Merry Christmas To All Veterans & Their Families

Veterans Affairs Naughty List

Merry Christmas to all my veteran readers.

Regardless of where you are in the world, I appreciate your continued feedback and support to keep the pressure on the Department of Veterans Affairs and those in Congress.

God knows we need to keep on those folks this election cycle to be sure the newest round of funding goes to pay for effective care for veterans and not to the typical DC cronies.

As we are all snuggled up for the holidays, if you are bored, be sure to comment on who you think should be on the nice or naughty list at Veterans Affairs. Let’s call it the “Veterans Affairs Naughty List.” Maybe even include why you think Santa would put them on the list and what they would get if you were Santa.

Here, I will go first:

  • Diana Rubens – Naughty List – Should get a pink slip in her stalking showing she is terminated for ripping off taxpayers and for behaving like a petulant child after she was caught.
  • Kimberly Graves – Naughty List – Should get a pink slip in her stalking showing she is terminated for ripping off taxpayers and for behaving like a petulant child after she was caught.

Now it is your turn.

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    PTSD and RA: Is There a Smoking Gun?
    ‘If you could treat them psychologically, you should be able to reduce the burden of RA disease’

    Activate MedPage Today’s CME feature and receive free CME credit on Medical stories like this one.ACTIVATE CME
    by Nancy Walsh
    Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

    Action Points
    Women with multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a markedly elevated risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study determined.
    The presence of four or more symptoms of PTSD was associated with a 76% increased risk of incident rheumatoid arthritis compared with no history or symptoms of trauma (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.16 to 2.67), according to Yvonne C. Lee, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues.

    There also was a dose-response relationship. Compared with women who reported no trauma and no symptoms of PTSD, those who had trauma exposure but no symptoms of PTSD had a 25% increased risk (HR 1.25), and those having one to three PTSD symptoms had a 31% increased risk (HR 1.31, P for trend 0.01), the researchers reported online in Arthritis Care & Research.
    A Link with Inflammation
    In some individuals, exposure to a highly traumatic event can result in intrusive memories and re-experiencing the event, avoidance, and heightened arousal problems such as insomnia, irritability, and loss of concentration — PTSD.
    Previous studies have linked PTSD with certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and interest has been growing in a possible link between PTSD and autoimmune diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis.
    “The mechanism of this association may be through dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis response, leading to heightened systemic inflammation,” Lee and colleagues wrote.

    “I noticed years ago in working with veterans that people who have severe chronic PTSD also had inflammatory diseases,” said Joseph A. Boscarino, PhD, of the Geisinger Clinic in Danville, Penn.
    “They tended to have diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis and it was thought to relate to an increase in the immune response,” he told MedPage Today.
    Among a cohort of 2,500 Vietnam veterans, chronic PTSD was associated with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes, and thyroid disease. “In addition, veterans with comorbid PTSD were more likely to have clinically higher T-cell counts, hyperreactive immune responses on standardized delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity tests, clinically higher immunoglobulin-M levels, and clinically lower DHEA levels,” he wrote.
    In another study of twin pairs from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry, Boscarino and colleagues found that those in the highest quartile of PTSD symptoms were 3.8 times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than those in the lowest quartile.
    And in a further longitudinal study of 1,500 veterans who had rheumatoid arthritis, 11.7% had been diagnosed with PTSD.

    “Those with PTSD had faster disease progression, more severe rheumatoid arthritis, and were more affected by the disease progression,” Boscarino said.
    “Compared to patients without a psychiatric diagnosis, a diagnosis of PTSD was associated with a pain score that was a mean of ~1 unit higher when using a 1-10 scale over follow-up (beta=0.96, P<0.0001)," he and his colleagues wrote.
    They also noted that that difference in self-reported pain was "similar in magnitude to improvements in pain attributed to the receipt of biologic anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy."
    "We know the link is there, although we don't know exactly why," Boscarino said.
    The Nurses' Health Data

    While these studies suggested an association between PTSD and rheumatoid arthritis, they were limited in that the study populations consisted primarily of male military veterans and did not address the differential risk according to seropositivity for rheumatoid factor or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide. Some research has suggested that risk factors for seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis differ.
    Nor did the previous research attempt to assess the influence of smoking on the association, which is important because smoking itself increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and "has the potential to be both a confounder and a mediator of the association between PTSD and chronic illness," Lee and colleagues noted.
    Therefore, to further explore these concerns, Lee and colleagues analyzed data from the Nurses' Health Study II, which began enrolling participants in 1989 and includes more than 116,000 women who regularly respond to questionnaires about health and lifestyle, including smoking.
    A history of exposure to traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents, physical assault, and natural disasters was elicited by the Brief Trauma Questionnaire, which was administered to participants in 2008. Factors included were age at the time of exposure and number and duration of symptoms.
    The current analysis included 49,693 women without rheumatoid arthritis or lupus at baseline and who responded to the trauma questionnaire.

