Sunday, January 27, 2013

What abuse, This abuse: A day in the life of A Vet at GRH4V.

I am a veteran at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  I would like to tell you about my day and the atrocities I face.

I am woken up around 6:30 in the morning.  That is assuming I am asleep because during the night, my room is frequently entered and the lights are turned on to make sure that my roommate and I are asleep.  My roommate is but the overhead lights turned on wakes me up.  Anyways, at 6:30 in the morning, I am asked for the Depends I wear.  Rather than give me a clean pair, I am told to wait and be patient and someone would be around to assist me in getting dressed.  It is now 9:30 in the morning and I am forced the indignation of being naked.  I am still waiting for my meds which should have came at 8:00 am.  By this time, I have buzzed the nursing station several times.  I require an oxygen treatment twice a day.  That is suppose to happen at 8:00 am and when I go to bed.  I have endured trouble breathing during these hours in the morning and have called for help.  Nobody comes......Nobody comes.  I got yelled at the other day when I managed to crawl on the floor to get my Depends and clothes.  Here I am, a 100% service connected disabled veteran and I have been forced to crawl on the floor to get my clothes.  Such indignation.
I recently was hospitalized with pneumonia and an accelerated heart rate.  I was told to take it easy.  When I returned to the Veterans Home, they took away my electric scooter.  They said I was driving it recklessly.  I now have to use a manual wheel chair.  So much for taking it easy.  If you have ever pushed yourself in one of these, it is no easy chore.  So much for the home following doctor's orders.
I need to tell you that I have been ordered by the home to take behavior modification medicine or they will kick me out of the home.  If they would allow me to go home, that would be wonderful but Nooooo, that isn't the case.  They want to place me in a private nursing home and they want me to pay for it myself.  Isn't that nice of them.  Fortunately, I have been told by my service officer that they have to use my VA insurance.  I should tell you that my Service Officer received an e-mail from Sarah Dunne who informed him that I wasn't being kicked out of the home.  This was a trick played on me by the medical staff. 
This behavior modification medication they want me on is real special.  It gives me bad dreams.  It causes me to hallucinate.  Basically,  they want me a zombie.  They don't want me to express my rights or my anger.  Gracious, what do I have to be angry about?  We won't discuss the fact that the Social Worker assigned to me lied and got the Kent County Probate Court involved in my case, assigning me a guardian and conservator.  We won't discuss that this Court banned me from contact with my wife for 14 months at the request of my guardian.  I thank God daily that I am now able to see and talk with my wife.  We also won't discuss the fact that my guardian spent in access of $16,000 for lawyers to file for a divorce that my guardian wanted, not me.  She has the financial resources to pay for an attorney that has agreed to take my case but he is asking for a 42,500 retainer.  The guardian won't allow me to hire an attorney to get her sorry butt removed.  I guess I shouldn't be angry about that either.  I had a care conference a month or so ago.  My wife wasn't invited to it and a member of the Military was told by my guardian that he couldn't be there either.  I guess I shouldn't be angry about that either.  There is a long list of things I should not voice my anger about but I don't want to bore you with my problems.
Around 10:30 am, I am finally dressed.  It is now close to lunch time and I have to figure out how to handle a food tray and a manual wheelchair.  I haven't mastered that yet but I am getting better at it.  The food is still horrible here.  I am allergic to seafood so guess what I find on the menu for lunch.  FISH.  There is no alternate meal anymore.  I drink the milk and the dish of fruit.  Something is better than nothing.
I haven't had a shower in a week.  I am suppose to have one on Tuesday and Friday.  They won't allow me to take one by myself.  The gal that gives me a shower isn't real happy with me either.  She repeatedly fails to get the soap off me or my hair.  I have a skin condition which is irritated by this and now I have dandruff.  I guess I am not suppose to be angry about this either.
I don't know if the people around me are union or non-union.  I know that none of them are dedicated to the care of me or the other veterans around me.  I have had male nurses raise a closed fist to me.  My medical needs have been ignored by all.  They have attempted to strip my dignity and self respect every chance they get.  I was reading about all the rights that prisoners have.  The counseling.  I have to wonder why an inmate gets what I have been begging for.  But I can't get angry about that or voice my concern because I am not suppose to. 
This is quite a system the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has.  I was supportive of the privatization in hopes that the bad care givers could be dismissed without dealing with the Union.  All I want is to be treated with the same love and care I had when I was an active member of the Navy.  I loved my country then and I still love it now.  Why doesn't this country love the veteran?

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