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    #31
    The website also says he will need a copy of both sides of any current insurance card in addition to the DD-214 and the 10-10 ez form.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

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      #32
      I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the help. I did get in touch with SCI_OTR and he helped me get in touch with the right people. Hopefully soon my dad will be receiving the kind of care he needs. I'll keep you all posted...

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        #33
        Thank goodness. I hope it starts looking up for you all real soon. Give him my best wishes, please.
        Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

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          #34
          A word of caution. Obviously the advise you are getting is excellent.
          I spent 4 months at the Wade Park VA, from August to November in 2003, after 7 months basically laying on my back at a HealthSouth rehab facility, because of terrible pressure sores on the balls of my feet created by the staff at Hamot Medical Center, Erie, PA. No one put any protection on my feet. Once they felt I was able to sit up, my feet mostly healed and all my muscles almost completely deteriorated, I received 6 weeks of OT/PT which consisted of me learning how to use my arms again. Shipped directly to Cleveland afterward.

          I was promised the world by a brochure I was handed concerning the SCI Clinic. Do not come unless I was prepared to work my but off, however, I had multiple problems at the Cleveland VA SCI clinic where I stayed. They promised me I would be placed in a room with another individual with a SCI. I spent two months in a room with a patient who screamed constantly, complaining of some terrible pain in his head. I asked to be moved but they refused. They said he was just crazy, I disagreed, but they refused to check him out. Finally after he was removed I found out later that he died from a brain tumor.

          My Physical Therapist seldom showed up and when she did was often late. I spent the entire 4 months using only 3 exercise machines, a arm bike, a rickshaw, and a set of pulleys. No one taught me anything regarding a SCI, not bowel care, no independent living instructions, no transferring help, nothing, but a wonderful female OT named Chris did try to help as best she could. She is still there by the way.

          The food was absolutely terrible and the aids were the most inconsiderate people I have ever dealt with. I had a vent in my neck and needed suction to clear my lungs so I could breath. Whenever I would ring the bell for help no one would come for a minimum of 20 minutes of terror. I timed this repeatedly. Once when I was up in my power chair, I rang the nurse bell and hid in the hall around the corner where I could watch. There were 3 nursing aids hanging out at the desk. I saw them look up, acknowledge the call, then continue bullshitting for 20 minutes until one of them slowly and complaining, got up and started for my room. They used to come in at 3 am, usually 2 of them, turn all the lights on, every one, waking me up to take my vitals. Typically speaking loudly, carrying on and laughing. It was a terrible experience.

          A woman OT, now retired, lied to me about the power wheelchair I should receive.
          She told me It would take 5 months to order and deliver the correct PC, but they just happened to have a brand new one that was ordered for another Veteran, my same size, who could not use it. Being newly injured and knowing nothing, I accepted.
          The powerchair was used, did not fit correctly, was broken (could not climb handicapped ramps due to unrepairable anti-tippers) and still is. Promised to correct deficiency's but never would. After one miserable year of fighting with Pittsburgh VA prosthetics, a year of daily unreturned phone calls from my family and some terrific help from The United Spinal Association I was allowed to select a correct powerchair.
          Please be careful and watch carefully. I was far from my family and I was treated terribly. Maybe things have changed for the better since then.
          Good Luck. Sorry it was long but it's the truth.
          Last edited by forestranger52; 5 Feb 2009, 9:26 PM.
          C 5/6 Comp.
          No Tri's or hand function.

          Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

          Teddy Roosevelt

          Comment


            #35
            Sorry you had a bad experience with the VA, but I am wondering why you did not speak with your PVA NSO about these issues while you were there, or with the Patient Advocate. Both are resources for you at any VA SCI Center, and action is taken. Did you ever speak to the head nurse or clinical nurse specialist about your issues with the staff? There is a chain of command for this kind of thing, and if you don't say anything, it is unlikely to be improved.

            (KLD)
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

            Comment


              #36
              Spoke with the PVA Representatives often regarding these issues. They actually have an office on the same floor, just down from physical therapy. Knew everyone pretty well. Worked with the PVA during program to establish funding for cable TV installation at Wade Park.
              When I returned home to stay at the VA Heinz Aspinwall facility, I raised $20,000.00 for the first cable TV installation in the Pittsburgh VA Health Care system. Took me 1 1/2 years but forced VA to pay permanently for cable in all three facilities. Only had 6 channels when I arrived. No one even said thank you. They were mad that I had even accomplished it.

              Attended every meeting of the Cleveland PVA, and others on the floor for the entire 4 months. They were very aware of the problems but there was very little that they could do. When I was there I was told that 60 minutes had actually done a piece about the bad situation at Wade Park but little had been done to correct the problems.