    Of these, 14,445 reported having no trauma and no PTSD, 25,486 had trauma but no PTSD, 4,874 had one to three symptoms of PTSD, and 4,888 had four or more symptoms.
    Mean age was 35 and the majority were white. Current smoking was reported by 8% of women with four or more symptoms compared with 5.6% of those with fewer than four symptoms (P<0.0001). Women with more than four symptoms also more commonly reported more than 10 pack-years of smoking (22.1% versus 16.1%, P<0.0001).
    Between 1989 and 2011, there were 239 incident cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
    The increased overall risk for rheumatoid arthritis among women with multiple PTSD symptoms was also seen among those who developed seropositive (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.79) and seronegative (HR 1.97, 95% CI 0.93 to 4.17) disease, although the risk in seronegative patients was not statistically significant.
    A dose-response relationship also was seen for the seropositive group (trauma but no symptoms, HR 1.16, one to three PTSD symptoms, HR 1.13, P for trend 0.05).
    The Smoking Gun?
    The researchers then addressed the issue of smoking as a potential confounder or mediator in the analysis, explaining that "a confounder is associated with both the predictor (PTSD) and the outcome (rheumatoid arthritis) but is not on the causal pathway between the predictor and the outcome." That concern can be assessed by including smoking as a variable in the multivariate analysis, they noted.
    In contrast, "a mediator is associated with both the predictor and the outcome and is also on the causal pathway." To account for this, the researchers conducted a subgroup analysis that excluded women who had begun smoking before the onset of PTSD.
    In the multivariate analysis, the researchers determined beforehand that only a change of more than 10% in the hazard ratio for rheumatoid arthritis could be considered a "meaningful influence of smoking" on the association of PTSD.
    They found that the hazard ratio after adjustment for smoking was 1.60 (95% CI 1.05 to 2.43), which did not reach the 10% cutoff, indicating that smoking was not a confounder.
    In addition, in the subgroup analysis of women with four or more symptoms who began to smoke after PTSD onset, the risk remained similar (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.70, meaning that smoking also was not a mediator and the risk for rheumatoid arthritis was therefore independent of smoking, and that other factors must be involved.
    Further complicating the relationship with smoking is a recently identified genetic association, according to Boscarino.
    "Something interesting we discovered recently is that the CHRNA5 gene that predicts smoking also affects anxiety, fear, and stress," he said.
    He and his colleagues reported that the CHRNA5 gene, along with three other genetic loci "involving biologic pathways encompassing inflammatory mechanisms, nicotine dependence, substance misuse, sleep regulation, and fear circuitry, among others, are associated with PTSD and interact with levels of trauma exposure."
    "It appears that people with PTSD have multiple risk factors. It's not only inflammation, but they also have genes that are associated with smoking and anxiety and also are associated with increased inflammation — there's an overlap," he said.
    Further studies assessing these associations will need to be large and prospective, to consider a possible cause and effect relationship, he noted.
    "And the theory is that if you could treat them psychologically, you should be able to reduce the burden of RA disease," Boscarino said.
    Limitations of Lee's study included the possibility of selection bias and the fact that causality cannot be assumed in the analysis.
    Lee disclosed financial relationships with Forest, Merck, Cubist, Perrigo, and Express Scripts.
    Reviewed by Henry A. Solomon, MD, FACP, FACC Clinical Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
    LAST UPDATED 08.13.2015
    Primary Source
    Arthritis Care & Research
    Source Reference: Lee Y, et al "Post-traumatic stress disorder and risk for incident rheumatoid arthritis" Arthritis Care Res 2015; DOI: 10.1002/acr.22683.


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  2. Here’s a real great Christmas story that was just released by;
    “Truthuncensored” on 17 Dec. 2015.

    Google this;
    “Homeless Veteran Camp Ordered To Dismantle While Refugees Get Food, Cash, Benefits (Video)
    by Lauren Richardson.

    Oh, and guess where this “Christmas Miracle” took place? Phoenix, Az.

    Guess what organizations did NOT help the veterans? The Veterans Administration.

    Guess who was no where to be found? McCain!

    They were told they had to be off the property in 5 days.
    How’s that for “taking care of our veterans?”

  3. Hope everyone had as Merry a Christmas as you could.

    I would agree with Rubens and Graves, but whatever VA management that was above them who had a hand in screwing up 5th he case for firing them needs to be on the Naughty List. The repeated “dog ate my paperwork” excuse is pathetic.
    Others on the list:
    Gibson and Shulkin for their redefinition of accountability.
    McDonald for going AWOL.
    Any management or investigator involved in clearing the thug who beat that veteran to death.
    Any management still retaliating against Whistle blowers.
    The OSC for continuing to close whistle blower cases without taking action against those retaliating.
    Any VA employee refusing to return an email, voice mail or otherwise help a veteran who needs it. The person on VA is Lying trying to get their wheel chair fixed comes to mind.

    Finally, the thug who beat that veteran to death is not on the Naughty List, but joins other VA employees who intentionally cause harm to veterans on the Burn in Hell list.

  4. Merry Christmas too all.had my drs nurse tell me that I could not see any others drs till I saw him. Found out he was out due too having a. Pace maker put in.his name is Dr Britton. Had too go outside too dermatology. the one at the VA did not do anything. told me too put a warm cloth on it.Found out it was squamous cell as well as the too of my right ear.I could go on and on. Then after the c&p evaluation. they said I did not have Copd.took me off that.Dr Britton put me on 2 types. My heart rate was 100.was told the cut off was 102 would ask the ones at the VA .if I do not have these medical problems. why am I taking 7 1/2 pill morning and 6 at night.I will not give up.have more but it’s almost 12 a.m.God bless each of you is my prayer. thanks Ben for keeping us updated.

  5. Hey y’all
    I’m not sure if this is fact, because it’s on Facebook.
    But here goes.

    Seems a couple of vets in Afghanistan wrote to Starbucks and asked them to send some of their coffee to them!
    Well, Starbucks replied with a “NO”! Why? Because Starbucks doesn’t “support the war!”
    How bout that!? Just because Starbucks is against the war, they won’t send a couple pounds of their coffee to the troops defending their measly asses.

