weight off me. The feeling someone else in this world knows what I am going through in my head. I am no where near fixed….that will be years or maybe the rest of my life, but at the moment I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel to the end of this nightmare in my head.

I would encourage every Veteran that has been in a combat zone to see a Mental Health Doctor or to Visit the VA and see if they have an IRAQ/AFGHAN counseling group. If you are in PHX they have one every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 4pm. Even if you don’t feel you have any issues its best to check the box and just talk to someone before you self access yourself.

To all my Veterans out there…be safe this weekend.

-This post is dedicated to all the fallen heros – R.I.P. Shawn Edwards – 04/24/2004 – OIF II

His Agenda

So since yesterday I have heard a lot of different sides of why the President didn’t stop at the VA hospital here in Phoenix. We all know that he had an agenda to come here and speak about the housing market which is great that he came all the way here to speak about something that is only really important to those that have VHA home loan which isn’t that many people. I read somewhere that, “The president is a busy person and can’t just change his itinerary because some people want him to visit the VA.”

WHAT?!?!?!?

As we have heard from the President, he is the president and will do what ever he has to do for the American people. He’s the President with his own plane. He can go where he wants, when he wants and do whatever he wants. If he can walk the streets of Chicago and eat at little run of the mill restaurants he can surely visit our Veterans. Plane and simple, if the President wanted to stop he would have. But he has lost the respect of American Veterans who make up a large part of this country. So in turn he now has to build that respect with other Americans that have been forgotten, the middle class.

The only thing that President Obama is doing now is playing the waiting game and making every decision that will make the next Presidents job a nightmare. Everything that Obama has screwed up will fall on the shoulders of the next President. So the next one better be a Super Star or he won’t be there very long. It will take someone to bring an approval rating of 15% from the Military back to where it belongs. I pray the next one has military experience and understands that you can’t have a strong country without its backbone in place and that’s the military. This country was founded on values that the military still stands for today and without that support we are nothing but a country waiting to fall to the next country that wants to suppress us. Our borders are open, our value of being a legal citizen has been taken away and now our Military has been weakened by this administration.

So to those out there that think that the Presidents to busy to make a 5 minute stop to see Veterans, you need to wake up….If he doesn’t have that kind of time to stop and see Veterans than he doesn’t have that time or respect for you as an American. Plane and simple, his only agenda is to fix his image and he’s trying to do that with the middle class.

Accountability

So I just posted this, I think that we should Rally at the school that President Obama is visiting on the CVA site and now we are. Read below!!

Concerned Veterans and Americans,

Happy New Year!  And the New Year brings an unexpected visitor to Phoenix on Thursday:  President Barack Obama.

If you have not heard, President Obama will give a speech on housing at Central High School on Thursday morning.  If you do not know, Central High School is on the same block as the VA Hospital and Steele Indian School Park.

It is an outrage and an insult to Arizona’s veterans that the President of the United States will be less than 18 holes away from the Phoenix VA and not visit the patients there following his Administration’s VA Scandal.

In honor of his visit, CVA is organizing a rally and protest.  That will either begin or end at the SE corner of the VA (7th Street and Indian School).  The time will likely either be 0830 hours or 1030 hours depending upon interest, availability, and some operational details.

If you want to hold President Obama ACCOUNTABLE for his Administration’s VA Scandal, then RSVP to join us on Thursday:

http://www.tfaforms.com/359352

Question, contact me or Matt Kenney (mkenney@cv4a.org)

Mike Mitchell

Concerned Veterans for America

480.292.3295

So I have to talk about it

So on Thursday our mighty emperor will be visiting the great city of Phoenix. He will be here to address Central High School. The talk of the town is why he won’t visit the Phoenix VA. Since the VA is only a mile from the school. Currently it is not on his agenda and the media outlets our beginning to blast him for it. I saw this morning that several media outlets are calling him “pontus” or “king.” I guess he’d rather be golfing then take time to visit the Phoenix VA. Though many say they would like for him to visit I on the other hand say stay away. Everything this president touches gets ruined and he still hasn’t recovered from the black eye the VA has left on him. I as a Veteran don’t want nothing to do with him and would ask for him to stay out of Veteran and American business, only Americans have that right.

The president won’t address the VA or visit because he knows his administration has failed a large part of the American community. No Veteran out there is happy with the way they have been treated by this administration and the VA. As I have said before, instead of feeling like outcasts in public like those that came home from Vietnam, we are laid to waste away in the VA and made outcasts from within the system. We as soldiers did our duty and did it well, why can’t this administration do its duty and do it well?

