Friday, October 16, 2015

"Michael" Update

I've been saying God is writing this story - a friend pointed out God has already written the story - and he's revealing it to us at this point. I think, in either case, the comfort is a loving, all-knowing God has a plan. Each sentence, paragraph, page and chapter contribute to the full plot-development.

It's no secret, we would choose to leave out the Parkinson's Chapter of this story, but we are coming to see God will be glorified in it and we will be matured in our faith as we walk it out. We are learning to live fully in the present and not borrow trouble from the future.
There are a few paragraphs in this chapter which have caused a bit of unease.

We were told a local physicians board would submit Michael's package of conditions to the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC), they would convene a medical board, decide on Michael's disability and help us work through the VA claim before they discharged him from Active Duty. This meant another 6 - 18 months of active duty. We weren't thrilled about going back on Active Duty.  We WERE thrilled at the idea that men and women, whose job is to work these claims through the VA system, would be handling the details.
We were surprised this week when we were told the local physicians board decided Michael should be "returned to duty," rather than have a medical evaluation board. His package was not forwarded to AFPC. This means he will report back to Beale, continue terminal leave and retire on 1 Nov as planned. He will pursue treatment and the VA claim on his own.  The local board felt, I'm sure, they were doing us a favor by letting us retire rather than brining us back on active duty.

This part of the story is done. We cannot change it. We will return to Beale, try to make connections with a VSO (Veterans Service Organization) which may have answers for us.  We know there are GOOD VA offices and people who work in the VA system who want to help vets. We are praying to find these people and offices. Some questions we are working through....we currently have a neurologist in CA who we trust. The plan had been we would be active duty and continue with her as treatment begins and then transfer to another neurologist when we were discharged and moved to a new state of residence. As retirees, we want to establish residency in another state. We need to decide if we stay in CA or try to find a reputable neurologist in another state. We also need to go to that state in November to get vehicles and licenses updated as we'll not be active duty any longer and must dot the i's and cross the t's again. ::grin::  We aren't sure if we need to submit our VA claim in the state we plan to be our legal domicile or if we can submit it anywhere.....and we have to be nearby for VA docs as well. Lots of details to consider - details which we thought would be taken care of at a slower pace while Michael was active duty.
We've been told by one doc to "continue living life" when he starts treatment and another doc seems to think he'll be incapacitated and needs to stay in the area.

The good news is as retirees, we can make our very own decisions about Michael's care and we aren't tied to the Beale AFB area for that care. There is also a chance that we'll be able to get back to Japan as missionaries sooner if we aren't active duty for the next year.


Renee Gardiner said...

Very thankful that the AF is not putting your life on hold by returning dh to active duty.
Praying for a smooth resolution with VA benefits -- it's a slow process no matter what. Fwiw, my dh doesn't go to a VA clinic for his health issues -- he uses the military clinic on post and we pay for Tricare Prime for the family

Laura said...

I have been praying for you all a lot lately. You come to mind often and I just stop and pray. Will continue...

Anonymous said...

HI: Dad/I are with you all in spirit and in prayer as you travel this road. So much prayer on a continued basis for you all.

Actually we have 6 kids, 14 G'kids and 2 1/2 G'Grand kids to pray for each day and often. Love that we can pray even tho we are not always able to be close to you all.

Will be praying that you get the best of doctors in the place you land etc.

God Bless you all ------------ love/prayers - mom t.