There I was, surrounded by the enemy, knee deep in bandoliers, grenade pins everywhere, and then things got ugly.
Oops - that is how good war stories start. Actually, this post is about a different battle: fighting the Veterans Administration to have my disability rating increased since my initial award of 20% for diabetes back in '94.
About two years ago I reopened my claim to obtain consideration for the worsening of my diabetes and to include complications that have affected me since then. After countless fits and starts, and the kind of frustration and apprehension that is best described as what a prospective homeowner goes through waiting for their mortgage to be approved, I finally go an answer yesterday.
My diabetes was upgraded from 20 to 60%. Of the complications I claimed, atherosclerotic heart disease was granted at 60%, autonomic neuropathy at 30%, peripheral neuropathy on my left side at 40% and 20% on the right side. Hooray!
Now to give you a taste of how the VA operates, if you add all that together it comes out to 210%. Not so fast. They use their very own system of arithmetic which means that 60+60+30+40+20=95. Keep that in mind when you wish for government health care.
The lesson learned: file the claim right, thoroughly document everything and have great patience and sometimes great things will take place!