Oh, that’s right, only those that have sacrificed would understand duty, country and the way of life. I still think that the constitution should be amended to say that you must serve in the military a minimum of 3 years to become president. How can a civilian with no experience serve this country if they themselves haven’t served this country. If you look back on history many of the greatest presidents of our time served or bared the burden of war. To completely understand Veterans you have to be one. You have to undergo what Veterans go through. Some are lucky to have served and never been affected by war and incur injuries. But there are so many that have been affected.

Will the VA ever change? The sad truth is this has been going on for years. The VA is broken and I can only hope that it is fixed or gets better in my life time. We have a long road ahead of us. We need a president that comes to action on our Veterans, we need a congress that is willing to put the time in and make the difficult changes and instead of working 9 to 5, spend that extra time to make a difference, we need to remove those that are at fault and put those in place that are willing to work hard to make a difference, we need to show Veterans that they are important and that they aren’t just something America uses to get through a war and toss to the side like ammo.

I challenge Obama to come to the PHX VA. If anything some will be happy you stopped by, most will turn a cheek and look the other way. President Obama, you are a coward and will not show your face here in the PHX VA. You know that the media spotlight on this VA again will raise questions again and since you have made it very clear that you don’t care about Veterans I suggest you stay away, but again, a coward that hides behind his administration and doesn’t act like a commander in chief. You promised to bring change, but what you you brought was a dictatorship that we won’t tolerate in this country.

Americans

What does it mean to be an American? That’s a good question. I guess being and American means you live in America, that you have the rights that are protected by the constitution, that you have to pay taxes to work in America, that you are protected by the Bill of Rights, and maybe it means you have the right to be whatever you want to be. So what does it mean to be an American?

To me, being an American is more than the constitution, more than the bill of rights, it is living each day as a free person with the ability to make your own choices and live the American dream…..which I have no idea what that is supposed to be. So many people come to America to live the American dream, but the sad thing is that many Americans can never get close to living that dream.

Well I started this post because for this New Years I adventured to Las Vegas to ring in the New Year. Normally I spend this time with family or just let it pass. I have rang in the New Year in several different countries. In 2004 I rang in the New Year in Germany which was amazing. In 2005 I rang in the New Year in Iraq. In 2007 I rang in the New Year in Kuwait. So I figured this year I would go somewhere that is famous for its amazing New Years parties and experience what everyone always talks about.

I will skip the experience for the end and just jump to what I observed. As an American Veteran I guess what I see through my eyes are much different than others. With me was my wife, her friends and one of our friends who was in a wheel chair. I saw first hand how people treat those that are in wheelchairs and in fact those that are handicapped. Since was going to do a lot of walking I decided to take my cane. As we both were walking down the road we were pushed and ran off the sidewalks, many of the sidewalks weren’t very handicapped friendly. We were walking down the main strip on the sidewalk and we asked a young lady to move, several times, then my friend politely touched her leg with his foot, which was covered in a cast, and she lashed out at him and told him not to touch her with his nasty feet. He once politely said to another lady, “hey, I bet your cold,” “She said I bet you can’t walk cripple.”

The experience of “America” disgust me. We are better than this America. We have lost site of what is important in America and what makes us America. Nothing else in America makes us such as people. What we produce or lack there of doesn’t make us Americans. What makes us Americans is us, who we are and what we stand for, whatever that is anymore, no one really knows. We aren’t a nation that stands for what is right and we are no longer a nation that protects ourselves from our own government. We are a “me” nation, what can you do for me and what is in it for me. What have we done to ourselves as a nation to get to this point? Our kids and this coming generation have this same outlook. They think the world owns them something, but they haven’t don’t anything to deserve something from this world. What have they contributed to this world to think they deserve everything?

As I looked through the crowds of people the only thought that went through my head was, “if they only realized what I and so many other soldiers have truly gone through they wouldn’t be so careless.” But even later that thought  made me realize that they wouldn’t change even if they knew. God is truly absent from this country and I truly noticed this New Years in Vegas. It saddens me that our country has turned this way and that we are becoming more corrupt each day. Corruption is seeping into every crack of our society instead of good, the bad is overcoming. A world I don’t want to be in anymore, one that I don’t want to raise my kids in.

Now the experience was great, seeing Vegas for the first time was a treat and I am glad that I experienced that. I’ve been to many great cities and it is one that I am glad I visited. Will I go back? Maybe during the day and to see a few sites we missed, but I won’t go again for a New Years bash. Plus seeing Jeff Dunham was amazing. He was the main reason we went and his show was incredible.

