This blog post was originally written a few months ago around the beginning of summer, but I never took the time to finish it and put it up after getting my initial thoughts down. In light of recent news on this front though, I decided to post it to catch you all up on what's been happening with Mr. L's situation. It's not terribly optimistic so I apologize in advance for that.
Mr. L is now officially starting the medical board process. For those of you who don't know, a med board (MEB) is basically what happens when a servicemember has been injured or taken ill while on active duty. The Navy decides through a board if the servicemember can be declared fit for full duty once again or separation from the military is the best course to go. The board also decides what sort of disability rating the servicemember gets if separation is imminent.
So for the next stretch of time (I'm unsure as to exactly how long), we will be attending many appointments to prepare all of the documentation needed to be sent to D.C. for his board. We aren't happy -- how could we be? -- but we are both slowly accepting that the military may not be the right place for Mr. L at this point in time. That in itself is such a weird thing to say, though. The military is all he's ever wanted, so how could we have even gotten to this point at all?
If there's one thing we've learned throughout the past year-plus through this process though, it's that real life healthcare is not like an episode of Grey's Anatomy or House. Doctors don't give a crap about "figuring out" your condition and trying to "fix you." They don't give a crap about solving your puzzle of an illness. They just want to get their payout and maybe prescribe you a little medicine to tide you over while they move on to the next patient until their day is done.
|Here is a funny Liam picture to cheer you all (read: me) up while reading this post.|
Don't misunderstand me -- we've had some great doctors helping us through this situation. Mr. L's PCM has been so wonderful to us and a lifesaver for our morale. The ophthalmologist we saw for a couple of months back last year was genuine, kind, and always made sure Mr. L had a direct line straight to him for emergency purposes (which led to him advising us to head to the ER for an MRI over a year ago now after his eye pain became crippling migraines). And his acupuncturist has been so patient, kind, and willing to listen whenever he needed to express any thoughts or concerns.
At this point, however, it's just hard for us to remain positive and hopeful, especially after our (third) neurologist informed us that Mr. L's condition isn't a neurological issue, which couldn't be farther from the truth. It may not be diagnosed at this time, but it is DEFINITELY neurological -- most likely a cross between trigeminal neuralgia (or another kind of neuralgia) and cluster headaches. Trust us when we say that we will be attempting to find a new (this'll be the fourth, if you're keeping count) neurologist if it's at all possible -- healthcare for active duty is so restrictive sometimes.
But now we wait. We're praying we get some kind of good news that we can hang onto during this process and that it comes sooner rather than later. I guess we'll see. Until then all good thoughts and prayers are very, very welcome!