Over the years and currently each day veterans who risked their lives to save our beautiful country have been lied to, misinformed, and harassed by Veterans Hospital (VH) staff on a routine basis. All one has to do is Google this topic and sadly you will see thousands of instances in which veterans were being treated as criminals by their physicians and their assistants. I could write a book on these atrocities but for today I am going to give readers an example of an abuse that has been committed by VH Salem (VHS) upon me over the last few years and as recent as of 21 Feb 2017. I write this article with the intention of alerting other veterans to this form of physical and mental abuse. It is also written so people who truly care about our veterans will step up and demand our veterans stop being mistreated at the civil and criminal level by the government agency who are supposed to and being paid to help veterans and not treat them as useless pieces of human matter and used for experimentation.
A short bio: I served in the USAF from 1977 until 1999. Then I took a position with our government as a U.S. Federal Agent with our countries highest clearances until late 2003. My last assignment with the government was in 2003 at the start of Operation Iraqi freedom. I was in Nasiriyah, Iraq on the front lines. I have since written two best selling books related to counterterrorism issues inside America. During my time on active duty and as a civilian employee I suffered injuries that are well documented and I have Veterans disability for several injuries.
Throughout my military career I had severe teeth, jaw, gums, and other ailments related to this. Again I have service connected ratings for these injuries and others. During my years I also had been diagnosed with PTSD and have been obtaining treatment at our VHS for several years.
In late 2015 my dental rated injuries had risen to a level that I had been overridden with severe pain and infections in my jaw and teeth. It was like having 30 awful toothaches at the same time. Continuously for years I had requested the VHS to help me. They refused and would not even give me medicine for the pain. Finally in Nov 2015 I went to the Emergency room of VHS and begged for treatment because I was in severe pain and could no longer tolerate it. My face was swollen, my teeth and gums were severely infected, and I now suffered intolerable headaches. The VHS did nothing and sent me home. I am not a physician but even a child in the first grade could determine something was not right. I immediately went to the emergency room of a local civilian hospital. Within five minutes they realized I needed emergency treatment and as they said I was near death because of the out of control infections I was immediately rushed to a trauma hospital out of state (Duke University, NC). I stayed several days and when I was getting better after surgery, I was sent to a hospital near my home in Roanoke, VA. From Thanksgiving 2015 until Christmas I was in the hospital near death. The infection had spread to my heart and my temperature was a constant 104 degrees. Finally I was release but still in pain.
I immediately went to the VHS to see my physician (Dr. Gaylord). He was sympathetic to the manner I had been treated by the VHS in regards to my teeth and infections which had occurred on active duty and documented on my DD 214 that upon my retirement they had not corrected my dental issues. The dental clinic at the VHS still would not provide medical assistance for my teeth even after being in the hospital for a month. Dr. Gaylord knew I was in pain and gave me a much needed pain medicine (hydrocodone). Dr. Gaylord kept me on this pain medicine until he left for another department within VHS). With the pain medicine the VHS mandates the patient and provider sign an opiate pain medicine contract. Within the contract the patient has to agree to take the medicine as prescribed and mine was for as needed. Since I had been prescribed this I had always taken when I was in severe pain and did not take if the pain was not severe (again per my prescription). This was the start of my continued nightmare with the VHS and Dr. Debra Mcginn (and her nurse and Resident Doctor).
The VHS never told me that Dr. Mcginn had replaced Dr. Gaylord. I did not find out until I went to an appointment on 14 Feb 2017 and was told I had a new DR. (Mcginn). I was expecting my new DR. who had suddenly appeared in my health part of my life to introduce herself and go over my years of medical records. She did not. Instead I was sent to her Resident Assistant Dr. in training (a young guy who could not go two minutes with me without running to Dr. Mcginns office for advise). He seemed to be a poor chose to see a veteran with several disabilities and who did not know my past medical history. On this date I had scheduled this appt. to be seen for a simple non emergency that had nothing to do with any form of pain. This was a very very simple request for a medicine that was not even above the scale of vitamins. Surprisingly I was eventually told by this Resident and Dr. Mcginn who never even bothered to introduce herself to me to go to the lavatory for tests. I asked what for and she told me it was for the minor reason I was there today and after the labs she would send my medication.. I was stunned. I could not figure out why lab tests were needed for such a simple ailment (again nothing was for pain).
