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Dad Needs Some Help
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Dad Needs Some Help

My dad says he gets a pain followed by swelling in the back of his knee. Which is followed by numbness in the leg, the problem then manifest in the left arm in a similar manner. Except the numbness in the arm is more of a creeping one finger at a time ordeal. The problem lasts for 1 to 2 months then disappears for 2 months and repeats.

He has had an MRI.

I suggested maybe trying an ultrasound of where it starts. Cant tell if it sounds like nueropathy  (he is diabetic but it is well controlled.) or maybe like a clot or some other blockage. He is going to the VA to get it checked but they have said they can't find anything wrong. He thinks if he can give them a direction to look into he might have better results.
8 Comments Post a Comment
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3112530_tn?1342559764
Speak to the patient advocate and voice your concerns. Maybe they can get another doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
If the doctor can't help  on this next appointment Ill do that.
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1326416_tn?1370930601
I commend you on being an advocate for your father. I would keep on making appointments with whoever the doctors think might be able to diagnose him. Keep on being "a squeeky wheel, and you will eventually get the grease"! I think our veterans deserve nothing but the best in everything, and not just the best healthcare, but ESPECIALLY the best healthcare. Did that last sentence make sense? Oh well, you guys know what I mean! Take care, and good luck.
    shinty
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, may I ask what kind of swelling on the back of his knee? The reason I ask is my husband had a similar issue, but it was figured out after a while because it turned into a lump like thing, which ended up being fluid built up there because of a meniscus tear and arthritis. So maybe see a knee doctor, just in case the two issues aren't related. Just a thought. Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes. Take care!
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3112530_tn?1342559764
As a veteran myself, I have TRIED IN VEIN, to get the VA to help with my pain issues. They diagnosed me with the Degenerative Joint/disk disease BUT operating on me caused too many problems, ALL the doctors I saw at the VA, (have been to MANY doctors, surgeons, neurologists and more throughout the VA system) and all they can say to me is that they can operate on my but there is a chance of paralysis. I did not want to take that chance so I have been to many other doctors and found a orthopedic surgeon who specializes in my issues and he has done 5 surgeries on me, including rods and removal of the rods, WITHOUT THE MENTION OF PARALYSIS. Yes, that could be a side effect but he specialized in my area of bone deterioration and replaced some of my deteriorated bone with cadaver bone grafts and the procedure went well.
To date, the VA cannot offer any surgery on me, that will not require any SERIOUS side effects such as paralysis! The only side effect I have received from my surgeries, is scar tissue which is normal for what I have been through.
I have a doctor I have known at the VA for over 30 years. He is my Primary Care doctor and even he suggested, I go outside the VA for professional care. (off the record of course)
I see my Primary Care doctor every three months and he stays on top of my medical problems and he is the only one I trust to give me an honest medical opinion. He does not play with words, he just hits you straight out with the truth. Sometimes that is a little hard to swallow in his style, but the honesty is appreciated and respected and trusted.
Wish all doctors in the VA system were educated enough as well as learning the proper bed side manner.
YES, veterans deserve better treatment but interns always report to their superiors and a diagnosis from an intern can be scary. I have met many an intern who speaks jump to a conclusion before checking with their superior or recommending a specialty doctor.
I have mixed opinions about how the VA treats its soldiers and wish there were a better education system in place to help those in uniform, but again, this is just my opinion, so please don't take this to heart, just my opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
My dad has explained that his doctor has not been available since he got her.
So he will go to the patients advocate to see about getting a new doctor. It has been 3 days and his doctor never even called him back.

He has to drive down today and demand to be seen in person since his dr kept him on hold for 45 mins and never picked up the phone.

The future of health care worries me if this is the quality the govt wants to bring us all. This has been the DMV of health care. They once kept him for 7 days and wouldnt say if he was there or not, or even had been there, because the nurse thought HIPAA prevented it. (My dad had been gone for 24 hours and no one could contact him, they took his phone) I had to threaten her with how HIPAA works and legal action whilst raising hell to get her to say he was there so I could tell my mom to stop worrying where he was.

Anyway. I told him to ask if a fluid build up could be the cause of the swelling. The swelling is on the back of his knee like a bulge or ball. Shoulder he didn't say was swollen just that the arm started hurting and going numb after the leg does.  I'll let you know what I find out if they get results from testing.  providing he can get an appointment.
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3112530_tn?1342559764
Please get the patient advocate involved. Put something on the patients record for future use. Patient advocate can be helpful. You may need a 'real' doctor to deal with your fathers issues and have the patient advocate understand your role in your fathers care.
I have had positive results from the patient advocate in my experience. I have also contacted the hospital director in the past when I had problems and again had positive results. Please don't let a sloppy doctor take control just because he is your fathers doctor. Doctors make mistakes and sometimes lose focus with the increase of more patients.
The VA system has some positive results as well as negative ones. Don't become part of the negative results. Get pro-active in your fathers care and talk to a social worker also. There are many avenues to explore in the care of your father that the VA can offer. Take advantage of them. There is help in the VA system for you and your father. Make sure you get something on the record. Also get copies of related care and what is being done for your father.
If he needs proper medical care, make sure you get it!
Wishing you the best of luck and stay pro-active!
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks
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