    Now, didn’t Ben have something on here where Old McDonald has a few Starbucks in some of the VA’s?

    If this is true. And even if it isn’t true. I won’t purchace anything from Starbucks. Why? Because they charge way too much for coffee!

    1. The Columbus, Ohio VAMC definitely has a Starbucks in it’s brand new facilities because at that time I was lucky to have the bus fare to get to the VA and the free coffee was no more and when I saw mostly ONLY VA Employee paying about $5. a cup of Joe, it angered me because everything was expensive even the cafeteria was not cheap.
      No more occasional Starbucks for me either.
      Maybe Starbucks should just move to Afghanistan or anywhere in that region aside from Dubai, and let’s see how Starbucks fare without that thing called ‘Freedom’. The Taliban and other terrorists would call caffeine “evil”, but will drain them dry like they do with the “Poppy Farmers”.
      Hipster BasTURDs Starbucks

      1. @namnibor
        I did some digging on that “emblem” on the side of the Starbucks coffee cup.
        Seems it’s from a “likeness” of one of the “Goddesses” of “Babylon”, which is somehow tied to the devil. We all learned what happened to that city. Why God “…damned them to speak in different tongues”!

        Also, for the past few years Starbucks has shown they, the upper management, has not supported “Conventional Marriage”!

        Which is why
        I also looked up the “political” agenda of the CEO of Starbucks. It’s far from being impressive!

      2. @namnibor
        I wonder how many in VA upper management has stock in Starbucks?
        And why McDonald or anyone would want Starbucks in a VHA? The cost of a cup of coffee is ridiculous.

        Plus, I agree brother, even the food prices in the cafeteria is ridiculously high. When the wife and I go there. We leave and go to Denny’s (food is better) or come home and make something.

      3. @crazyelf-

        I can tell you the Starbucks contract with the VAMC’s is *not* something Sec. McDonald was responsible for…that would go to McDonald’s predecessor or perhaps the VA Sec. before him…whomever was VA Secretary 2006-ish.
        In the additional years of college I took around 1998-2002 the same disturbing replacement of much more affordable coffee/tea shop options on College Campus were replaced entirely with Starbucks…and this went as far as Starbucks replacing ENTIRELY all other coffee options at the Student Cafeteria…students are not the most money-loaded people unless it’s a well to do mommy and daddy paying for their college, (this was a lessor costing per credit hour State College so not many well to do attended there anyway), and I have always viewed Starbucks as an “Invasion” of sorts in the USA.
        Burnt tasting, over-roasted, and way overpriced and mind you, I consider coffee my “drug of choice’ in this life but it should not cost the equivalent of “Colorado’s Rocky Mt. High” when parsed out into per-cup prices for this hipster brew. In the end it’s just coffee, after all.

        But I wanted to clarify that it was definitely under President George W. Bush where the “free coffee at VAMC’s” was replaced entirely with contracts with Starbucks…which is insult to injury where at the VAMC location on ground floor center and only option, the VA Starbucks, just like the college campus ones, all claimed to have “discounted rates for location” and because I was president of my Student Assembly for 3 years I investigated and found “that discount” amounted to no MORE than 30 cents off per cup on all sizes…which made expensive coffee still expensive coffee and it was the UNION at the College that got Starbucks in to their convenience….screw the poor students, and I highly suspect that the VA Employee Union had MUCH to do with the Starbucks contract replacing the once free coffee to Vets…again, screw the Vets at the convenience of the VA employees whom obviously do not work any faster on high-end coffee than if it were 10 Liter bottles of bacon fat.
        I wonder about the higher ups at VA and their ownership of Starbucks Stock as well. Sorry went on a tangent but if Starbucks “does not support the war”, but at the same time has no moral remorse of KILLING MOST small mom and pop small business coffee shops, and when they place these Starbucks within VAMC’s, Target and Kroger Stores, did you know that those employees working at those “shops within shop” DO NOT get ANY benefits that a “regular Starbucks employee would receive”? So even the SB’s employees get screwed in these contracts….only in America.

        Now, to my budget coffee bean so I can wake-up.

  6. Hey all…I just watched national news CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, a follow-up on the Phoenix VAMC…they still have not hired nearly enough staff and providers and still barely Urology Dept., still have wait lists, but of course that old standard was repeated, “A VA Spokesperson said they have been sending Veterans out to private providers and VA thinks it’s under control…”.

    What was amazing is for part of the story they showed the Phoenix VAMC and an appointment scheduler there at some counter, and the computer screen they were typing into I kid you not, looked exactly LIKE old MS-DOS. Black screens with bright green low res type font…all that was missing was the Nintendo Chip-Tune Sounds from Space Invaders…this placed even more questions on what the VA does with it’s appropriated money??

    It was like the VA has the exact same computers the Air Force had back in 1981 or so, those Sperry Systems things.

    So, Phoenix VAMC is still very naughty.

    1. The VHA computer system runs on MUMPS which is an old dos era code. You are correct they have not updated it since about 1981. This dispite billions and billions of dollars spent since a 1993 Congressionally mandated obligation to update the system. The correct solution would be to have each hospital install modern EMR system like the rest of the country. But VACO wants a Soviet Style central control to all IT systems.

      1. THAT ensures there’s absolutely no chance for accountability when each VAMC operates like it’s the lone island, not so networked together like one would imagine.
        A cup and string connecting another cup is about as efficient. I wonder if the VHA still the OLD dinner plate-sized Floppy Disc Drives or is that too ‘modern’? Are we talking magnetic tape? Amazing. No wonder at least 3 times I can recall they have failed in trying to get the VA to update their systems with various Contractors who must have been laughing all way to bank. Wow!

