Tuesday, 21 March 2017

PTSD and Me - Part One (Update)

This post originally started as a response to the awesome conversation my last blog entry generated, Its only taken me about a month or so to actually get around to finishing it off. As I was writing it I realized it was far too long and needed to be its own post.

First off thanks to those who participated, your commentary is appreciated. As you can see I have made an update to the desktop version of the blog. I am not touching the mobile site yet. I have some plans that I need to flesh out and get some questions answered. There maybe even larger work coming in the future. As I am no graphic designer or web layout master, I am basing everything on what I think looks good, so any feedback on the changes is appreciated.

So here we are in the middle of March, and I am still waiting for full resolution of my pension problems. It is being attacked on two fronts. First, I have maintained contact with the Government Pension Center and now know they have received electronic copies of the required documents. Paper copies are physically in their hands now as well.. That means the end of April at the latest should see everything sorted out.

My Member of Parliament (MP) and his staff are dealing with it at their level as well.This is more for other members releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) now. The Department of National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa needs a whole lot less queen bees and a whole lot more worker bees. There is no reason anyone releasing from the military. or the public service for that matter, should have to wait months for retirement benefits to be sorted out. In my case, the CAF issued my release message almost seven full months before my release date. I wonder if a Member of Parliament ever had to wait 9 months for their pension to kick in?

As I mentioned in the last post and the follow up comments, the period of time from my release date to the Christmas holidays were extremely nerve wracking and an anxious time financially speaking. That started to take a major change the first week of December. I had an assessment meeting at my residence with my newly assigned Case Manager from Veteran's Affairs Canada (VAC) a Ms. Tammy Kelly.

Now, this young lady has been a freaking guardian angel to us. Paperwork and applications that seemed to have been sitting for months going nowhere at VAC, suddenly started getting pushed and approved. Financial entitlements through VAC kicked and suddenly I sort of had an income. That was enough to get through the insane holiday period.

At the end of November, I finally had my hearing before the Vertebrate's Review Board appealing one of the decisions that they had made in a disability claim about my PTSD. It only took 18 months to get to the hearing, that's after a three fight to begin with. Near the middle of January I received the decision letter in the mail. The Board had ruled in my favor, consequently VAC deposited significant amount of money in my account at the beginning of February.

From then until the last couple of days I have been non stop on the go dealing with finances, and medical appointments and some other issues. Yep, I spoiled my wife, Nancy, and sons rotten.  They deserved it after everything they have gone through the last few years as I battled my demons. Even spoiled myself a bit (actually quite a bit). However, we also played things smart - we eliminated a pretty damn nice chunk of our financial obligations and have a cushion to sit on for a couple more months.

Nancy and I have been doing a lot more things together over the last little bit as well. Reconnecting in ways we didn't we had lost. Those have led to some pretty nice successes for me. I attended an open house on veteran's issues that my MP held, and took advantage of that and had my say. I also went to and watched 7 of the 8 games in the Cavendish University Cup National Hockey Championships with Nancy. For me, that's a HUGE step.

When the two of us weren't out and about doing something, we were binge watching Supernatural, Stanger Things and Schitt's Creek, the odd hockey game on television as well.

It also means that I haven't done much of anything at all on any of the Fantasy Grounds works that I have lined up. Both +James Holloway and Mr. Savage Worlds himself +Aki Heikkinen have some thiings for me to fix up in the Expanding Classes mod for the Castles and Crusades ruleset and some fixes to The Last Parsec Archetypes and Weird Wars Rome theme.

So tomorrow I will be starting work on getting them fixed, get the Tropicana stuff finished and submitted and finish +Frank Turfler's Heart of Darkness. I have some other writing projects on the go too, one of which that has seen more work than anything else lately.

Enough of this crap though. Bring on the comments and jibes. I'm back :D