I am a Viet Nam combat vet. iam totaly disabled from wounds and injury from Vietnam.
My problem is i dont ahve any insurance, ye s i can go to veterens hospititial,but the vet hospititial in Hunt,. WV doesnt do any kind of heart surgery not even astent. tey do stess test and caths, but cant do surgery, so what does a guy do. I dont want a cath where they cant do surgery, what if soemting hapens during the cath.
I have been told imight have a blockage.I am not conplaing and am thanful for what i have.
Jusr asking for any sugestions or ideas.
The Veterans Hospital in your State do angiograms every day and I am sure know what to do in case of an emergency. VA hospitals due transfer patientst to teaching hospitals all the time if the VA is not equipped for certain things, and if the patient doesn't have any other insurance.
I'd have the test done. If not, and you indeed have a blockage you could end up with a heart attack. Only you have to decide what is more important to you i.e. the fear of the test in case something goes wrong or a possible heart attack.
I'm sorry about the injuries from serving in VietNam. I agree with Barbarella, if the VA in your area is doing angiograms, they know what to do in the event of an emergency. What local hospital is nearby?
Barbarella, the VA in Huningtion WV , doesnt do any kind of heart surgery,al they
can do is a athorzation, they cant do any repai for sure, I dont see how they arent equiped to even put a stent in, yes i know they can send me to a teaching hospititial
but only if the DR. orders it.my DR wont even send me to teh endologist. Think about any one out there like to have a cath or angogram doen where they cant even put a stent in, i dont think they ahve athoraic surgen nor caroic surgern for one reason.SO yuo see in soem choice ihave have the test in poor condations or not.
thanks for yuor reply. I know i cna have a heart attack,but what does one do i cnat make them send me to another DR, it would take me probley dont have any other kind of insurnace. I served my coutry and now as amny iam forgottten.
thanks for the reply
You may be covered under charity care. If you call your local hospital they can tell you the process and give you contact information. I worked with a lady who had no health ins.. and needed major surgery. Charity care covered most everything from what I understand. If they cannot help you they may be able to lead you in the right direction.
I'm a disabled vet also and I understand your situation as I face the same problems with the VA hospital I get my care at....their services are so limited.
Do you get Social Secuirty? You don't have to answer that....but if you have Medicare you can go to a civilian (real) hospital.
The cardiology dept where I go finally referred me to a much larger VA hospital because they knew they could not handle my cardiology issues...but I had to get "ugly" with them about it. Go to the patient advocate, also, get copies of your medical records including EKGs. Don't take no for an answer because they have to refer to a larger hospital if they don't have the capability to take care of you there.
Don't give up. Good luck!
HI JKL, i forgot about the patient avocate, no i dont get social security.
i am geting a copy of all my ekg.and strss test labs,and xrays..I jsut get so tired of things soem times.
I ddi have a good ey DR other day,she was seemed to be a very comptent DR.for a change she dectectd bloodin my right eye and ordered a cardid atrey test, i was quite surprised.Thanks for yor advice.
I read your posts again and it seems that you are bitter, when you do not get the answer right away you want to hear you accuse us of "not caring".
I've worked in a Teaching Hospital for many yrs and we had VA patients sent to us on a daily basis, coming on busses at times, first to the VA hospital close to the hospital I worked at, and then they came over to us when the VA could not give them everything they needed. We cared for these Vets "free of charge".
You said that you are totally disabled from your Vietnam insuries, I'm sorry to hear that, but if you are 100% disabled you should be gettting disability pay for being 100% disabled. Can you maybe relocate to a city where you can get the proper care for your disabilities? Maybe to a city where the VA there has more facilities to care for you and for people like you? We know disabled Vietnam Vets who done just that, one with a severe heart problem, he is now being treated at a Teaching Hospital at no cost to him, he and family re-located to the city we now live in . Or at least you would be close to a Teaching Hospital who can either treat you for free or bill you "accordingly" Can you afford to get a "supplement insurance" which will cover whatever the VA can't do or wont cover? Does your wife work? Can her pay afford a "supplement insurance"?