  7. I am going to keep my list with my local VAMC, the Roudebush VAMC.

    Naughty List:

    Dr. Idahosa (PCP) – refusing to look at my previous VAMC medical records

    Dr. Bolla (PCP) – refusing to look at my previous VAMC medical records, telling me she did not have time to look at them. Inserting so many lies into my record trying to make me look bad. Her notes were misspelled, not complete sentences, and contradicted herself

    Dr. Lynch (PCP) – misdiagnosing me with Osteoarthritis when the Indy VAMC notes clearly show I do not have any form of arthritis. Threatening me to take away my pain med (he finally did prescribe a narcotic pain med for my knees) if I did not give a drug screen before I left the VAMC that day.

    Mary Crawford (Pain Specialist in the Pin clinic) – calling me a drug addict, twisting everything I told her in our appointment, refusing to see what types of treatment I had previously tried to help with the pain in my knees, calling me a liar because she refused to check my records to see if I could take Ibuprofen when she demanded that is what I would be put on for my knee pain even though it is in my record I cannot take Ibuprofen.

    Dr. Atluri (PCP) – refusing to look at my previous VAMC medical records, refusing to answer my questions and concerns, refusing to listen to my side of anything, telling me what is going to happen while I am in her care, refusing to give me a weaning schedule for her weaning plan, refusing to help me with my increase in pain from the weaning, refusing to schedule an MRI when the Patient Advocate informed her to do so.

    Michael Williams (Ortho PA) – refusing to look at my previous VAMC records and informs me that I have nothing wrong with my knees other than age related problems. Did not do an exam yet put plenty of information in my notes stating how he could find nothing wrong with my knees. He told me that if I wanted the type of treatment I was receiving at Seattle, I should move back their because I would not get that here.

    Tina Hewitt-White (Patient Advocate) – Ignoring my questions for help, dragging out anything she said she would do, lying to me, refusing to help by stating that “she is administrative and she has no power to help in any other fashion”, refusing to do her job by passing me to my Psychiatrist and making him my patient advocate even after he repeatedly tells me there is nothing he can do to help me.

    Dr. Rao (Chief of Primary Care) – telling me what I am to do, refusing to look into my concerns, telling me to forget about what has happened in the past with my medical history and focus on what is being done now. Trying to brainwash me into believing that what is being done is the correct thing and the PCP’s at the Indy VAMC have taken my care very seriously and their diagnosis is correct and I should get used to being treated for it.

    Dr. Bashir (Chief of Staff) – Telling me what is being done is in my best interest, all of my PCP’s have looked into my previous medical records and he guarantees that what they are doing is correct, My diagnosis of Chondromalacia Patella from the Seattle VAMC is only a rating diagnosis only and is not what I am being treated for. I will be treated for a different diagnosis and not for my “rating diagnosis”.

    Darlene Cristmon (Psychiatrists) – refusing to renew my depression medication because I have not seen her in a few months and I have put in for a change of provider due to her not wanting to help me when I was having some very bad anxiety and she said she would let me know the next day what her plan was going to be. Her plan was to go on vacation for a week and no one else could help me with my problem.

    Nice List:
    Linda Ritchison (GI Dept.) – She has found something in my abdomen that I have been trying for three years to figure out what the pain is in that area. I still do not know what the treatment plan is going to be so she may be on the naughty list next year.

    Unknown List:
    Dr. Summers (psychologist) – He has been on both sides of the fence. He helps me on some things but sticks behind the VAMC on others. He sometimes tries to feed me the brainwashing BS but I do not fall for it.

    That is my naughty/nice list. I think we all know that the upper VA people are on the naughty list so I did not include them as others on here will take care of that.

      1. F8f, this is so infuriating to see how all of these hacks continue to treat you. Infuriating because it’s clearly how they treat all veterans. You have enough detail on all of this, have you put this in writing to the director? If not, you should detail all of this like you have above. Get a copy of the worthless VA Patient Bill of Rights, and reference what they are not doing according to that document. Hand carry a copy to the Directors office. Your sole question for them is when will they contact you for a specific plan of action to fix this mess. Clearly you have tried the Patient Advocate and Chief of Staff, so ask the Director who from his office will be overseeing this plan. Ask for contact information for that person so you can follow up on what is not being corrected. Make clear you will be providing a copy of this to your Congressman. Make clear you will provide a copy to the IG. None may do anything about this, but it’s worth it to try.
        Contact the House and Senate VA committees, get a contact for a staffer and provide a copy to them.
        The VA hates things in writing because it leaves them little wiggle room.
        In your letter, ask for a meeting with the Chief of Staff and the Privacy Officer so you can provide written comments to them correcting the falsification of your records.
        Ultimately, it may help to get a contact with someone in the media.

      2. F8f, I forgot to ask, but you have said before they are ignoring your other medical records. Are they ignoring what service connected conditions you have? Or just disagreeing on how to treat those conditions? It doesn’t matter either way, but if they are ignoring other service connected conditions, that is a bigger issue than if they are disagreeing with how those should be treated.
        Disagreeing doesn’t matter either since you clearly disagree with how they are treating those conditions, which means they are not involving you in your treatment. You had a treatment plan that you agreed with and it worked for you, now the VA wants to ignore that, disagree with the veteran, disagree with previous doctors and treat you any way they please.
        Ask them why.

