By Ashleigh Barry
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — A veteran who has been deemed suicidal says she has been shunned by the VA.
She says she’s been waiting months to see a specialist about her chronic pain, and says the hardest part of it all is the suffering.
Rather than getting in immediately for treatment, she says it’s been nothing but hurdles.
“Instead of having me see a doctor, they had a nurse call me to ask me if I’m suicidal or homicidal,” said the U.S. Army veteran, who asked to remain anonymous. She says it was a conversation she had over the phone recently with a VA Depression Care nurse.
“I remember telling her ‘yes, I’m agitated, I’m on edge all the time because I’m in constant pain,'” she said. She didn’t want to show her face for fear of retaliation but wanted her story of pain, anguish and unanswered calls to the VA for help, told.
The Gulf War veteran suffers from traumatic brain injury, insomnia and chronic pain, among other conditions. She told her outside doctor she could no longer live with the headaches. She says he was concerned for her welfare and called the VA suggesting an immediate consult with a neurologist.
“The nurse that called to see if I was suicidal or homicidal, instead of getting me into a doctor, they continued refusing and instead she mailed me some info about a chronic pain wellness group,” she said. “I was shocked; I was shocked.”
Shocked and still waiting to be seen, she says. “The really disturbing part is they’ve giving me enough drugs to do it; all they do is hand out pills,” she said. “They’ve given me the tools to kill myself; they won’t give me the help,” she said.
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