My life has been greatly interrupted by autoimmune disease and PTSD. The body pain and joint deterioration first limited my ability to serve in my active duty as a US Air Force Chaplain. The disease caused me to be medically discharged at 13 years from the USAF at the peak of a career I loved. I was promoted to Major and then Medically Discharged, due to chronic pain and disability, while serving during the Iraq War at Port Mortuary, Dover AFB Delaware. My USAF retirement plan was destroyed because I did not have enough Active Duty time. The discharge along with pain and PTSD caused me to be very depressed for over a year.
After my discharge I served in several capacities as a Lutheran Pastor only to be limited by my pain and PTSD. After years of pain meds and antidepressants I needed to retire at 62 because I just couldn’t serve emotionally and physically any longer. I also had two joint replacement surgeries; spinal and great toe for damaged joints which have limited movement in retirement.
The VA is my primary provider and they have helped me to get pain meds out of my life. However I daily confront severe pain and PTSD. Now my retirement is greatly affected and each day is a struggle. I also suffer with Insomnia and Wheat Intolerance as side affects of my Autoimmune and PTSD.
VA healthcare is providing PTSD counseling and light antidepressants which help. I no longer use pain meds. I practice meditation, reflective prayer, stretching/ exercise along with Gluten Free diet to attempt to stay healthy. My only pain relief meds are Tylenol and Ibuprofen which just take the edge off
This campaign will help me to recover costs of Alternative Medicine. I believe AM is the answer to good health and a more active lifestyle. This new medical help will work alongside VA medicine to improve my health and help me to lead a more active life in retirement.
I greatly anticipate working with CardeaHealth Health in Lancaster NY as my new Wellness Team. I am truly optimistic that they will be able to bring me more comprehensive care alongside with VA Healthcare to help me get better.