      3. 91,
        They are refusing to look at anything from my previous VAMC (Puget Sound VAMC, Seattle WA 663). They are telling me that I do not have my service connected disability which is Chondromalacia Patella, both knees. It is in my award letter stating that I have this as well as instability in my right knee.
        The Indy VAMC states I have Osteoarthritis in both knees and/or “knee pain”. They are not even debating the Chondro, they have examined me and could not find anything wrong (according to them) so they came up with the Osteoarthritis/knee pain. Nothing else. The problem with that diagnosis is the x-rays and the MRI the Indy VAMC did clearly states “no arthrosis”. I have asked the chief of staff Dr. Bashir about this when he was trying to brainwash me with the MRI reports from the Indy VAMC. I asked him to look on that report where it states the no arthrosis, and tell me why I am being treated for something I do not have and after his silence, he changed the subject and would not go back to it. This was on the phone because they know they can say what they want and it cannot be proven that they stated what I am claiming.
        I decided to do almost all of my communication on this via the secure e-mail so I can prove that I have asked repeatedly about all of my problems and can show that I have been ignored or to have a vague answer that really does not relate to what I have asked.
        My soon to be former PCP and I had an agreement for my pain medication to be reduced by 10 tablets every month. First two months were OK, this month she decided to reduce the amount by 40 tablets. I called, e-mailed and asked others about this and her response (which was from someone that has nothing to do with her “team”) was that I should take it up with my new PCP in Jan. because she is not going to change the amount. She is also ignoring my requests for some type of help with my increasing pain during the weaning process. I have received nothing to help with the increase in pain. No one will help with that.

        So yes they are ignoring my previous VAMC medical records.

        They are ignoring my service connected disability of 25+ years.

        I am misdiagnosed and treated for Osteoarthritis when the records from the Indy VAMC clearly show I do not have Osteoarthritis.

        I have never been involved in the treatment plan for me. It has been “this is what is going to happen, this is what you will do”.

        I have asked them “why” so many times and I get responses like:
        your past medical history does not matter,
        I do not have time for that,
        I am evaluating you know, I do not care what the other place has done for you

        I know that my next appointment will include a device (A device I tell what I need so in the store I have a “record” of what to get) in which I might accidently push a button. It may not be right, but what I have been receiving is not right as well.

      4. This is just shocking that they would blatantly ignore a previous diagnosis for service connection like that. I could understand if it were not service connected given the way the VA operates. This is like telling a vet diagnosed and service connected for TBI that they no longer have TBI, but they will provide treatment for migraines. Or like telling me they will ignore the 5 previous knee surgeries but will give me something for arthritis after knee replacement.
        I can’t understand why they would do this other than if they believe the arthritis diagnosis is something they can say is not as bad as the other, therefore you don’t need the pain meds.
        Its shocking the Chief of Staff would be so blatant about ignoring your previous records, which essentially allows everyone else in that facility to ignore them. No wonder Indy is such a shithole. Every provider there would get an attitude like him.
        Clearly they have labeled you as drug seeking, and are ignoring your diagnosis to support that label.
        Have you gone to the director with this? You certainly have enough evidence for someone there to get their ass in a sling. The Chief of Staff and your PCP for starters, that worthless Patient Advocate and the Psych.
        Write a short letter to the Director stating you went to the Patient Advocate who refuses to do their job, that your PCP refuses to include you in your treatment plan and will no longer help you, went to the Chief of Staff who refuses to even discuss your diagnosis, then include a copy of your award letter and ask them why, after 25 years, the VA suddenly refuses to treat your service connected condition. That still amazes me how they think they can just arbitrarily change or ignore your service connected diagnosis.
        Since the Chief of Staff has ignored it, I doubt the Director will do anything, but you might as well document and add him to the list of those ignoring your diagnosis.

        Your only other choices are the IG, Congressmen or the media. Given how worthless those first 2 are, you might have better luck with the media.

        Do you want help contacting them? If so, can you provide an email address? I can try get in touch with some in your area.

      5. 91,
        The arthritis diagnosis is a lie. The very x-rays and MRI which was done by the Indy VAMC states “No arthrosis” which is stating that the imaging shows there is nothing there. This was something that was made up so they could prescribe the narcotic pain medication because they would have had to admit that they made a mistake and I did have the condition I claimed to have. We know that cannot happen.
        I hand carried a summary of my records with the important things highlighted to each of my PCP’s and not one of them took them or even wanted them. I had the same thing on a flash drive and offered to let them have it to look at what has been happening to me for the last 10 years. I carried that out with me as well.
        The Chief of Staff Dr. Bashir, told me that he did not care if I never received help with my pain, I would be weaned off of the narcotic pain medication. He is also basing this off of the misdiagnosis of Osteoarthritis. You are very correct on everyone having an attitude like him. All of my PCP’s have backed up the previous PCP and I am looked at as a liar.
        As you know, I am homeless and I live in transitional housing. I am randomly drug tested at least once a month (I was tested three times in Sept.) and I have passed each one of them. I have the results from the tests and the Indy VAMC refuses to look at those results. I have agreed to come in the day they call me to do a drug screen (after work, of course) and again that has been refused. I am trying to get these results placed in my medical records to show that I am not “drug seeking and/or a drug addict. I have been met with resistance on this. I have had two other notes I have tried to get placed in my records and neither were put in. I finally got my psychologist to insert one of them by asking him to put it in my records via the secure e-mail. He told me that if I ask for him to do that then he has to do it. I am trying to get the random screens I have done to be included in a secure e-mail in their original format but I am still working on getting that to work. The ROI will not insert these because they are not “medically related” I feel this has caused some of the problems as I was not nice (I was not a ranting maniac but I placed what was done/said and inserted my response and/or what happened) about what was happening in my health treatment. I have repeatedly stated in my e-mails a statement which references that I am not trying to obtain narcotics, I am not focused on getting and using only narcotics, I am not lobbying for the use of narcotics, ETC…
        I think the Director must not speak to anyone as every time I have called, it has rang and rang and not once have I talked to her and she has NO VOICEMAIL! Yeah, I am not surprised by this either.
        My psychologist informed me that the Director will not do anything. She will talk to those I have contacted and believe them. Sometimes my psychologist will be on my side and he does give me advice that I have found to be true. Sometimes he feed me BS and I really call him out on this.
        I sent a copy of page two of my decision letter in which it had my newest ratings of:

