Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dennis Needs Help, The VA is NEGLIGENT

"Mr. Magnusen" 36x48x2 oil on canvas

"Dennis Needs Help, The VA is NEGLIGENT"

This has nothing to do with art per say except that my husband Dennis is an artist, he plays guitar and writes beautiful songs. He has written many for me as we were high school sweethearts who reconnected after 30 years. He love me.

I have posted the painting I did of him that was in the Schaefer Portrait Challenge in Hawaii, called, "Mr. Magnusen"

If you know of anyone who might help him or want to pray for him I would appreciate your assistance.

Here is his story:

To whom it may concern,

My name is Dennis G. Magnusen, I used to be a mentor teacher in Hawaiian Gardens, CA. This was a hard place for a kid to grow up, gangs were well established in this area. I taught junior high during the day, home students in the afternoon, and high school "gangsters" in the evening out of a community
store front school. I loved my job; I took it very seriously. I became an educator because of my experiences
in Vietnam; I did not like what war did to people nor to children, therefore, I taught peaceful resolution to conflicts whenever it seemed necessary. I had to quit teaching in 1990 due to the effects of Agent Orange; I moved to Hawaii.

HERE IS THE PROBLEM: My VA doctor of 18 years (Dr. George W. Ross, Chief of Neurology for the state of Hawaii) finally admitted that he knows nothing about my medical condition. He always told me that "I should not be in so much pain" and that "it is not going to kill me". As it turns out, he could not be more wrong.

In early 2008 I was diagnosed with severe small fiber neuropathy from a biopsy that was sent to Therapath Lab,NY. This is a very painful disease that controls the autonomic nervous system; this has never been addressed by the VA. The only thing the VA has done is to load me up on drugs. Most doctors are amazed that I can even get out of bed with so many medications. I need treatment (i.e. IVIG), not more meds.

In 2008 Dr. Ross recommended that I see Dr. Mandaville (at Univ. Calif. at San Diego and also with the VA in LaJolla). On January 15, 2008, I was to meet with the VA's neurologist who was going to turn me over to Dr. Mandeville. Instead, the VA's neurologist (Dr. Vivan) said that they were going to "re-test" me. It has been a year since that meeting and nothing has changed, they schedule me 4-6 months after each test to see a neurologist, and then order another test.

I need help. In December of 2009, I had to go to the ER twice. The first time I went to a local hospital, I was convulsing and could not breathe ( I was throwing-up continuously and therefore could not keep my meds down), the pain was severe. The next day it happened again. This time I went to the VA in LaJolla, a 25 mile drive. I had to wait in ER for 5 hours before being seen. Once again in severe pain. I was admitted for 3 days before being stabilized. I can't help but to think this wouldn't happen if I was not on so many meds.

In the VA's Patient Right's, it states: "You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. You will receive care in a safe environment." I've never felt like I was a recipient of this kind of care, it's more like DENY, DELAY and DEATH.

So far I've been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis ( left hip has had a full replacement, the right hip is still deteriorating), cardiomyopathy, COPD, chronic pain, chest pain, PTSD, persistent insomnia, acute sinusitis, acute tonsillitis, malaise and fatigue, cough, pyronies disease, gastrointestinal motility, and small fiber neuropathy, as well as a few others.

I need help. All I want is a doctor who can help me. There are still things in this world that I want to accomplish. I want the VA to treat me with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual, and give me that care in a safe environment.

Dennis G Magnusen