Before leaving the VA in July, we had a plan. The doctor there had contacted a doctor in another near by VA that has the in patient PTSD program. We were told that they were not going to release him until they had a firm plan in place and that they did not want him going home for more than 2-3 weeks before getting into a PTSD program. Well, obviously that 2-3 weeks passed quite some time ago, because here it is September and we are still waiting for that spot to open up that was promised to us by the first part of August.
Last week, after jumping through all the hoops to get into the program at the VA, I was fed up. We had originally tried some other options while he was in the hospital which did not work out. We learned that although he has medicare, tricare, and VA, the only one that will pay for PTSD treatment is the VA. It is the VA's responsibility after all. Therefore we thought that any other options were really out of the question. But, as fed up as I was, I thought I'm going to look around anyway.
While I was searching, I happened upon an article in the Smithsonian Magazine about a program in California called The Pathway Home. It is a program that Allen had already been accepted into a year prior but had decided not to attend because there was concern that he would learn to function in a program but not in the real world and become a "professional" patient. Well, I really thought it would be a dead end too, but decided to send an email to inquire as a last chance. Thankfully I did send that email. The next morning I had an email back telling us we should have his doctor at the VA fill out the application for him and send it in ASAP and they would see what they could do. They are funded through grants and private donations so they are not limited by insurance companies or the VA. I begin seeing some hope in our future but am still afraid to get my hopes up too high. I did mention it to my husband, read the article to him, and he thought it sounded good. However, he is very apprehensive about anything and does not want to be disappointed again.
The day we had the email back he also had an appointment with his psychiatrist at the VA. We took a copy of the article to him to see what he thought. He was very impressed with the program and thought that we definitely should pursue it. We left his office with a little more hope. We went straight to his case manager's office and began filling out the application and the next day it was complete, signed, and faxed in. By Friday, everything was turned in and it was time for us to just wait. I had emailed back and forth with the administration lady, Kathy, several times and my hopes were rising. It sounded very promising for Allen getting in and quickly.
Monday came and went and I still had not heard anything. Tuesday I sent an email to make sure they had received everything they needed. They had and we needed to pick a date in a couple of weeks for him to go! We couldn't believe it! Finally, we were beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel and we were beginning to believe it wasn't a train!! So, our date was chosen, September 20 and we applied for airline tickets from Air Compassion. Yesterday we received our E-tickets and are beginning to prepare for this newest step in healing.
I'm excited about the possibilities. I'm praying for Allen to find peace within himself and his life so that he can relax and find a little bit of joy in life. Even if he doesn't get to a place where he is comfortable out and about, at least for him to have peace in our home would be a huge improvement. I'm also looking forward to a little bit of me time! My sister is going to fly with us and we are going to spend a few days together in California for a little R&R for me. It will be hard having him away, but in the end, I pray it is all worth it!!