Veteran’s Affairs Claims: Sit & Wait Game Continues
VA claims are currently taking a minimum of 6 months to go through…. The good news with this is that once you submit your claim your compensation is back dated to the day that it began, (if submitted within 1 year of the change of status). Meaning, if you are discharged from the military you have 1 year to submit your claim from your EAS date to receive back payment. If you submit it after that one year of being out it starts from the day you submitted your claim. I was lucky enough, almost a decade ago, to start my claim right after I was discharged, it took only a couple months back then for everything to go through and I was back paid to my date of separation. However, now with there being so many that are in the process of getting out it is WISE to start your claim 6 months PRIOR to getting out. This way all of your VA medical exams are completed and the sit and wait process will start upon EAS instead of waiting for so long once you are out. If anything more were to happen in between you are always capable of adding to your claim. And there is the possibility of secondary conditions that may take place over the years in relation to conditions you previously claimed. I have a couple secondary conditions that I still need to claim, but just don’t seem to find the time to get it done. Carpal tunnel and slipped discs in my neck are related to my lower back injury that took place while I was active duty. I have all the documents, xrays etc for it, just need to make an appointment with my VA rep to go over everything and start those claims.
Then there are dependents. You can claim your husband/wife, child/children/step child, or parent as dependents. It does raise your compensation amount. I am still currently waiting for my claim of my husband to go through back from Sept. But will get back paid for the extra amount of him whenever it does go through. Then there will be the process of adding our little one when he is born…. That will be another loooonnnngggg wait for that to go through too.
I know of several people that are out there waiting for these compensations to go through. People that are in dyer need of that tax free income….. Almost all of these claims are electronic. And I and my VA rep friends/co-workers (co-workers because we all help transition military members out, not because I work for the VA) have stated that someone in the VA Central Office and Satellite Offices are not doing their jobs in any type of efficient manner. Each of us would be able to process/enter at least 100 claims a day. My take is that they are just looking at job security and that doing the minimum is “okay” while our Veteran’s out there who are trying to get by and who have been cut from the military out of no-where while planning on making it a career due to down sizing are basically being put on the back burner…… It is complete CRAP that it would take so long for these Heroes to receive what can help them make it through their transitioning process…..
Just my current rant that I see on a daily basis with where I work and what I have experienced.
Monday was spent relaxing and napping while waking every 30 min, then picking up the man-child to take him to his dental appointment. After we went and indulged mommy’s new craving and one of little man’s new favorite drinks from Dairy Queen.
Hawaiian Blizzard… So yummy!
Jake’s Arctic Rush
Came home and relaxed. Hubby made dinner and we decided to go on out to Lowes to buy the new fridge. But the door bell rang and there were our friend’s Chris and Rick (his dad) and behind them was Baby Blue!!!!!! Little sneaks!!!! They drove her out to us! They told us that they received 2 offers from guys just on the drive out and gave me their cards… lol… might be something I’m willing to consider if the price is right. Immediately little man and I hopped into the front seat and took her for ride down the street. Hubby and son drove her to Lowes (his first time driving her) while I followed behind, just in case. 😉 Got there with the intention to buy a top freezer fridge and then saw a bottom freezer one with tons of fridge room…. For less than $1,100 with 4 year warranty!!!! Hubby wanted it more than the other one so we went with it and it will be here next week! Yay, no longer will have to defrost the milk in the morning… hahaha!!! I drove Baby Blue back home. Got her up to 55…. Speedometer is off a bit too because hubby said I was going 60-65……. But she sounds soooooo awesome and drives great!!!!! Now normally I can handle the smell of the engine/car…. But during the drive it was making me a bit nauseous….. Whihttps://youtu.be/w8HZ_nwp7dAch means if I don’t sell her this little man needs to come out soon so I can drive her without feeling sick!!!
I have been trying my hardest to take it easy and we will see next Monday how big baby is and what we’ll be doing the following weeks. We both decided after the last appointment that a c-section would be the best option for delivery. Went over everything with the docs, including the med records from when the 7yr old man-child was born and it was not leaning anywhere close to being favorable for me having a VBAC…. So instead of going through the pushing stress and baby not being able to even pass through because I am too small and/or putting baby through the stress and having to go into a c-section or emergency c-section we’re going to try and just schedule for it to take place… Either the first or second week of April since they schedule at least a week before due date…. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go back to work for the last week or two, but the hubby is pretty adamant that I stay home. I’m getting a little taste of being a SAHM. Not so bad…. But it is driving me crazy that I can’t do even half of what I would normally do…. That will change after baby comes of course and I won’t feel so utterly useless…..
