Medical Evaluation Process- Part I
It has been a while since I last wrote. My life is just so busy that sometimes is difficult to keep up with everything. I have no excuses, I should not abandon my blog :) right? The intention of this Part I is to decsribe the first phase of the Medical Board. The first phase is done at the medical facility where the Soldier is stationed and receives the medical care. In couple of months I will also write about how to review the packet, who you should involve and what are the potential events that you may encounter.
My husband is going through a medboard (military medical retirement) and even when things are smoothly coming along, it is hectic with medical appointments and tracking all the things that comes with it. We mainatin ALL the documentation, make copies, ask for copies and oh well, it is so much documentation. There are always obstacles on the road but fortunately, for now, things are going well.
Like I mentioned before, the medboard process is a separation so like any sudden, unexpected rupture I feel sadness and at some point I feel I am grieving. Every time I see my husband wearing his uniform I ask myself, when would be that last day I will see him dress like that. It may sound dumb but that is exactly how I feel. On the other hand there are so many great things happening in our lives, especially my husband's future. He has been able to conquer that big giant called frustration and he has made a beautiful piece of art. I still remember the days he would talk because he was ashamed he was a stuttered but now nothing stops him and talks with everybody, without shame.
During the medboard process there are some situations that I have seen family members encountered. I have seen many things but I want Soldiers and their caregivers to know their rights:
1. When the medboard starts, the medical care should not be discontinued. You can request the care to continue.
2. If there is any doubt of documentation for a medical condition, the patient CAN request a medical evaluation. During this medical appointment, make sure that you address your concerns. I always encourage caregivers to go with the service member, it is easier because sometimes with TBI the patient does not find the correct words and coordination to transmit the message.
3. Go to the following link http://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/r40_501.pdf to see which conditions your oved one is eligible to be evaluated for a medboard.
4. DO NOT think that you will not be listened. I maintain good communication my husband's medboard officers and personnel. They are accessible, easy to communicate with. With a good dialogue of the concerns and the understanding that you as a caregiver want to be involve, the process should not be a troubled one.
The medboard is a process that can be tedious but it is the only chance you have to help your loved one receive what they deserve for their injuries. It is a one time event and the outcome will will impact your service member's life forever in many areas. It can be a hectic, boring and energy consuming but I always try to approach situations with a positive attitude and I tell myself "I may be sacrificing time and energy, but my husband sacrificed so much more".
Anyway for me it is a pleasure because of the deep love I feel for my husband Victor, my TBI Warrior.