The 7 Year wait....
Updated: Mar 1, 2019
So, if you follow our Instagram you may have heard us talk about a huge day for me coming up in March. So needless to say my anxiety is through the roof, as this day has the potential to positively impact not only the rest of my life but of all those around me who had stood loyal for so long and through so much.. you know who you are, and I LOVE YOU ALL... I just wanted to take a moment and talk about it to see if that helps the anxiety some... and go.
Time to let you in on my 7 Year wait..... If you have ever had to or known anyone that has ever dealt with the VA (Veterans Affairs) you know that the term "hurry up and wait" is their motto. Well 7 years ago I put in a disability package for the damage done to my spine during my time in the service. During that time in my life there was a lot of chaos and moving around, and for some reason the VA only sends pertinent information via snail mail. Well in the midst of all the madness I was assigned an initial evaluation of which I was sent a letter regarding this date. Not a phone call, not an email, not even certified mail to ensure I received said letter, just a stamp and c'est la vie.
I'm sure by now you are catching the drift of my story, well they mailed it and well who knows where it went. I waited around for about two years as I know they aren't the best about fast response time. By this time, I was in a great deal of pain and my daily routine and work ethic was suffering. Upon arriving at my local reps I was informed that I had been denied over a year ago. This was like someone sucked the air out of the room, I mean they never even saw me or spoke to me. This was a bewildering thought to me that I was simply a record jacket with a number on it and my lack of attendance to such an important matter was treated as if I didn't care and never a thought for why he isn’t here. This crushed me and if I had any hope of help when I walked in the door I felt it slowly exit behind me. Now what….?
I was fortunate enough to have a VSO (Veterans Service Officer) who was a bulldog and was as equally upset as I was regarding the situation and how it was handled. With his help I was able to rework the case as an appeal and have been patiently waiting for the last 5 years for a date when I will be able to be seen before the VBA (Veterans Board of Appeals). Now mind you ever since that day my spinal condition has only gotten worse and the neuropathy that has reared its ugly head because of the restriction on my spine has been a wonderful addition to the day to day chores. They have sent me through physical therapy, mris', and prescribed several medications for the symptoms, spasms, and pain strikes. This has been something that has caused me to change career paths several times due to the physical limitations of my body. It has been a hard thing for me to accept that I am not the young man I once was or possess the physical stamina to carry on like one. This was the first step towards asking and hopefully receiving the help that I need.
Well March 13th is the day that I will finally receive a judgement on my case. If this sways my way and they will finally acknowledge that the damage done to my spine was service related, then they are required to compensate and back pay for the entire duration of the claim. I won’t go into amounts as nothing is set in stone as it were, but should it go my way then Emily and I won’t have to stress the next paycheck or meal when out on the road and we will be able to focus on the joys of simply living.
There are so many people who have been involved in this battle, some were so crucial in the implementation of this legal process and others just keep my spirit going and kept me full of hope that life would balance it out for me. Well there have been many times in the last 7 years that a gift of that magnitude would have taken me so many different directions. Yet…. It comes now…. Now that I have cashed it all in and have let go of almost everything to live a life I’m proud to call mine. Now… when it could have the most astronomical impact on the well-being of all my family and those I hold near and dear. It is very hard to not become caught up in the hopes of a positive outcome as I know the opposite is just as relevant and possible. You never know when it comes to dealing with the VA.
In the end I know no matter which way it goes I am going to be okay. I truly am grateful that this 7-year question is soon to have an answer, whatever that may be, just a few short weeks… Well there you have it… welcome to the waiting room that is my life, enjoy the light jazz music and 7 year old magazines spread across the coffee table.. haha
Lastly just want to say again, Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much support and love along the way.. There is a reason I call you Family!!
Fingers and Toes Crossed… Daddy needs a new pair of shoes… no really I do…