        Rated Disabilities
        Disability Rating Decision
        right knee instability 10% Service Connected
        chondromalacia patella, right knee 20% Service Connected
        chondromalacia patella S/P arthroscopy with scars (5), left knee (formerly DC 5257) 10% Service Connected

        The above was copied and pasted from the E-Benefits Site. I have sent this to the Patient Advocate so she could see what I have had and her answer was nothing. I was again ignored. I copied and pasted my last C & P exam report by Dr. Schore dated 16 Dec. 2013 from the VAMC in American Lake WA. in which it stated all of my problems found with my knees (ROM, crepitice, popping, grinding, swelling, warmth, pain on ROM, ROM stopped by pain, the instability in the right knee, ETC…)
        I have contacted my congressman, Senators, Ol’ Bob, and others. I was trying to find out who has taken over Hickey’s position so I can send him/her an e-mail or two.
        The media in this state will not touch this because it deals with narcotics and the fact that someone was actually benefiting from taking a narcotic pain medication and was not a drug addict. It you remember the Marion IN VAMC was being investigated for the amount of narcotics they prescribed and the new made sure they had a couple of veterans who stated they are drug addicts now because of the Marion VAMC and their prescribing them the narcotics. Once I get weaned off of the narcotic pain medication and I hopefully still have my sanity, I will be able to get this in the news because I “was taking narcotics but I am not taking them anymore” I only hope I can take the pain that is starting to take a major part of my life now as I am being weaned with NO HELP for the increase in pain. I asked my psychologist if it is going to take me threatening to take my life for them to realize I am in pain and he did not answer. I would not do that and told him so afterwards because that would mean the Indy VAMC would win. That is not going to happen.
        Thanks for offering to help, I am not sure anything will be done unless the whole VAMC come crumbling down and I do not see that happening in my lifetime.

      6. If you go to the media, leave the pain meds out of it completely, and only discuss that they are claiming you have a completely different problem than what you are service connected for, and because of that they are not treating the condition properly.
        If you approach from the point of them completely ignoring your previous records, then the question is why are they doing that. I can see how the media would not touch the problem if the VA can easily blame drug seeking behavior. It sounds like the VA has been telling quite a few that excuse to avoid having to provide care. This seems to be a very standard response from the VA to many…that veterans are just drug seeking. It confuses the hell out of them when I tell them I don’t want pain meds because it just masks the problem, and I would rather have the problem fixed if possible.
        On the other hand, you can pin them into a corner if they want to claim it’s arthritis. Ask them, if you have arthritis, will it get worse over time warranting an increase in your disability, or possible knee replacement. If they want to stick with a diagnosis, make them live with it then.

      7. 91,
        My view is that if I leave out the narcotics, the VAMC will use that against me. They will make up some story and say that I have purposely left the narcotics out because I am a “drug seeker”, or only interested in opioids and nothing else (that was put in my record by the pain specialists because she would not look back at my previous medical records and I tried to tell her that I have tried all the “other” medications and she thought I was blowing smoke to get narcotics). So I am not sure if that would work or backfire on me.
        The part about me having arthritis is a complete lie. I tried to get it in my last request for an increase and I was denied due to “lack of radiographic evidence”. If I tried to go the route you state and force the new knees/increase in my disability scenario, they could look for my real condition and find that the Indy VAMC has cured me (according to the Indy VAMC) so no need for that disability anymore, I am fine according to the Indy VAMC.
        I am also afraid that the longer this misdiagnosis continues the chance of me losing my current and correct disability is increasing. The longer this goes on with no indication of the real diagnosis, the easier it is for the VA to claim that my condition has been cured and I could be liable for back pay or something terrible like that. I would still have the problem but I would not get any help with it. I am 15 months in with not one mention of my real disability. I get more concerned that something bad is going to come of this.

      8. I don’t know what to suggest f8f other than trying to go the route of the Privacy Officer then to correct your records first. Ignore the pain med problem for now, but put the corrections you want in writing to them, which they will ask for to correct:
        1. The diagnosis for which you are service connected for which is XXX, You have been service connected for XXX since X date. Providing a copy of your service connection letter should help, or the VA can easily print out what you are service connected for. State that you are being incorrectly treated for arthritis.
        2. You want the opinion you are drug seeking removed from your record because it simply is not true, and was placed in your record by XXX, pain specialist when you were discussing your prior treatment at XXX for what you are service connected for which is XXX. You also discussed with XXX other medications that you cannot take based on your treatment history at XXX. State clearly that this is the opinion of XXX, and is not based on prior treatment or medical history.
        Either they agree and change your records, or it will help you when submitting a complaint that the Privacy Officer and Chief of Staff are ignoring the falsification of your records.