I have been in a mood lately….. Well not just a “single” mood…. Let’s just say the husband quoted the movie Knocked Up yesterday about “Crazy F’n Hormones” and keeping them happy…. LOL…. Yesterday was a FULL day! To the nail salon for having my toes done and then out to NB to find a dress for the ball in 4 days. No luck. Purchase present for Jake’s buddy’s birthday and back to base for his birthday party at the bowling alley. From there out to J-Ville to continue the hunt for a baby BUMP dress. Is it me or are dresses these days focusing on BRIGHT, BLINDING, NEON colors? Out are the days of classy, sophisticated, sleek and sexy? Sigh…… Was able to locate a nice green dress at J. Nicholson but then decided the price of $199 for a dress that I didn’t completely fall in love with and would only get because it did fit nicely over me a Mikey was not worth it….. So off we were again. Now I will say this…. All my ball gowns, school dance dresses, etc from the past have been over $100 topping off at a little over $400…. Not a price range for this particular dress that I wanted to be anywhere close to. So with one more place in mind we went and now I have purchased 3 dresses, 2 long, 1 short all together for Under $100!
Why 3 dresses? Because Lord only knows what mood I’ll be in and how I will be feeling come Thursday…. Yes… It has come to even me being taken over by my crazy hormones and mixed feelings about getting all dolled up and going into public with the big baby belly. :-/ But I did buy a pair of cute flats to dance the night away in :))) That is a part of the evening I am looking forward to most! I love dancing and I love dancing with my hubby, so this event should be fun fun! The last time we have been out dancing (not just dancing around the house) was in July…. around the same week Baby Mikey was conceived actually…. LOL.
Well, after the mini dressy attire shopping spree (during which the guys made their way to a game store) I was able to make my way to Kirklands….. That store and Pier One are the devil…. I was capable of containing myself this time with the thoughts of the few items that are a MUST get for Baby B before his arrival, but I seriously dreamed about half of the things I saw and wanted in a dream filled with getting rid of all the old decor and revamping the house with all new items…. A complete HGTV show of our house in my dream… LOL
After all of the shopping we went on to the movie theater and caught the showing of Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D. I was disappointed with it, thinking there would be light sabers and lasers coming out at us and so on…. But, Jacob loved it and is looking forward to the others coming to the big screen again!
Finally once we got home and got him to bed I laid myself down in the shower and relaxed under the rain water shower head with pandora music streaming in the room…. It was then that I noticed how swollen my feet were….. The baby weight and hours of walking/being on my feet did take its toll after all… Enter bed and begin those dreams of redoing the house decor and putting down the new flooring. At least the latter will be done in the next month! :))
I will be signing under choosing a VBAC!!! :))
The day started with having to wake up earlier than I normally would for a paid day off. Today was the big appointment that I have been waiting weeks for. The appointment to be seen and get the ball rolling on giving birth to our son via VBAC. I hardly slept a wink last night, my mind was going a million miles an hour and it didn’t help that the power kept going out leaving me without a fan and messing with the alarm clock. Anxious, Yes. Excited to be seen at one of very few Baby Friendly Rated hospitals throughout the US (maybe about 100 of them all throughout the US), definitely!!!! After a long detailed appointment (which has been completely lacking with the other location I had been going to) I was and am more confident in giving birth to our son naturally now more than ever before. Of course, they did explain the possibilities of the most severe complications (which I admit does scare the crap out of me) but even with that it is so rare that these happen (1% of births via VBACs) that I am sucking it up and going for it. My hubby is happy that I decided to do so. :)) Me…. I’m nervous. Will I do so without medication, no. There are those women out there who do so without anything, and that is great, god on them! But me, when it comes to the back labor I went through with my first son, there is just no way. Since I am considered a “high risk” pregnancy, I will more than likely be going out to this hospital for appointments once a week until the birth. 55 days to go! 🙂
http://www.acog.org/For_Patients – Excellent resource for us preggo folk.