I know you are frustrated for not getting the help you deserve, but if they do not have the facilities to treat you, you then have to take matters in your onw hands. Are there any other Vietnam Vets in your area who are disabeled if yes how do they handle it?
My husband too is a Vietnam Vet, he served 26 yrs on active duty, he is not disabled, but guess what, he had to pay for "Tricare Prime Insurance" every year so I as his wife can be seen in a MILITARY HOSPITAL, so HE could be seen at a military hospital after he served 26 yrs on active duty and a tour in Vietnam he had to get Tricare Prime Insurance, life is not always fair. If not Tricare Prime we would have been seen on a "stand by" and if major tests and the hospital doesn't have the Specialists and we get send off base because of that we would have to help pay for it whatever Tricare Standard doesn't cover, and it would have been a LOT.
We relocated to this city we live in now because it has more hospitals and specialists than the place we lived before. I know moving is no picnic, but if it helps you getting the medical care in the long run with being 100% disabled you need the proper, and a move would be worth it.
Since you are 100% disabled, one of the things you need to do is apply for Social Security....this way you can get Medicare. Call your local Soc Sec office, or go to your county veterans office and have them assist you in this process. This is a benefit you are entitled to. Every county has a veterans office that can assist you with your benefits...they are in the phone book. They are very helpful...they can also provide rides to Dr appts to other VA facilities.
btw, I'm an Air Force Veteran, I was in for 12 years. Always nice to chat with another vet!
Yes i get a veternas check each month , i am elidblie for socia security. my wife is ill
uand unable to the teching hospitia;s in my area dont provide free care .and with all my medicial condations i dont think any INS.company would isure me. if i could aford it .I would be glad to trade you incomes and insurance any time.and how do yuo expect me to recloate i dont ahve the money for that.I wishi would have never posed a message on this page.and i dont know what you mean by takeing matters in my own hands.
and has i allready posted i wasnt infering peopelo here dint care. I comend your husband for his service to our country, mine was cut short ,not by my choice.
I guess iam just a unthanful VET bitter Vet., yes i know severla vets ,they do like me with out proper treatment.Dont wory yuo probley wont see any more post from me.
Nobody called you a bitter Vet. I know you are upset, and I totally understand that, but I'm confused. In your last post to me you said that you "get a veterans check each month", is this a disability check? The reason I am asking is not because I'm being nosy, but because you told "JKL" in your last post "I'm not eligible for disability". You said earlier that you are a 100% disabled Vietnam Vet. You SHOULD get disability. If so, you should have gotten disability for at least the last 2-3 decades. Or when they determined that your health problems stem from combat in Vietnam or while in the military.
You said in your post earlier to JFK above "no I do not get social security". In your last post to me you say "I'm eligable for social security". I know you are upset but I am confused. If you are eligable for Social Security have you applied?
I re-read your first post where you said that this VA hospital in WV DOES do catherizations but no surgery and that you were told you might have blockages. Why not go for the catherization and find out exactly if you do or don't". If you do have blockages maybe the VA hosptial where you live can have you transfered to a VA hospital in another city in your State to take care of the blockages or to a Teaching Hospital in another city in WV?
I didn't know that your wife was sick too. Sorry to hear that. Of course with both of you sick re-locating would be hard. Does your disability let you drive? If so, how far is a Veterans Hospital in the next city or state? The reason I am asking is because my husband reminded me earlier that when his uncle came back from WWII he had lost his leg in combat. The VA hospital in the whole State where he lived flat out told him "we have no artificial leg for you, sorry". They would not even call another VA hospital in another State to see if they would have one. My husband's uncle then himself called another VA hospital 250 miles away, they gave him an appointment, and later the artificial leg. The roundtrip was 500 miles he had to make several times. Did he deserve this treatment by the VA hospital in his city and state?? Of course not! But they refused to give him an artificial leg and he didn't want to settle for that.
Your situation is totally different, you have more disabilities, but losing a whole leg is nothing to sneeze at either. I'm just telling you what my husband's uncle did of course I know that at the time he was younger than you are right now.