So Here we are in 2015, a year I never imaged I would make it to. What does 2015 have in store for me. Well I hope that the VA pulls their head out and gets busy correcting wrongs. I hope my condition improves and we come to a close on a chapter of my life that has gone unanswered. I hope the CVA video works in our favor to provide an insight of the VA from a soldiers point of view and I hope it helps Veterans.

In close I hope to post everyday and I hope to make a difference in some way to anyone that reads this and to any Veteran that is going through the same issues.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season. Stay safe and I hope everyone comes back for 2015.

To anyone that reads these, thanks. Your not only a reason I write these, but the fact that someone likes to read my thoughts gives me the ability to push forward and fight for my fellow Veterans. God bless you all.

Again

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Christmas Gifts

It’s in….I just received a call from PHX VA and I now have an appointment schedule for mental health. Their first question was, “have you ever been seen by a mental health professional?” I had to pause and think back, no, I have never been seen by a mental health professional. Even after I came back from Iraq, they gave us a form to fill out that had questions on it. Because of my answers I was cleared and told that I was okay, but was I really okay.

Studies have shown that many affected with PTSD don’t show signs up to 3 or 5 years later. Many soldiers handle things that happen to them differently. Many are affected immediately and many think they can just handle it and move forward. That was me, death to me is a normal part of life. My mind took the death of fellow soldiers as a normal part of combat. What I have learned since then is that it is normal, but should be categorized as such. There are so many emotions that come with a death of a soldier, sadness, loss, anger, disconnect, numbness to name a few. If you don’t feel these after a death of a fellow soldier you should be asking yourself why and then seek help. That’s what I am doing now.

When I came back from Iraq one of the new things that came back with me was anxiety. When I get hot, start sweating or feel like I can’t escape the situation, my anxiety increases and gets bad. It is an affect of being cramped in a Hot Truck for hours upon hours knowing that you can’t exit the truck. I also brought back anger. For what reason I have no idea, but over the past few years my anger has been uncontrollable. The worst part is its towards my family and I have no reason for it.

I hope that this next step is a step in the right direction, gets me right with myself and is the next steps to my medical. I still won’t stop posting and fighting for my fellow Veterans, you are all not in this alone. This is why I am fighting, because I am in this alone. No Veteran should ever feel alone, especially after being in the military.

Other News

So I have been reading a lot about the stock markets going up, the cost of living dropping and gas pricing lower than ever. I am so excited for this. It will be nice to not have to pay a fortune for food that doesn’t cost as much as I pay to make. What is even more of a blessing is the communities and families that will be getting relieve from these high prices.

But what I am tired of seeing is all the stuff posted on the internet that is praising President Obama for these changes. Praise Obama for lowering the gas prices, praise Obama for the highest stock markets, praise Obama for affordable healthcare, praise Obama for 5% unemployment.

What a load of crap if I can so so myself. Don’t praise Obama for any of that. First low gas prices are due to the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine which our government placed sanctions on Russia which forced the hand of the government to produce more oil here in the states which in turn allowed us to export more oil which drops our prices. Don’t ever praise Obama for the affordable care act. $757 dollars a month for a family of 5 is not affordable, only being able to see a doctor twice a year is not affordable. The only thing that the affordable care at has done is show the American people that if your healthy then we will take care of you, if your sick your gonna pay. Also, don’t praise Obama for the lower unemployment….the numbers are false and they are accounting for the illegals in this country that are taking away jobs from Americans. And last but not least, do not praise Obama for the higher stock markets. The President has nothing to do with the stock markets. If the rest of the world was smart they would place sanctions against us until we remove our president from power. The sad thing is that Obama has done worst things than past presidents that were impeached. Many ask, “why hasn’t he been removed?” The sad thing is the smartest thing to do is keep him there. No one wants Biden to be President!

When I think about all of the things are country is going through I think back to what our country has gone through to get where we are. Six major wars that have shaped our country. Two that we are still fighting, and so many aided countries that we are providing for and this is where we are as a country. What has happened to us since 9/11? We have decided to turn a blind eye to what is happening across the country. This is our country, it belongs to the American people, not the American government. That’s why it says, “We the people” not “We the government.”

When Americans realize that this is our country then we will get it back. Sadly though Americans only care about what is in their world and what only affects them. Its that old thought of, “If it doesn’t affect me I shouldn’t worry about it.” We have to stop this train of thought and become Americans again. Stand for our rights as human beings and Americans and fight for what is right. Build this country back to what it once was and take care of Americans before we start taking care of everyone else in the world. We have lost our way, but we aren’t that far gone yet.

I want my America Back!!