Monday, August 16, 2010

Falling Through the Cracks

It seems along this journey, if someone is going to fall through the cracks it is the guys like Allen. The ones with the "invisible" wounds. Sometimes I think they are the ones who need the most help, but I know that each of the wounded has their own journey equally as hard as the next guy. I am definitely not here to decide who has it the hardest or the best.

July was an extremely rough month for us and August isn't too far behind. It started with the 4th of July and hasn't stopped since! Around the middle of July, Allen plummeted. After struggling to take care of him for a week, I finally took him to the VA. He was just too far past what any home care could offer him. He needed 24 hour care. He was at his lowest point so far along this journey. We keep thinking things will get better, but so far, we've been on one heck of a roller coaster ride.

After a week in patient, plans were made for Allen to come home for 2-3 weeks while we wait for a bed to open in the PTSD treatment program at the VA in Topeka. It is a 7 week, in patient program and the only program the VA has to treat PTSD. We looked into taking him back to Laurel Ridge in San Antonio but insurance will not pay for it. A little unknown fact is that while Allen has medicare, tricare, and the VA, the VA is the only one that will pay for any type of PTSD treatment. So, our only option is what the VA will do and that is this 7 week program. The kicker is, to get into this program one has to be completely stable and independent. With his recent setback and inpatient stay, he is not considered very stable. So, after coming home and us speaking with the Topeka program administrator, we know our reality. Allen falls through the cracks. He realistically will not get in until October at the earliest and he must be completely stable to enter. Another hospital stay will not help him get into the program, although I'm not sure we are going to be able to avoid that. He is teetering right on the edge.

In the midst of all of this, we are changing some meds which never helps in the short term. It will be 4-6 weeks before it is fully in his system and he is trying his best to hold it together and stay on top instead of falling off. It is going to be a rough wait, but we really have no choice. This is all very scary for all of us. The boys never know what to expect and live in fear that something tragic will happen to their dad. I can never relax and have to constantly know where Allen is, what he's doing, and where his current mental state is riding. Allen has this all hanging over his head while he is desperately trying to hold it all together.

It is extremely frustrating and sad watching him slide down hill so quickly and not being able to do anything about it. I've searched for programs that might be able to help him but have not found anything out there. It seems our only option is to wait for the slot at the Topeka VA to open and pray that he is stable enough to complete their program. When his doctor at the Kansas City VA called the Topeka program they told them 2-3 weeks. Allen was good with that. Then 2 weeks passed and we made a call ourselves to Topeka and they tell us October at the earliest. This is devastating to a family already on the edge. I find it ridiculous that the VA is the only one who can treat PTSD in vets, but yet they do not have programs to meet the needs of those they are supposed to be treating. I know that Allen is not the only one who needs this!

Today he's struggling still. Not sure October will ever get here!!

Even Now,


1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I have been in the same place as you. You do everything in your power to make it work and it doesn't. I wish there were more treatment facilities. It is quite rediculous.