Since you have been seen at that VA hospital in your town can't you go to "patients assistance" and just tell them what you told us? Tell them about your 100% disability, your wife is sick, you are on the end of your rope and you need help. You served and fought for your country while others dodged the draft and ran off to Canada, and you deserve better. That is one of the things when I said to take matters in your own hands. If you are 100% disabled due to combat in Vietnam or while in the military and they wont help you then write a letter to your Congressman and Senator of your State.
I said iprobley wont post againe, but i had to reply to your recent post, sca back yuo did say i eemed very bitter! Yes as I said I do get A VA check iam 100% service conceted disabled. I am not elgible for social security due to not ahveing enough working quarters, i could tell yuo more stories but iam not,sory about yuor uncle,but things ahev chaged a lot since warw !!.and as isaid i dout iwill post here. it never stops,only Vietnam vets understand seems like every tiem itell soem one something or ask for someting i get hurt. Was your Husband acombat VET? You have no idea whati have to live with if he was a Combat Vet. then he does and you might some.
For god's sake I am not thinking that you HAVE an emotional crisis. You are right now upset wondering where you can get the help, "emotional crisis" does NOT ONLY mean that you have a mental problem or that you are suicidal.
My god! I try to help and you turn it into that I think you are "mental". Want you give them at least a call and tell them of your situation MAYBE THEY CAN DIRECT YOU TO THE APPROPREATE PLACE or give you a phone # where you can turn to to get the answer and help you need.
No, it was MY mistake for ever responding to your posts. Having a health problem and not knowing where to get help from, is an emotional problem also. Because you are worried, upset, scared.
If I thought that you were "mental" why would I give the address of that link??? After all the paragraph I posted already had the phone# on it. Check out the link, it has all kinds of information for Vets. I posted that paragraph because I saw the phone# so you could give them a call. I'm sure they would refer you to the right department.
Not knowing who to turn to and where to get help from is an "emotional crisis" in my book. Sorry if you got offended, and that you misunderstood my intentions.
I still hope that you get the help you need concerning your heart and possible blockages.
You might still be eligible for Soc Sec...but I'm not the expert in that area. It doesn't hurt to check into it. I was surprised that I was eligible as I began receiving it at about age 37. Let your county vet center help you; they work with the agencies all the time.
Sometimes you have to apply for Soc Sec more than once before being approved. Don't give up!
So sorry to hear about your combat wounds and disabilities. You my man are my brother. I am an RVN Army vet also. Not combat like yourself. I was in commo (Signal Corp) 1971.
I have just found out that you can receive 100% VA benefits while receiving Medicare. It does not matter how many quarters you worked. Young folks that have never worked receive SSI and Medicare.
Being that you are 100% disabled, you should not have much trouble winning your SSI benefits and Medicare. Then your medical problems can be taken care of at any hospital. You can stay away from some of those filthy VA hospitals, like some that have been closed down.
Are you having chest pains? If so and they get bad enough, chew 2 adult aspirin and call 911. Don't worry about money. Your life is what's important. I have had a heart attack and 2 strokes. I have 6 stents installed and am looking forward to coronary artery bypass surgery sometime in the future.
If this VA hospital does cardiac catheterizations (angiograms), it has to have a deal worked out with a nearby hospital, just in case an artery is damaged and emergency CABG is required. Don't you think so? I may be wrong here but it would be a very unsafe practice. Check with this VA hospital. How far is it from a non-VA hospital? Hang tough with these VA bureaucrats. They are backed up I hear these days, and are also known to stall.
I am so sorry to hear of your wife's bad health. You have probably worried her to death all of these years :) (insert a smile for the little lady)
Did your injuries occur while you were walking point man?
God bless you and thank you so much for all that you have given for our country. It is hard to forget that we were spat upon when we returned from the RVN. I was in the 10th Detachment, 362 Signal Battalion,1st Signal Brigade stationed in Nha Trang and Pleiku.
Now apply for that SSDI!!!!
P.S. Here is some info I found....
Can you receive Social Security Disability and Veterans benefits
I found a forum posting in which a disabled veteran said that he originally was of the belief that you couldn't receive two federal disability checks from two separate sources, in this case the VA and the social security administration. Obviously, as the veteran subsequently learned, this is not the case. I have to admit I'm somewhat amazed that the vet thought this and it makes me wonder how long he received his service connected disability benefits before he finally filed for social security disability benefits. Hopefully, not too long.