      9. First of all, “the doctor NOT, was damn brave to even state such!” Trust me, that letter written by a real professional, “CLEARLY STATES MY CONCERN FOR ADDICTIONS!” I am so damn allergic what are my choices really for pain? I call him stupid doctor! QUACK QAUCK AND TONS OF THEM FROM PHOENIX TO DALLAS AND FORT WORTH! I have another strategic approach as well. TRUST ME-“NEVER EVER MESS WITH A PERSON WHO KNOWS HER STUFF!” Sloppy work means no excuses just fired! Hey, truthfully my cousin was laughing at exactly what was stated because it sounded so childish? IT REALLY IS! Look, don’t mess with a group of intellectuals that fear not learning a damn thing! But 91 Veteran, maybe a new angle and approach is needed hopefully I can get someone to definitely see that VETERANS LIVES MATTER! I DO NOT GIVE A CRAP REGARDING RACE, CREED OR THAT STUPID QUESTION “RACE?” ( A DAMN VERB FOOLS!) So let’s think positively the best to go against the best because #VETERANSLIVESMATTER
        HM2/91 but older than that! 😀

    1. Remember, they actually gave the primary reason is that “Gas prices are substantially lower”.
      This certainly means squat to the many Vets that do not even own a car but YET our monthly rent continues to increase as well as food prices.

      While Military, Vets, and Retirees on Social Security get absolutely no COLA but YET Obama wants to provide free housing, food, medical…you name it, to hundreds of thousands of refuges and the potential terrorists within them…but yet nothing for those sent to fight their wars and those maimed from them and returned with heart still beating.

      President Obama should get a stocking full of monkey dung for hating the military as he apparently does.

      1. nam,
        Don’t forget about all the vets that are homeless or in some type of shelter who could desperately use that increase no matter how small it would have been.

      2. @f8f,

        I would actually much rather than receive any COLA increase for a year or two, would rather see Veteran Homelessness and Homelessness period, eliminated.
        It’s a damn shame that such a great Nation can not address this humanitarian issue. Why should the USA take on even more Political Refugees, treat them MUCH better, giving them every benefit under the sun while at the same time having Veterans and Citizens needing so much basic provisions?
        There’s approx. 65,000 Somali Political Refugees in my major metro city…the very same tribal clans from Somalia from “Blackhawk Down”…our priorities are really screwed!
        Your Indy VAMC sounds REALLY screwy! I do not get it why any VAMC should be any different from another if and when relocating to another State and your medical records should be a continuance at new VAMC…not a bashing of God Syndrome Dr. Idiots.
        I would think it would be a huge conflict of interest professionally, for your VA Psych to be assigned as YOUR Patient Advocate…sounds more like they are doing PsyOps Damage Control…at your expense.

        Try to have a Merry Christmas in spite of your current situation. Peace.

      3. nam,
        I may sound insensitive, but I say that we take in the refugees when there is no one standing on a corner begging for money/food/clothes/help. I would be for helping the refugees as they are in a terrible way but we have a huge problem with homelessness that needs to be addressed and fixed. We need to take care of our own backyard first. After that, then we can talk about these situations. I can speak about this first hand, homelessness sucks and I never want to be this way again. I think this makes it more of a sensitive subject for me because I am homeless. I know that when I do rise above this, I will make sure I do what I can to help others.
        Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all.

      4. f8f

        I agree with all you said and do not feel I am insensitive, we just need to do as you say and take care of our own first then consider rest.

        I too have been homeless before. Albeit, briefly, it sucked all the same and reason I do what I can to help others out within my inherent limits from hereon.
        Merry Christmas.

    2. This reminds me…Miller and Isakson should be on the Naughty List for not conducting effective oversight.

  8. Hey all! Remember the recent VA OIG Master Masturbator caught with pants down in all glass office doing what he does?
    Here’s from The Daily Caller today that Freedom Of Information Act Request has been officially refused and discarded by the VA so they can let this pervert “retire in peace”:

    Here’s an excerpt from that article: “[…Christmas came early this week for one of the naughtiest of former Department of Veterans Affairs employees, when VA’s official watchdog spared him the embarrassment of a damning official report about his illegal conduct from being made public.

    The nearly 300-page report describes how the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s former top auditor and investigator spent huge portions of his time at work masturbating, not infrequently in full view of nearby members of the public.

    The VA IG decided earlier this week against granting this reporter’s two-year-old Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the report. The stated reason for the denial is to protect the “privacy” of a man who intentionally positioned himself in an all-glass government conference room so that tourists would see him masturbating.

    Acting VA IG Linda Halliday also refused to release any information associated with serial public masturbator Jon Wooditch. He was deputy inspector general and acting inspector general of the agency…]”

    For the above, Mr. Wooditch should NEVER throw chucks of coal (or whatever) while living in glass house. He’s to be rotated to every cell block with someone named Bubba for rest of his pervert living years. No stocking in fear he would defile it.

  9. It’s not “stalking,” it’s ‘stocking.’ Critiques of performance are generally more effective when properly expounded.
    We note Congress is reported today as approving $4,440,000.00 each for 52 hostages of Iranian students (11/4/79-1/20/80), thus $230Mil. $10K/day seems a little much.
    Some V-N victims of Agent Orange can’t even get a cane from the VA.

    1. True.but they had lawyers.we have no one to go to court for us. They do what they want.until it effects them personally they will never known they pain and hardship it causes the veteran.

      At least Ben has this site.for veterans to speak the truth and truth will prevail in the end.the wrongdoings can’t be hidden forever and those that abuse the system will have their day.