After the appointment we went to a second hand store called Once Upon A Child. Let’s just say that we were there for over an hour!!! It reminded me of a store back in Aurora, CO called Kid to Kid. This place was amazing! A bit overstocked and overwhelming, but still an absolute gold mine for kids clothes and toys! Ranges were from new born to preteen in clothing and new born to older toddler with toys. We managed to find numerous toys from the baby’s wish list there for a quarter of the price in excellent condition! Then with summer coming up we were about to get our 7 year old new (used) name brand shorts in perfect condition, and of course I caved in and found a couple more baby clothes…. I need to stop buying clothes for the baby… Clothing wise we are pretty much set, especially with my father shipping out baby clothes that I had saved from when our 7yr old was a baby. He’s also sending out our son’s old bassinet!!!! (This is another one of the few things I just could not ever part with). SO excited to finally start setting everything up. Oh! And we managed to find a $130 excellent condition stroller for only $40 off of the local yard sale website out here. Yep, thrifty shoppers indeed. (The only things I will not by used are a car seat and crib.) We did find the perfect crib at Target for under $150, this will be something that we get for baby Mikey when he is close to out growing the bassinet. We did cave and buy a new pack n’ play from Target today…. Haven’t been able to find a decent one through yard sales or craigslist. (This will be something we hold onto this time around though, of course I kick myself in the butt for all the things that I have sold via yard sales and second hand stores throughout all these years….) And, we still have the highchair our son originally used that I love so much and just never could part with. (It helped that my friend Ashley used it for her two boys as well!) :))
All in all, today turned out to be a very productive Baby B day and his Big Brother did great throughout the entire crazy, run around day!! :))) Now…… To just get this house in some sort of order….. Sigh…. 😝
So I know it has been over a week since I last updated with words. (I missed my Motivation Monday post because I really wasn’t too motivated with 103.9 fever…. YIKES!) Oh where to start! Last week was extremely busy. I went into work and showed the baby off again, caught up on the latest, and attempted to infiltrate my computer. Having been shut down for so long and being run by NMCI, the damn thing did not want to load in the timely manner I needed it to. So I let it be and told it I would be back. Thursday I had my post-op appointment. In all honesty I drove 2 hours for the doc to ask if I was having any postpartum depression….. Really? Couldn’t just ask me that shit over the phone or send me the 8 question questioner via email? At least while I was out there I was able to get the baby’s birth certificate and some Jimmy John’s, (that place was my crack while I was pregnant). Now the littlest man is signed up in DEERS and TriCare. Check that off the never ending to-do-list!!! The husband was busy all week with getting everything arranged for his units static display at the Air Show. He came home one day looking part lobster, part raccoon…… Sunblock anyone??? All I thought with this was it better not look like that next weekend (which is now this weekend coming up) because we have family and baby pictures scheduled with a family friend out in J-Ville. Timeless Photography. I have been wanting to have her do pictures for us for a couple years now and am so excited that she worked with us to have them done on a weekend! Her hubby is a co-worker of mine (per-say) with the VA and their oldest son Chris became a great buddy of ours over the past couple years. Her hubby Rick has been a huge help with my 67 Chevelle and getting it running (now she chirps during take off and sounds f’in aggressive). :))
This past Friday night we attended the Cherry Point Air Show’s night show. That was fun and our 7 yr old Jacob had a blast. He had a slight cough but I really didn’t think much of it. He was acting fine. This also happened to be our newborn son’s first Air Show (he slept through 90% of it, until of course he was hungry and needed to be changed). Come Saturday though Jake was irritable but still wanted to go to the Air Show. Baby Mikey had been a bit irritable too but I chalked it up to him having a growth spurt and eating every hour to 2 hours. The Air Show went over well with a few breakdowns from both kids. Hubby was able to get tickets to sit in the Blue Angel box seating. That was awesome and our oldest loved it at first. Then it became boring/he wanted to go on the tanks more than watch the show. Sometimes I don’t get that kid… Luckily I “convinced” him to hang out there and we’d do all the other activities the next day, because soon after we were invited to meet the pilots and have a picture taken out on the flight line by one of DH’s bosses. AWESOME!!!!!
However, after that I took the boys home and that was it. All three of us were sick. Lucky for us it has only been fevers, coughs, stuffy noses and body aches. I have blown through (literally) 2 boxes of tissues already. BLAH. Thanks you to my little 1st grader for bringing home the crud. I hate the fact that I catch colds/bugs so easily! I hate that our newborn caught a bit of it too. 🙁 He does not like having his nose cleared with suction, he screams like I am doing the worst possible thing in the world to him. LOL. Ok, it is a little amusing but having to hold his head still is almost a two man operation! He hasn’t had a fever thank goodness. But of course I started questioning breastfeeding him while being as sick as I was. Then I found this article “When a Nursing Mom Gets Sick” It has some great information throughout it and on Tuesday at his 1 month appointment the doc said not to worry about feeding him, he’ll get the antibodies from me and that he is perfectly healthy minus the congestion.