I went immediately to the lab and was told I needed to give blood and urine. It was getting stranger. I gave all of my blood samples but could not urinate. I had done so previously be fore I saw Dr. Mcginnis. I eventually told the lab tech I could not urinate and since it was for a very simple medical issue I asked if I could come back. She said it was fine. From this point hell broke out in the VHS against me and instigated by Dr. Mcginn. Finally on 21 Feb 2017, only a week later I went to the hospital to ask about my medications for the minor treatment and my pain medicine was up for refill. I had arrived at the VHS at 0800 hours. finally around 100 hours I was seen by Dr. Mcginns nurse. I asked her about my medications. She said Dr. Mcginn would no longer fill my pain medicine because I had refused a urine test for my pain medicine on 14 Feb 2017. I was confused. I said I had never been told about a urine drug test and I could not urinate and I had told the lab tech. I was shocked. She said Dr. Mcginn had put in my records I had refused a drug test. I told her I had never been told I was being sent for a drug test and again I had not refused, I just could not pee at the snap of their fingers! I was very frustrated and felt betrayed by Dr. Mcginn and her staff. The nurse was very very rude and treated me like a major narcotics offender. After about two more hours the nurse told me to go to the lab for more tests. I asked why, she would not tell me. I tromped up to the lab for some unknown tests. When I got there I told the lab tech Dr. Mcginn had sent me for more lab tests. I asked her what the test was for. She said it was a urine sample for my pain medicine. I was again stunned but not really surprised at Dr. Mcginns Gestapo tactics against me. I was literally pissed off! I gave the urine anyway by but only provide a small sample.
I then immediately went to the VHS patient advocates office to complain about Dr. Mcginns deceitful treatment of me. Then I went back to the nurse. She refused to hear my complaint about Dr. Mcginn. She told me Dr. Mcginn would speak with me. Finally I get to see my Doctor!!! I knew she was only seeing me because I had filed a complaint. When I went in Dr. Mcginn was all smiles. Apparently she had forgotten or more correctly since I filed a complaint she wanted to appease me. She said I had REFUSED a Drug urine test on 14 Feb 2017 and I had violated the Pain medication contract I had signed. I tried to tell her I had not refused any tests, I simply could not urinate at that time. Am I the first person who could not pee at the snap of a finger? I emphasized she was also required to inform me and other vets if they were being sent to the lab for a drug test. She said there was no requirement to do this. I asked her repeatedly to review this contract and she will find out very clearly that a Dr. MUST inform the patient about drug urine or blood tests. She barked at me that she does not need to do so. She then told me I had FAILED the drug tests during the 17 months I had been on it. I asked her how I failed because I have always used my medicines correctly to the tee. She said I failed because on two occasions I did not have hydrocodone in my system. I was now immune from being stunned. I said you mean a patient fails the drug tests because even if their prescription says take as needed they still must have the med in their system? She started mumbling and had no answer. She said because of my failure to have no pain med in my system she was terminating me cold turkey!!!! I thought, “God help other poor veterans who are going through tactics from alleged doctors but in reality were acting as narcotics officers!).
The day of this incident my stress and depression dramatically increased and I was sick to my stomach by the treatment of Dr. Mcginn and her staff. I had to be seen at VHS mental health for the PTSD. The treatment I have had at mental health for the PTSD has always been helpful, but the actions of Dr. Mcginn sent me rock bottom. Again on 22 Feb 2017 the mental health doctor stabilized me to a degree that I could at least live with it. He told me it was wrong that Dr. Mcginn had not informed me of the drug urine test and it is his opinion as a doctor that all actions affecting the patient should be discussed with the patient. He advised he has seen more and more of this type treatment being used against patients and it concerned him. I said it concerns me also.
A short message to other U.S. armed forces veterans:
- Understand you have a VHS mandated right to be told of any drug tests. The doctor is not given any option in this. The doctor must inform you of a drug test, and you have the right to consent or not. A doctor must inform you before hand of any tests outside of her office because it is and has been a medical ethical and lawful practice for centuries.
- Do not be intimidated by unprofessional treatment by Veterans Hospital personnel. Start with a complaint with your doctor, then patient advocacy, and then go right to your Congressman or Senator. Also inform other veterans through the media. If all else fails, then file a civil lawsuit as I have started and consider a trip to your local FBI office if you feel the VH staff have conducted criminal activities such as “falsifying your medical records”. VH doctors can no more falsify and lie in your medeical records than they can in any other U.S. government record. It is a crime for them to intentionally (doctor a document) to fit their untrue perspective.
- Consider lawful protests with other veterans at your local VH.
- Most importantly do not let VH personnel treat you as a useless human. Remember you have served your country by being willing to die for your country and other Americans. Most of the VH doctors have never served in wartime and seem to care for their salary and playing narcotics officers than they do helping our young men and women.
I request all veterans and non veterans who care about our troops to complain to the VHS hospital for the unethical and criminal actions they have conducted against me. The VHS number is 540-982-3463 and ask for Dr. Mcginn at Primary Care Group Clinic #2. In addition please forward me any unfair or unethical treatment you may have received at a veteran hospital. Veterans and their supporters must unite as one if we are to get the vet hospitals to provide positive treatment to the vets.