By Greg Goettsch, Founder & Executive Director Qualified Listeners
As a combat Veteran and a user of the VA and private sector medical care, as I discover and learn things, I wish to share them with you. There is no reason for all of us to step in all the potholes….
PSA - If your PSA reaches 4.0, see a urologist and get a biopsy. My doctor did not worry about it, “ah, older guys have higher PSA readings." However, I pulled the trigger at 5.8 and learned I was at stage 3-c prostate cancer. My treatments seem to be working, but I believe PSA numbers should be studied and acted upon.
Accessing the VA - If you are not using myhealth.va.gov, you are missing out on stress relief. I communicate with all my VA doctors there, track and fill my prescriptions, and ask many questions. I get responses within one day (24 hours). It is incredible.
VA Mileage Reimbursements - Inside myhealth.va.gov is a site called BTSSS. If you cannot find it, once on the myhealth.va.gov site, send a message to Beneficiary Travel, and they can help you get going. This system pays within days, not weeks or months.
Heart Issues - If you are short of energy, or lethargic for a long time (not normal for you), or short of breath more than it used to be, or you can feel your heart beating oddly, or you are more irritable than usual (your spouse will know), then perhaps have your heart checked out. I went in for eye surgery to be told during pre-op that my heart was doing weird things, and they suggested my next stop should be an ER which I did. Over the next three months, I wore a heart monitor taped to my chest, had a heart echo, and backed off on caffeine. Then, on February 1, I had an angioplasty during which they installed a stint in a 90% plugged artery. The following month, on March 4, I went through cardiac ablation to treat heart arrhythmia. To decrease irregular heartbeats, the team entered a blood vessel just below my belly and took in welding cables, drop lights and ablated a section of the heart muscle. This reduced my PVCs from 37% at the time to less than 10%. I feel much better, so you are also having issues, don’t mess with it; get it checked out!
Doctor Advice - Doctors are in a profession they call "practice" for a reason. They work hard to predict your future but cannot do so consistently. You must take control of your health. If you cannot get a computer or don’t know someone to help you, find someone: a daughter, niece, nephew, uncle, or neighbor. You need to be informed and sometimes by more than one doctor. As I experience and learn new things, I will share them here. Feel free to call me with any questions at 720-600-0860