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Are You Or A Loved One With Diabetes A Military Veteran?

A DiabetesTeam Member asked a question 💭

How challenging is accessing medical care and veterans' benefits for diabetes?

posted July 8
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A DiabetesTeam Member

Just to clarify :

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and they have no choice to be on insulin as their immune system has destroyed their pancreas, that part is right they are on insulin, they cannot manage their diabetes with nutrition alone as even activities need to be calculated with their insulin dosage.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed with nutrition and diabetic medications, some use pills, other are on insulin.

Therefore being on insulin does not make a person a type 1 as type 1 is an autoimmune disease. There are many type 2 who are on insulin, but they are still a type 2.

posted July 8
A DiabetesTeam Member

Absolutely no problem at all. After retirement, I began receiving all my healthcare from the V.A. My original PCP at the VA was a fantastic NP who was always sympathetic to my ills. I live about a 15-minute drive from my V.A. clinic, but due to a lack of available cardiac care at the clinic (at that time) this entailed an hour and a half drive to the nearest V.A. hospital at Mountain Home. Due to a bit of a confrontation with the hospital cardiac staff, I chose to move my cardiac care to civilian care in my local town. Having done this and wanting all of my health care to be under one "umbrella," I then moved *all* of my care back to local civilian doctors until the copay for my insulin became cost prohibitive through my Medicare Advantage. I then had to return to the V.A. for my diabetes care with the insulin from them being much less expensive. So, for several years I have gone to the V.A. only for my diabetes care. During that time, I have had to call for unexpected visits only a couple of times which were scheduled within the next two days; and not the "horror stories" that have appeared in the news over the years.

For any who might wonder about that "confrontation," in routine exams, I kept telling the cardiac NP that I was having chest pains, to which the response always was "you just need more physical activity." Well, one night I had another episode of pain and shortness of breath, so I went to a local hospital ER after which I learned that I had a 95% blockage in the LAD (widow-maker). I was transferred to another local hospital to have emergency bypass surgery. A week or so later in the rehab unit, I was told by one of the night nurses that according to my medical records, by all rights I should be dead. All this happening because I should just have more physical activity! After all that, though, my diabetes care at the local clinic has been stellar ... I don't have a single complaint about them.

posted July 8
A DiabetesTeam Member

My deceased husband was a retired veteran with diabetes.

posted July 13
A DiabetesTeam Member

My husband isn't 100% connection as we now have a law suit ongoing for that. So nothing is free from VA except inpatient care.

posted July 9 (edited)
A DiabetesTeam Member

I have had diabetes for 32 years and I am a Army veteran served 8 years. I take Metformin and Glipizide. I do not go to the VA.

posted July 8

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