When doctors in the private sector couldn’t diagnose Tom  VA stepped in.

When doctors in the private sector couldn’t diagnose Tom VA stepped in.


[MUSIC]>>TEXT: Tom, Air Force Veteran,
VA, Health care>>SPEAKING: I’m Tom. I was in
the Air Force from 1969 through 1973, and I was an instructor
pilot for T-38 aircraft. Well, I’m very disabled right
now. I can hardly walk. My hands don’t work properly. I have a
terrible tremor when I try to do anything with my hands. I went
to VA in 1997 because the private sector couldn’t figure
out what was wrong with me. It’s a very rare disorder. It’s
called a demyelinating neuropathy, or their specific
term it’s called an anti-MAG neuropathy. MAG stands for
Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein. But private sector couldn’t
figure out what was wrong with me, and I couldn’t work because
I’d lost my job, so I’d lost my health insurance. And so I went
to VA, and at that time they were letting people in like me.
I wasn’t Service-connected disabled, but they let me in,
and they figured out was wrong with me and treated me for it.
So I owe my life to VA. I do. They were very careful
about making sure I came in every year for a checkup, and
check my blood, and preventative medicine. They were very good
at that. Most VA hospitals are teaching hospitals, so
they generally have professors that are over the interns and
the residents in the hospital, teaching
them, and they’re from the medical universities. So I
had some of the best neurologists in the state
working on it because they were up on all of these things
because they were professors at the medical school. And so they
sent me to the neuromuscular clinic. And they did whole
batteries of different tests, MRI, and blood tests, and nerve
conduction studies, and EMGs, and I mean you name it. They did
a whole battery of tests. And that’s what’s nice about the
system, because I don’t have to pay for those tests. And they
seemed to be willing to order them. I have my hearing aids
from VA, and they paid for them. And I have them on now, and I
have orthotics that they pay for, that they help with. And I
just had my prostate removed, and that was by one of the
better doctors in Utah, surgeons, and that didn’t cost
me anything. So I would say that the health care system is
great.>>TEXT: Don’t miss out on
benefits you may have earned. Visit VA.gov

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