I have Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I was diagnosed when I was 29 years old. For the last 5 years I have been trying to get consistent treatment with the Veterans Health Administration here in Central Illinois. For over a year now I have been without any medication because the current RA Doctor will not prescribe me any medication. He won’t give me medicine because when I see him (once every 3 month), I show no signs of inflammation in my hands via ultra sound. I did show severe inflammation the first time I saw him. When I was pregnant I went into remission till about 6 weeks post delivery then the flare ups got bad. Apparently, he thinks because I don’t show up with a flare up that I don’t need the medicine. He states because the drugs have bad side effects I shouldn’t take them unless necessary. I think he missed the class that states these are preventive medicines, not to be used only when you have a flare up.
To see this doctor I have to drive 2 hours one way to Indianapolis, Indiana. I have to take the day off work and pay the babysitter extra because I usually don’t get home till after 7pm at night. I am a single mom, it is a very difficult situation. So then I decided to call about the VA Choice program. The VA makes you an appointment with a local doctor. They are suppose to call with the appointment after 5 days, it has been 2 weeks and still no call!!!! I have had a very bad flare up for the last 2 weeks, in the mornings I can barely walk or grip my toothbrush. I have missed work and I am stuck in this condition because the VA is failing me.
I am in constant pain, which causes me to withdraw and I am not getting any of my chores done. My house has gone to the wolves at this point. I am getting depressed and angry. I don’t know what else to do but write letters to everyone and anyone about the crap service I am getting.