Friday, February 22, 2013

Mental Health Intake at Spark Matsunaga ACC

Quite the day yesterday. I was scheduled to have a mental health intake, at the Veterans Administration. As my dog is dying, I argued with myself for about two hours regarding canceling the appointment. Decided to keep it, and hope for the best.

When I arrived, the Veterans Administration was running a little bit behind. These intake appointments, generally run between an hour and a half to two hours. Of course, no one at the VA tells you that when they set the appointment  - - - so it is hard to budget your time. In the future, I will make sure to inquire how long they expect every single appointment to take in order to make sure that it fits conveniently into my schedule .

When I met the intake specialist (Name withheld for now), he was polite, professional, and succinct. I, on the other hand was concentrating upon my dog as I really did not want to be sitting in Tripler at that time. She is nothing but a little bag of bones at this point - - - yet she keeps hanging on. Possibly she knows her work here with me is not quite done? Certainly, no human has ever come close to the devotion, love, and kindness she has given me for almost fifteen years. I doubt another creature ever will.

Even though I had filled out a ten page questionnaire prior to my appointment, there were still more (somewhat shorter) questionnaires to fill out. Would it not make more sense for the Veteran to have all the questionnaires to fill out prior to having their appointment?  I also disclosed to him that upon occasion I use prescription opioid drugs(not my prescription) for pain. Good thing I did, because he wanted a urinalysis. He asked where I obtain them from, and I told him flat out that I would not give him any names. Had the VA been giving me the pain medications that I need, I would not have to obtain them from other sources. I have suffered from chronic pain for years. Using the Standard Numerical Scale for Pain - - - my pain level is almost always a 7 or higher. Yet, my Primary Care Provider has very rarely - - - if at all - - - ever offered any medication, nor suggested any Pain Management Clinics, etc. Whenever I require the usage of a pain-killer, I always log the date, time, drug, and dosage into a file on my computer. For monitoring purposes. I offered to send him a copy of the file, but of course that is not something that they would be interested in. Certainly the impression that they give . . .

I am loath to ask my Primary Care Provider for pain medications as they will simply enter into my records that I exhibit drug-seeking behavior. As I requisition my treatment records from the VA at least once yearly - - - I have caught them making false entries before.

I also left the portion of the questionnaire that asked about my military service purposefully blank. The VA already has nearly twenty years of documentation on me already. Maybe they should read what they have in my file rather than continually ask me the same questions over and over, with every new "specialist" up there I come in contact with??? Again, the tactic of Delay, Deny, Hope that I die!!!

At 14:20, I told the young lad that I really would appreciate if we could cut it short as I wanted to get home to be with my dog. He agreed, and we set an appointment for 27 February at 10:00.

I will attempt to remain hopeful, and keep a few more of these appointments prior to making judgment whether to continue treatment with them or not.

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