So at his appointment on Tuesday he was 10.5lbs and 23.5in tall!!!! That little booger gained 2lbs in 2 weeks! :)) Even daddy was saying how he is getting heavy while holding him at the Air Show.
Breast milk, it does a baby good! :))
So, since Sunday the boys and I have been home, resting, getting rid of the crud….. It has put a damper on my exercising and being able to sleep while baby sleeps… Then add to the raw, peeling nose I have…. Pictures might have to be put off another week. :-/
As for deciding on what to do with work….. Yeeaaaaaaaa…… Still a little undecided there. I was heavily leaning toward staying home last week and then this week I just don’t know. I do have the opportunity to work from home with another job… I’m looking more into that first. I just know it is going to be a haul to take care of the home front and work full time while the hubby is away, which might be coming up again here very soon for trainings and schooling that he is working toward attending. (This is a fact that he brought up in an attempt to “help” me choose SAHM, which is what he wants). My Pro’s & Con’s list continues to grow….
This past week has been one of the most rewarding, boring, painful, sleepless and all around relaxing weeks of my pregnancy thus far. Last Monday I was told to be home and take it easy for the next two weeks until I could be seen again. Not placed on bed rest but told to relax to have the contraction episodes stop. The first couple days I got a bit of cabin fever/distressed over everything that still needed to be done…. Yes, I tried to get it all done on my own… To the point of more pain and contractions and then of course immediately taking the doctor’s orders to heart and began relaxing.
Friday the hubby had a St. Patrick’s Day Golf Tournement and since he wasn’t going to be home until later (he’s been taking care of dinner) I decided to make corn beef and cabbage in the crock pot. Easy enough, except for the wonderful aroma throughout the house all day making me want to eat everything in sight….
Friday night was filled with tossing and turning and PAIN, lots and lots of pain. So much that I woke up after a couple hours in tears and asking my hubby to rub my back. That didn’t work so I took a very hot shower, mainly on all fours letting the water hit my back full force. No help there either…. That’s when I caved and took an ambien… The docs have prescribed me with flexril and ambien. I hate taking meds, especially when pregnant. It is bad enough I have to shoot myself up daily with blood thinner, but now these in order to get “some” sleep and pain relief….??? Since eight days ago when I got these I have taken them 3 times in an effort to find the sandman. They lasted all about 3-4 hours and I was up again middle of the night/early morning with the same or more pain. So I stopped taking them and have been working with 2-3 hours of broken sleep at a time.
The couch has become my place of solace. Comfort during the day of sitting or napping and comfort at night of sleeping/napping. The baby belly is so big it is difficult to turn from one side to another in bed without pushing/shoving my body in that direction. I compare it to doing a sit-up with 25lbs of extra weight being strapped onto the chest… (man if this were the way it was I’d have abs of steel right now… lol). So when I wake up between 1-3am I mosey onto the couch and find sleep faster there then in bed. Besides the comfort I don’t like the idea of waking the hubby so much at night with all that he does and is doing during the day with all of my tossing and turning.
Saturday was a crawfish boil with the hubby’s co-workers. It also happened to be a gorgeously WARM day out. I sat out talking to several wives while taking in the rays, ate some very spicy crawfish, and drank lots of water. Then it hit me, that need to potty but nothing there…. Pain had been generating throughout my back and belly for a couple days already and now dehydration. I had been drinking water all day, but just not enough. So, I found a cozy spot on the couch inside and downed a few bottles in little time. The man-child was having a blast making lots of new friends and the hubby was having a blast hanging out with his buddies and drinking some drinks for the both of us… hahaha.. So I relaxed and read a book on my kindle on my phone. Then the dessert table requested my guarding…. Needless to say, I caved and sat my prego butt there and consumed 2 pieces of cake, endless amount of apples and fruit dip, and a couple little cupcake like desserts with cherries and glaze on top…. Good for my blood sugar? Not so much, but I figured one binge day was well deserved for all the pain the littlest dude was having me endure. We were there into the evening and grabbed a big bag of food to go and took it to their friend on base that was on duty and didn’t get to make the party.