              Only time there was edible food around is when the sales reps had programs in the day room/cafeteria for the nurses, Doctors and other hospital employees. I used to hang around and as soon as the meeting was over I would rush in and sometimes they would graciously share the leftovers. A lot of times there was hardly anything left, maybe a cookie or two. I was so disappointed.
              Last edited by forestranger52; 6 Feb 2009, 7:55 PM.
              C 5/6 Comp.
              No Tri's or hand function.

              Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

              Teddy Roosevelt

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by tmrperry View Post
                I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the help. I did get in touch with SCI_OTR and he helped me get in touch with the right people. Hopefully soon my dad will be receiving the kind of care he needs. I'll keep you all posted...
                I have sent you a private message...hope you will read it and it might help you. Ask me anything about Wade Park or Metro....We are very familiar...recently there. Discharged November 5th 2008 from VA/Wade Park
                Brenda

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                  #38
                  The 60 Minutes program on the Cleveland VAMC SCI Center was in 1990. I had hoped they had corrected some of the problems detailed in that by now. Sorry you had a bad experience. That is not acceptable in the VA System, and certainly should not turn people off to other VA facilities. When you have seen one VA, you have seen one VA (not all of them).

                  (KLD)
                  The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    My son recently had his rehab at VA San Diego and we are very happy with the staffs there, the facility is very clean and the weather is great. Recreation therapy is outstanding there. By the time my son got discharged, he can do many things. He would get more rehab if it was not because of the UTI, pain in his neck and many bad days.
                    In January, he went to Seattle VA. It was OK, the building is older but the doctors are very experience with SCI.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by tmrperry View Post
                      I'm actually running into problems getting in touch with anyone there. I spoke with a receptionist who told me to fill out the application (form 10-10EZ) and bring it with his DD-214 to the urgent care desk. That's as far as I've gotten. I left a message with a social worker, but my call has gone unanswered. When I called the Columbiana County Dept of Veteran Services, they weren't much help. They just told me to go to the VA center in person. Any advice??? I've been told my dad is a Category 4 Vet, but no one seems to care about number. Either they don't know what it means, or it doesn't mean anything until he's in the system? I don't know...
                      You have to tell them that your dad is a Catastrophic injury. I had problems with my husband too and then they still made him a Category 6. I had to talk to several people to get that corrected. He needs immediate care and cannot be placed in a lower category. He should be in Category 4. Make sure they get that right. Good luck! Brenda
                      Brenda

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                        #41
                        Well first you have to know where Wade Park VA is in. Not the best place in Cleveland. Alot of people will not drive there to work. Let alone quialifiyed people. Get him to Metro.
                        oh well

                        Comment


                          #42
                          tmrperry

                          From what you wrote in your first post, your Dad has largely weaned from the ventilator, yet still has a trach and cannot talk--is he still not able to talk?

                          If he is stable enough to be off the vent most or all of the time, then I would think he should be able to start to tolerate having his cuff deflated. The cuff is a little balloon on his trach that seals off the airway when inflated, but I don't see a reason for it being inflated if he's breathing on his own (i.e. it could/should probably be deflated all the time). I'm still on a vent, but I have a cuffless trach, which is like having the cuff deflated permanently.

                          Edited to avoid confusion that KLD addressed in the next post.

                          Bill Miller
                          Last edited by BillMiller823; 9 Feb 2009, 5:40 PM.
                          Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

                          I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Bill, if he still has a trach I would not assume he is using a red cap yet. It can take some time for someone to be able to tolerate this, and even use of a Passey-Muir for any length of time can take a while as it creates more resistence to breathing. If your diaphragm is your only breathing muscle, it can be weak (esp. after being on the vent) and it takes a lot of energy just to breath with the trach open (on humidified air or oxygen via trach collar...no HME needed). We can spend 2-4 weeks to get a person off the trach ready to have their trach removed, and sometimes longer if secretion management is also a major problem.

                            Regardless, a good SCI rehab program will be used to doing this with newly injured folks, and should be able to move him onto some form of verbal communication fairly quickly as long as the trach cuff does not have to be up all the time for aspiration precautions (which is the case about 1/3 of the time).

                            (KLD)
                            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Ok, I realized I made a mistake above (I'll edit it if I can).

                              KLD is of course correct. (I realized my mistake after I got off my computer at 6:30 a.m. and couldn't correct it until now.)

                              If he can't talk, then his trach cuff is inflated (unless he had damaged vocal chords or something).

                              That also means he must be breathing through the trach, not his mouth and/or nose because the airway is sealed.

                              So, when he can start to tolerate it, all he should need in order to talk is to have the cuff deflated and have a speaking valve placed over the inner canula.

                              Sorry for the confusion.
                              Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

                              I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Just wanted to post an update. My dad will be transferred Wednesday morning to the SCI Center at the Cleveland VA! Thank you so much for everyone's help and advice. I definitely couldn't have done it without this wonderful group! I'll will keep posting updates as I get them. Thanks again!!!

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