By Ed Coghlan.
A couple of things have occurred in the last week that have encouraged me to write this column.
Here’s what we propose:
If you are a veteran with chronic pain-please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.
What has prompted this?
As we indicated-two things:
First, we received a call from an investigative unit of a major network news division that is interested in doing a story on vets and chronic pain. They have been looking into whether the government reaction to the opioid crisis has adversely impacted how veterans are being treated.
We had a good half hour conversation with one of their researchers-who spent a lot of time making sure the National Pain Report was not being funded by pharmaceutical companies (we’re not)-and also to talk about our impressions of the state of chronic pain treatment (which I shared).
I gave him the names of a couple of doctors we have interviewed and also some stories on vets we have done. He wants to talk with more vets. That might mean you if you’re willing to share.
Second, I reported on overhearing the conversation between Robert Rose and the VA law enforcement officials at the Mountain Home VA Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, on Monday before Congressman Phil Roe visited the facility. I heard the frustration of a vet who is simply trying to get some answers about his treatment, and hasn’t been able to do that. We know he’s not alone. So, I thought it would be productive to share other stories from vets who are willing to speak.
If I may be allowed an editorial comment, the treatment of our veterans generally, and those with chronic pain specifically is, in a word, shameful. If by shining some light on these stories we can help move what has been an intransigent Congress and a paralyzed VA system-we should do it.
Here’s what we ask.
Provide your name and answer the following questions:
- What branch of service you were in?
- What happened to you?
- How long have you been treated by the VA (add which VA Hospital)?
- Are you happy or unhappy with the treatment (provide as much detail you want)?
- Any other issues you think we should know. (if you want to add your phone number, go ahead, but we will not guarantee that we can call all of you)
We plan to do two things with your “stories”.
- We will publish some on the National Pain Report
- We will allow the network investigative team to see all of them if it wishes
We’re interested in your response.