By Thomas Avery White·
The nature of dysautonomia is that the brain and the body don’t communicate well. Standing up causes normal bodies to have an increase in blood pressure, but my brain tells my body inaccurately that my BP is too high, and therefore to initiate all the factors to lower it….and drop it does, often to 70/40. This sometimes causes me to walk like a drunk, and other “un-fun” effects.
So when I had bypass surgery, I was fore-warned that I could have a tough time just getting over the general assault on my body, independent of the good effect of better blood flow in unblocked arteries.
For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve had the bizarre combination of numbness, but also a tingling “funny-bone” type pain all around my surgical scar. Three months ago I decided to go back to my VA rep to investigate an increase of my compensation rating, i.e. more money.
Bless the VA’s heart. I was told that a favorable ruling would be extremely “iffy”, and that the form which had to be completed by my doctor was 27 pages long!
Most veterans can remember how the official part number for a piece of military equipment was sometimes longer than the item itself. The tiny can opener that came with our “C-Rations” is a good example, so I knew better than to even ask if there was something less burdensome for my sweet lady doctor to provide.
I took the forms into her office, apologizing all the while as I explained how I needed a “killer” explanation within all that paper, of how I actually DID have a secondary issue in addition to the bypass, which deserved VA consideration.
All my offers to pay her were declined. Both her parents were CIA in Vietnam, causing her to have a true heart for Vietnam Vets.
About a week later, I received the bundle of completed forms which I immediately took to the local VA office. I was relieved that I had followed through with my part, but also quite aware of the typically long period before usually receiving a FIRST denial, and then having to decide on whether to appeal, or just give up.
Meanwhile back at the homestead, shingles from my 30 year old roof were daily floating down to the ground.
Hating to hire a large company so I could pay with a credit card, I had earlier decided to dip into my emergency fund and hire some good ole boys. Problem was, lots of medical bills had depleted my reserves to the point that a new roof was at least a year or two away.
The only item in my monthly budget that I could divert to “roof money” was my tithe. With my bypass “bump” in my VA pension, I had finally been able to monthly support my favorite missionary. I came very close to cutting that amount in half, but JUST couldn’t follow through. I felt a strange satisfaction as I mailed the usual full amount.
Only a few days later, I was checking my credit union checking account, and was shocked to find more than enough money to replace my roof.
It had barely been 3 months since turning in those 27 pages, and I had (and STILL haven’t) not received ANY response. I spent hours navigating the VA website, finally discovering a $200 per month increase, but instead of getting only 3 months back pay, I got the full 2 1/2 years’ worth of increase.
As the old time preachers often said, “You can’t out give God”.
I felt the Lord smiling as I ordered my beloved doctor a dozen Sharri’s Berries, while sitting securely under my new roof.
“TELL THEM WHAT GOOD THINGS THE LORD HAS DONE FOR YOU” (Mark5:19)