One interesting comment by the vet was that he managed to win his SSDI benefits in under thirty days without a lawyer by, as he put it, drowning them (the social security administration) in "medical records of proof". (more info at the site).
Hi Jack, I will look into this, but you see the problem is if you get SSI they count other income, My vet, Check, is to much-so thus no SSI . i rather not getinto specfics
of how i recieved my wounds on this open fourm I was in Nam 1970 Ist. Inf.LARP
Third core,Tay Ninh and a little west of there lol if yuo get my drift. My wife passed away over ten years ago, but I have remaired.She realy undrestnds me more than any one else ever has.Thanks brother for your info and coments.I will ask about teh procdure for emegencys it is about 8 mikes to a REg hospitita;l by the tiem they got me in amblunce i dont think it would be in time. I laied in the ER once ,and they bought a VET in whith a stab wound and he laid there a long tiem with no painmeds. til lthey transfered him to a PVT hospititial..I am sory for your heart condation ye si have had chest apins i past but my main problem is shotrness o f breath and fatigue,
I'm not sure who you have been talking to about the SSI and your vet check, but believe me....i get both also without any problem! I'm 100% and had zero trouble getting approved for SSI.
It's worth re-checking into...good luck.
Hey guys, MedHelp has advised the CL's to remind everyone to offer informative, supportive and helpful advice and suggestions. The Boards are moderated by MedHelp, but hopefully, we can put a stop to some of the banter before they decide to step in. While I understand the comments above, it seems some of us may not have been offering the suggestions/support that Pointman needs. I think the contributions from fellow Vets are awesome!! I realize that all of the comments/suggestions are meant to be helpful, just be careful about yelling and making assumptions (me included). When someone comes here asking for help, we are not here to judge, argue or agitate. Let's remember that Pointman is counting on us to help him through a difficult time.
Jack, GREAT suggestions coming from someone who understands.
I'm sorry that you lost your wife, but I'm happy that you have found another love in your life. She sounds like a great person!
Do you see a cardio at the VA on a routine basis? Is he not concerned about your symptoms? Has the doctor advised you to have the cath? If so, I think that should be your first step. Maybe everything will turn up clear and you won't have to worry about heart surgery. In the meantime,your doctor will have another piece of the puzzle and will be in a better position to advise what next. If the VA is doing the caths, they'll be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Pointman, you are still loyal to your country!!! It's ok now. You can say that you were on long range recon in Cambodia, lol. Nixon has passed on...
Listen to JKJ! I am feverishly trying to finish my taxes (state & federal) today, but I will prove to you that you can get SSDI while receiving 100% VA disability pay, when I get the time. Your SSDI payment may not be a lot, but the medicare is what you want!
Your symptoms are exactly the same for coronary artery disease, or CAD. I can imagine that you have not had a lot of exercise since 1970. This could mean that you have a serious blockage, just waiting to cause a heart attack. When you have these chest pains, go to the nearest non-VA hospital that does coronary artery bypass surgery, or CABG. Call 911 so you wont have to wait in the ER. They will test your cardiac enzymes, and will do a cath if the enzymes respond as happens with a heart attack, or cardiac muscle damage. They will also give you a shot of heparin which is an anti-coagulate.
Have you had a nuclear imaged stress test, if you are able? They can give you an injection of a drug that will speed up your heart so that you wont have to walk on the treadmill. You also need an echocardiogram, which for the money, is a most valuable test if properly interpreted correctly.
Hopefully you wont need CABG, but if necessary it could be done. I carry fast acting nitroglycerin with me at all times. It dilates all of the arteries and especially the coronary arteries. It can prevent a heart attack and/or stroke. Remember the two aspirin also.
JKJ, thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. G-d bless,
Hi Momto3, thanks againe or your kindely advice, My DR. does seem concerend to a point,but he hasnt even sent me to a cardologist.He ordered a stress test. My last stress test was in 2003, i dint tolarte it well due to fatigue, i am geting that record also.Just recieved some records today, My Echo cargram in 2006 showed Early Ejaction fraction less than55&
Trace mitro valve regurationTrace tricuspid reguration RVSP= 15 to 20 mmHg
i have ahd another but need to get copy.
