stuff > post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) email
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Email
- This is a real email I received from an 80 year old woman.
- I am putting this over here to get any advice from anyone who reads this.
- If you do have some advice, click here to email me.
- Her email gets confusing at times, but remember she's 80.
- I don't think I need to reveal her last name/email.
Email from Doris
- To: Chirag Mehta
- Subject: PTSD contributing to death
- Saturday, June 21, 2003 8:38 PM
My Husband was 100% Permanently and totally disabled since WW11. 1945 per the adjucation from a hospital. He was blown up in the air and down to the deck below, when a suicide plane targeted his ship the day before his ship was to return to the states. The other ships in the area were shooting at the suicide plane, no one knows how he didn't get shot in the firing. However, the concushion when it was hit is what caused his injury. He saw a flashback of this life from when he was 3 years old when his younger brother was born and his heart was pounding so loud the rescuer wondered what the noise was.
He constantly (all his life) has flashbacks of this incident...and eventually hid autoimmune system was affected. He had many life threatening surgeries and procedures which exacerbated his nervous condition to such an extent, that when he did pass away from getting a biopsy taken of his kidneys... he couldnt survive another invasive surgery and elected to go to a hospice in lieu of removing his kidney(s)? He passed away at the hospice and his death certificate has renal carcinoma as primary cause of death. However, they did not even know about his military record. I went there immediately, gave them all the legal documents required to have his death certificate corrected to show #2 (contributory cause of death-contributing to but not the underlying cause in #1 (which as I stated above was renalcarcinoma.
Now I do get monetary benefits for living with him for over 10 years and not remarried and he was 100% disabled. When I received the corrected D.C, I called the VA to find out where to send it. I was told to fax it to them, which I did ..then 7 months later when the finally advised me of my monetary benefits, they also advise me he was not service connected because the CDC did not have the raised county seal (which makes it an illegal document).
I appealed that decision. They caused it to occur, and with the same CDC had a hearing to present evidence why I thought it should be service connected. I said I thought faxing the CDC was not a valid reason for making their VA rating not service connected and gave a presentation which included a 6 page listing of hospitalizations (when admitted, reason, and when discharged). It included a Masive Heart ATTACK,5 angiograms which he ended up in the hospital a long time and twice needed to have rehabiitation from hematomas that prevented him from walking. He had two angioplasties with stents put in his arteries and then had to be cleared out from plaque stopping the flow of blood . Then finally had to have a quadruple bypass (where his surgeon told me and 2 visitors that he couldn't find any good veins to work with and he would be lucky to live for 3years.
Now, I had just requested that his VA rating be service connected with the cdc stating it caused his death but not the carcinomal. I just receiveed within the last week another denial. And I am to put in another claim disagreeing with their decision. They wrote that I wanted to change his primary cause of death to PTSD. (WHICK I NEVER DID) the first veteran party I went to for my first claim saw the CDC the analysis which said it could be service connected if it was the primary or contributory cause of death which is why I pursued it. He wrote a claim for me stating I should get the disability indemnity compensation because of the 10 year rule (stated about...but they used it as the second piece of evidence after the death certificate without the seal...but never addressed that. This time they used the same analysis as the first one with just about 4 words changed (refining the sentences). Now they state there is no medical history showing PTSD can cause cancer. I got a few "hits" when searching the internet and had some one print them out for me. They want all new evidence only.
I need some ammunition to fight the VA with. It is matter of prinipal for me. He had been told more than once by someone in the VA that it would be service connected it he got hit by a bus..but instead he got hit by cancer at the age of 79. They paid only part of his burial expense for non service connected (but I didn't care about that really...) But NOW I DO. They were very aggressive with me and kept telling me things that to me were incorrect and even insulting. When i read the results I even cancelled the appointment I had to appeal further up the line of authority, I was so upset. But when I finally did read the last few pages that were written when I never even asked for the pTSD to be the DIRECT CAUSE OF DEATH..just the contributary cause (before he passed away since 1988 massive heart attack until death). When he enteed the hospital the last time and he let them take the biopsy (which he refused many times because he was told if they did do one he never would survive)
Can you give me some advice on where to find some information that would help me so I can proceed with another claim of disagreement.They never want evidence they alreedy had seen. May I use your article?? Please try and give this 80 year old widow a little boost of moral and information I can use regarding PTSD in this instance...factual it has to be. Thank you kindly for any advice you can supply. I was told by a social worker to let it go ..the stress is to much for you.which encouraged me to cancel my appointment. But I THINK of it every night how unfair they were to me so I decided to call and say don't cancel the claim process yet.,I have until Aug 9 and if not done by then, my case will be closed forever. My husband was a was victim and gave his life for his country..I can't just let him down in fighting for the honor of being service connected which he deserves. EVen some articles I can click on will help greatly. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Nevada is not as generous to it's veterans as some other states.
Reply to Doris
Your story has moved me beyond compassion. I am very sorry for the way you have been wrongfully treated. While regretfully, I am not in a position to help you in person or financially, I will try my best to help you do any research online. Feel free to use any article on my website, but since I am just an undergrad college student, I don't think what I have said will hold much value in court. However, the books I read for my 'Trauma & Literature' class were written by eminent researchers, and I can certainly give you more information regarding them.
Judith Herman wrote a book - "Trauma & Recovery" that has a few chapters on PTSD and it's aftermaths. You can find more about the book here. Cathy Caruth compiled a book - "Trauma - Explorations in Memory" which has articles relating Trauma, Aging, WWII (Hiroshima) etc. You can find the book here. Since I still possess a copy of these books, if you give me your home address, I can even mail them to you. I am sending a copy of this email to my professor to see if he can recommend any books, journals, or research material on the subject.
Have hope. It's the only power that drives us all...
- Doris emailed me after a few days to tell me she has found someone locally who is going to help her with everything, and thanked me for my email. I guess that's the end of this. Best wishes to her.