      What goes around comes around.they just don’t known it yet.

      Americans will wake up and demand change and I hope soon.

    2. @BadBud

      May want to give Vets the benefit of doubt when it comes to spelling and syntax errors because you do not know what kind of physical/mental disabilities any given Vet may be living with and you clearly KNEW what was meant in spite of your shedding light on his use of a synonym of “stalking” instead of “stocking”. Your seemingly innocent “correcting” may make a Vet feel even more isolated on such a day as Christmas than they may already feel. An ounce of compassion goes a long ways when you are not walking in same boots as another.

  10. The well known for its retaliatory methods.Veterans across the country will not Speak up.because they live in fear of being called in for another C.P.exam.You tell the staffers how unhappy with the care you receive and the next thing you know. you get called in for another C.P.WOW ALL OF SUDDEN YOUR BETTER and they cut your 100%back to 60%.but you are still using the same walker taking the same meds.Now you have to go thru the appeals again.Now let’s talk about Medicare. WHAT IAM A 100%DISABLED VETERAN ALL MY CARE IS THRU.THE V.A.You are now 65 you have to Medicare so we will be Deducting 118.00 from your S.S.Check .and don’t forget you need a supplement Medicare only pays 80%.BUT I AM A 100%DISABLED VETERAN when talking with S.S.people the only answer I can get is that’s the way it is.I DONT THINK THIS WHAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN HAD IN MIND

  11. I would say everyone of the idiots, from McDonald on down, should get an enema. If they’ve NOT been a “Whistleblower” or received a punishment for speaking up against the establishment, then they deserve a “black ops enema” on Christmas morning!

    My opinion is, if VA employees have done nothing to protect veterans, then they don’t deserve anything! Basically, they’ve added to the “corrupt culture”. They’re part of the “fraud and waste”!

    If they’ve seen “illegal acts” committed against veterans, their required to inform the proper law enforcement agencies.
    We here in Florida can be charged with a felony if we don’t report a crime! I don’t know how other states do it. But here in florida it’s on the books!

    Merry Christmas to all.

  12. Dear Mr. Krause:

    Thank you for your Holiday wishes; I wish the same for you and your family, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I hope it will turn out much better foor all of us.

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

  13. Dear Mr. Krause:

    For me it is very difficult to name and/or demote anyone to the naughty list; the best way of judging this is by wait and see what their promises are and see if they live up to them then according to their deeds we will see where they stand; as the Lord said,”by their fruits you shall know,” and again good trees can not produce bad fruit, and conversely bad trees cannot produce good fruit (paraphrased), we shall see.

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

    1. However, “playing wait and see” and continually “turning the other cheek” does not work at all with the VA because all it does is make the people whom think this way as certifiably “codependent” and “dysfunctional”.
      The VA just let a VA OIG sexual pervert that SHOULD be on ALL Sexual Predator Lists…but the VA just gave him a “free pass”…this was a high ranking OIG staffer that’s supposed to be his and their jobs of holding the VA accountable.
      Policing themselves is not and has not worked. Both cheeks have been slapped and turned to rotting flesh at this point…why continue to give them the benefit of doubt?

  14. VA Secretary McDonald
    ***Naughty List*** For that new “transparency at the VA he promised”
    The only thing transparent has been his presence amongst this scandal-riddled VA and for his repeated dishonesty he shall receive a not so transparent coal enema so we can at least see the sh!t when he lurks about.

    Sloan Gibson
    ***Naughty List*** For so many reasons but topping them off at suggesting the VA be allowed to “redefine” what “accountability means” to the VA.
    Carbon, specifically, Activated Carbon, has been known to be a cleanser or absorber of poisons. Let’s fill his colon with many lumps of coal as well until he completely vanishes. Activated Carbon, VA Style.

    ALL of the VA OIG
    ***Oh so Naughty List*** For too many reasons to try to list but front and center for collectively not protecting VA Whistleblowers and for that, all the VA OIG shall stand rank and file with all VA Whistleblowers with slingshots and buckets of coal as ammo.

    The House Veteran Affairs Committee
    ***Naughty and Rotten List*** For being as helpful to Vets as a case of dead ‘D’ Batteries are to Diana Rubens and Kim Graves. They shall be sent to a coal mine in West Virginia and required to mine coal with nothing but their gavels.

    The Phoenix VAMC and Tomah VAMC specifically
    ***Naughty and Declared Mouths of Hell*** For so many reasons, somehow the corruption has possessed entire properties with absolutely no chance for redemption so for this, these entire structures shall be filled with coal from the basements to the chimneys and carpet-bombed by each Branch of Service to send that evil straight to “Dyslexic Santa”, also known as “Satan”.

    The list goes on and on and on…

    1. Fredrick Harris-Louisiana,VA Medical Assistant that beat 70 yr old Vet patient to death.

      ****Naughty and not yet avenged****

      This Santa would avenge Veteran Charles Johnson’s death at age 70 by placing Fredrick Harris in the North Pole Thunderdome with Steroid Elf.

      North Pole Thunderdome Rules: Two Men Enter, only one leaves after eating loser.

      Merry Christmas, All!

  15. Robert McDonald ~ Should get a Stolen Valor t=shirt that says ” I am special, a special kind of dumb”

    VAOIG- should a denied appropriations notice and have a civilian law firm accountable for audits, healthcare inspections, criminal investigations with grand jury powers.
    Oh yeah, and a “cease and desist order of any form of jackinv off, jncluding a direct order and banishment of fatbody OIGs. Merry Christmas all! 😛

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