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  • what should I expect?

    I'm going for my VA 'intake' appointment for my medical in 2 weeks - any idea what I should expect? I've had the same PCP for 16 years, so this is a major change for me & I'm more than a bit nervous. Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rev Coleen View Post
    I'm going for my VA 'intake' appointment for my medical in 2 weeks - any idea what I should expect? I've had the same PCP for 16 years, so this is a major change for me & I'm more than a bit nervous. Thanks
    Rev Coleen,

    You should expect a professional team of health care workers to do a comprehensive assessment of your medical history and present state of health. I'd advise you to ask about and take advantage of any programs, like smoking cessation or support groups, that may address any wellness issues you face. Like anything else in life, your experience will depend on a lot of things, but an optimistic attitude is a good place to start. Welcome to the VA system.

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    • #3
      Rev Coleen,

      I go to Jefferson Brks in St. Louis. They are very professional and very helpful.
      Jefferson Brks has its own SCI building so it is really a tight group.
      You will be run thru the mill. exam, blood test, urine, ( do not eat prior), phyic, Social, physical therapy, Occupational, ect. Our Doctors are very good only do SCI. The support staff works just with SCI and are great. Hope you have the same type of facility. Let us know how it went.
      Semper fi

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      • #4
        Thanks, guys.

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        • #5
          Oh, the VA doesn't know I'm probable chronic CES or am SCI, but they'll find out at my intake. I've seen the Patient Services Assistant, and she knows I'm in a chair, but didn't ask why. Will that make any difference?

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          • #6
            This first appointment will be important as you should be assigned to a primary care physician and clinic at that time. If you are going to Seattle, you need to ask to be referred to the SCI Center clinic for primary care. They can take it from there. Did you get rated as a category 4 when you did your eligibility? If not, they can help with that. Of course you also need to get ahold of and work with the PVA National Service Officer there.

            (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.

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            • #7
              I'm cat 5, but they might change that. I'm going to American Lake for my intake, but I'd do Seattle, if they recommend it. American Lake had the first opening and are closer.

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              • #8
                Well, tomorrow's the day I have my intake at American Lake, and I'm getting pretty nervous. Hope it goes ok - it's the first time I've changed PCP's in 16 years, so I guess it's about time, especially with the poor help I've been given since April with my medical issues.

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                • #9
                  All the best, Colleen, let us know how it goes.
                  get busy living or get busy dying

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                  • #10
                    Good luck to you and I hope you will get the care that you need.

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                    • #11
                      Saw the intake people yesterday - well, some of them, anyway - my appointment was late in the afternoon. I have to go back today & get scheduling done for some stuff - including to see a neurosurgeon - the intake guy was NOT impressed with the answer the civilian doc gave - ("it's not bad enough to fix yet") and wants me to see their surgeon ASAP. They also put some special dressing on my non-healing foot wound, and are sending me to the wound clinic, heart doc & he's recommending that my 'assigned' doctor will see me asap & emailed her that he believes I need to be bumped to a cat 4, so who knows? When I find out, I'll update!

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                      • #12
                        Hi Coleen. I just wanted to make sure you are careful about this. I have gone to the VA and they can be really helpful and have done good work for me. But, I have also heard some horror stories too. It seemed to me they can be very surgery happy sometimes and a lot of residents from the local hospitals do their internships there as well and the head docs like them to get their training there as well. I don't know your situation and i'm sure they are trying to be helpful but no matter what, it is always good to get at least one or two other opinions with anything like this. I hope it works out for you.
                        Ken

                        Guns don't kill people. Daddys with cute daughters do!

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                        • #13
                          Sounds like it went good, Coleen, congrats. I hope the other appointments went well. You would do good to be bumped to category 4. BigK makes a good point, though I've never figured out how to get a second opinion with the VA. Do your homework, looking forward to good news.
                          get busy living or get busy dying

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                          • #14
                            Bigk & quadvet, This will be the second opinion, but I'll be very careful!
                            So far, things are ok, we'll have to see how things go from hiere, I'll keep in touch about it.

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                            • #15
                              You will probably be very busy with initial appointments for a while. I still go to the VA for one thing or another at least four times a month at their request. Two times this week so far.

                              They do take good care of you, but I would recommend getting a calendar book for managing your appts. Write down any questions in it, keep track of all your appts, write a brief reminder to follow up on all suggestions and anything else you can think of. They are very busy and sometimes things fall through the cracks.

                              Advocate for yourself, educate yourself and take care of yourself. My appointments usually last about an hour or so each and are very thorough. Take advantage of anything and everything that you are entitled to.

                              Good for you girl, you got in!
                              Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

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