I allso had aCarotid Duplex test. it showed mild scattered plaque bilaterally.
1 Less than 50% stenosis,bilateral internal carotid arties. are tehs normal limits or are they somting that should be addrressed.
PS many Nam Vets tend to shy away from forms like this. and we ahve been hassle dso much in the past by diff. enties we dont trust much.
It's a great idea to get copies of your prior test results. It helps the doctors (and us) to see if there have been any significant changes.
A normal ejection fraction is said to be 55% to about 70%, some doctors interpret 50% as low normal. Other than "less than 55%", does it say what the actual % was?
Trace mitral and tricuspid regurgitation are very common and generally doctor will not follow up too much on this amount of leakage.
I'm not familiar with RVSP= 15 to 20 mmHg - maybe someone else will jump int
I think (I'm not positive) that some plaque buildup is typical in the carotids. I'm going to that test in a couple of weeks and the doctor said it will probably indicate some plaque, so not to worry. I think they told my Dad 70% would suggest surgery. Does anyone know more about this? There are probably other factors too, so maybe othres will be able to tell you more.
I had no idea Nam Vets tend to shy away from forums like this. That's such a shame. I sure hope most people understand what our military and their families have sacrificed. I was actually on the tail end of Nam, but my husband did have a draft card. So, I remember how scary those times were. When I was in high school, we wore MIA and POW bracelets to honor those who were missing or captured. We would wait to hear good news as some of the MIA's and POW's were located and/or returned to the U.S.
hi Momto3,Most vets inccuding my self have a great distrust of the Govement agiencies, or any thing to do with our Nam service, it would take along time to explain this . hey your husband did what was asked of him., no shame there.I was young in those days full of life and happy,a war can surely change that, I am thnakful that God spared me to come home , many didnt.As to the test i will know more perhaps wheni get another one doen, i do aim to ask him about it.
Echocardiograms are not really good at estimating RSVP. They also seldom image the pulmonary valve due to it's location. The gold standard for measuring the RSVP is a right side cardiac catheterization. I have had one before and 10 left side caths. Piece of cake for sure....When done by a good and experienced interventional cardiologist. I would rather have a cath than get my teeth cleaned :)
Your symptoms also are frequently associated with pulmonary valve stenosis (narrowed pulmonary valve) and tricuspid valve stenosis or insufficiency (most often due to injury to the leaflets caused by medications or rheumatic heart valve disease). Your TV regurgitation could have become worse.
Failure of the right side of the heart will lead to failure of the left side of the heart and vice versa. Symptoms can be almost the same for CAD, RS or LS heart failure. You really need a cardiac cath soon I suspect, but I am just a patient, not a medical type person. I just read articles for myself and others.
Do your your lungs tend to stay congested? Do you retain water?
If you could find your echocardiograms and give us more information, we may be able to help more.
I got off on right sided heart failure because of your mention of RVSP. Your right side could be fine. The heart is really 2 pumps side by side.
I forgot to mention that your carotid arteries are redundant, that is you can live with one completely blocked. There is a very rare congenital birth defect where the "Circle of Willis", which is in the back of the brain and connects the two carotid arteries is "open". This condition would prevent one carotid from supplying the whole brain and head.
In some older folks, doctors find that one carotid artery is 100% blocked. In the past surgeons or interventional cardiologist did not "bother" these 100% blockages. Things may have changed today, since blocked carotids are easily "stented" just like the coronary arteries of the heart. Of course this ability to stent is dependent upon where the actual blockage is located in the carotid artery.
I haven't had time to prove the disability deal for you yet. Taxes, some yard work, house work, you know what I mean. My wife is sick also.
Hang in there ground pounder and be proud of yourself :)
I had to have this all explained to me...SSI is a welfare program and any income you get counts against you, including your VA compensation/disability. Social Security, which you pay into every month you are legally employed, is NOT a welfare program and you are entitled to it whether you receive VA benefits or not, as long as you are unable (permanently) to work. The amount you get depends on how long you were able to work and you have to see a doctor, even if the VA disability is established, I believe.
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