Medical incompetence, is there anyone to protect him from this? — The Bump
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Medical incompetence, is there anyone to protect him from this?

I am desperate for advice at this point. My husband has had a knee injury for over a month that his medical on his ship(Navy) refuses to give him treatment for. He thinks it may be due to the fact that he had a pin in his knee as a kid and that something has recently irritated the injury, but he really has no idea why it suddenly started to hurt so much. It started when he did his PRT about a month ago, as he was running(he usually does the bike, but the ship didn't give that option this time) but, as he was running his knee just gave out on him, he wasn't out of breath or anything he just literally could not put any weight on his knee anymore. He got a ride back to the ship and someone in medical looked at his knee right away, she said she felt something weird and that he needed to come back the next day to get a referral from the actual corpsman for an xray and that they'd work on getting him a waiver so that he can re-do his PRT on the bike. So he went back the next day and the doc said he didn't feel anything and to come back again the next day to see if he felt anything. He has gone back at least once a week for the last month and a half now, and they wont give him ANY treatment, they wont even LOOK at his knee, they just tell him to take an advil and wrap it up and come back if it's still a problem, not even a referral for an xray to see if something has happened. He finally bugged someone last week to make him an appointment with the physical therapist(not until Dec 27th), but now he is supposed to do another PRT tomorrow in order to be able to be frocked on Friday, and they are refusing to see him to give him that waiver he was promised. He's been wearing a brace on his knee just to be able to walk around his ship and go up and down the ladders. Let alone the fact that he will most likely not be able to finish the run and therefor wont get frocked, he's really afraid that if he tries to run tomorrow that he might do serious damage to his knee. I have no idea what to tell him, what can he even do? He thinks that they may think he's faking it for some reason, since there's no external swelling, but the pain is deep within the joint and they wont even run tests!

 

UPDATE: He ended up being allowed to take the PRT on the bike, however the medical officer didn't put in the paperwork on time for him to get frocked today, at this point I'm just over the stress it's causing and ready to go on leave tomorrow.

also, he can't be seen by anyone on base unless he has a referral from his command's medical department, he's been told that multiple times, and as far as his chain of command in his division, yeah, they don't seem to care, and he's TAD right now so they care even less.

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Re: Medical incompetence, is there anyone to protect him from this?

  • This really sucks! But honestly, it doesnt sound like they are giving your husband much of an option. And while it sucks, there isnt much you can do from land while he's out at sea. Wrap the crap out it and PRT. It's gonna suck now, but when he is frocked it will be worth it!

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  • oh he's not out to sea, he's just stationed on a ship
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  • Has he talked to his supervisor?  Sometimes you need to get others involved and use your chain of command to get people to listen.
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  • imageFutureMrsTowns:
    oh he's not out to sea, he's just stationed on a ship

    Ahhh, I see. I really dont have much advice, he can try going through his command but that doesnt always work. My DH did the last 4 weeks of FMTB with a broked elbow, they didnt do anything for him either. He finished up, got back to bethesda, had to get it rebroken and casted cause it healed wrong. Good luck though, I know its a crappy situation.

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  • imageanimalcrckr:
    Has he talked to his supervisor?  Sometimes you need to get others involved and use your chain of command to get people to listen.
    This. He needs to get his supervisors in on this. Also, if he stationed on a ship but not out to sea, why can't he see someone on the base? Also, is there a patient advocate on the ship that he can speak with? Or perhaps the commander of the medical team? I'm not sure about the Navy but in the Army you can absolutely refuse to take a PT test but you had better have documentation to follow it very shortly after.

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  • imageBacon+lettuce+tomato:
    imageanimalcrckr:
    Has he talked to his supervisor?  Sometimes you need to get others involved and use your chain of command to get people to listen.
    This. He needs to get his supervisors in on this. Also, if he stationed on a ship but not out to sea, why can't he see someone on the base? Also, is there a patient advocate on the ship that he can speak with? Or perhaps the commander of the medical team? I'm not sure about the Navy but in the Army you can absolutely refuse to take a PT test but you had better have documentation to follow it very shortly after.

    This.

    There is a chain of command for a reason and sometimes he has to be the squeaky wheel. It sucks he has to but he'll have to go up and over it seems. My hubs is in the Navy and I was told if he's injured he would just go to the post clinic. If he's not out to see, why hasn't he gone? 

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  • I posed your problem to my husband.  He said if it were him he'd just go see a doctor on the base rather than the ship.
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  • imagezonagirlie:

    imageBacon+lettuce+tomato:
    imageanimalcrckr:
    Has he talked to his supervisor?  Sometimes you need to get others involved and use your chain of command to get people to listen.
    This. He needs to get his supervisors in on this. Also, if he stationed on a ship but not out to sea, why can't he see someone on the base? Also, is there a patient advocate on the ship that he can speak with? Or perhaps the commander of the medical team? I'm not sure about the Navy but in the Army you can absolutely refuse to take a PT test but you had better have documentation to follow it very shortly after.

    This.

    There is a chain of command for a reason and sometimes he has to be the squeaky wheel. It sucks he has to but he'll have to go up and over it seems. My hubs is in the Navy and I was told if he's injured he would just go to the post clinic. If he's not out to see, why hasn't he gone? 

    as I said in my update, he's been told both by ship doctors and base ones that he has to have a referral from his ship to be seen on base.  and his chain of command really doesn't care about him, especially since he's TAD. As far as documentation, since it wasn't an official PFA(that was the one a month and a half ago) anyways he could have refused it regardless, the point was for him to be frocked, but that didn't happen since the medical officer didn't put in the paperwork.

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  • How far in his chain of command has he gone?  I'm not sure the order of things in the Navy but in the Army it would start with squad leader...no action, then on to platoon sergeant...no action, platoon leader, then keep on going until there's action that is satisfactory. Now, satisfactory doesn't always mean it goes your way though. If all avenues have been exhausted then there is always the Inspector General. That is a drastic step and only to be taken if he truly feels he has been wronged and not given the proper care.  If an official case is opened then the ball starts at the top of the chain and rolls downward with everyone having to answer to why your husband did not get the care he needs.  I don't offer that suggestion lightly because it should only be used if he has dotted all his Is and crossed every single T. 
  • so far he has gone to his First class(E6) and I believe Chief(E7), He's also gone to Equal Opportunity.

    At this point he FINALLY has an appointment after Christmas with the physical therapist, so after almost two months of being ignored there seems to be progress, so we are leaving it there, his other option would be to go to the CMC(E8 I think) or drop a note in the co's box

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  • Well, DH is perplexed.  He says this is not the way it works in Norfolk and has no other advice.

    I mean, seriously, medical needs to get on the ball here.  I really doubt the CO wants to spend time hearing about this.

    But really, what do I know.  Medical on DH's current ship somehow managed to switch me from Standard to Prime and then I had to fix it.  So, I don't have a lot of faith in competence.

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  • When DH had medical issues on the ship the corpsman had to refer him to the DESRON Dr. The DESRON Dr. would then refer him to the base clinic and then, if need be, the base clinic would refer to a specialist.

    DH walked around with a torn ACL and meniscus for almost 5 months before they gave him the proper referrals. 

     

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  • He kind of needs to be a pita to his supervisors. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    My DH was in excruciating pain for months before anyone took him seriously. Then all they wanted to do was pour  pain pills down his throat. 

    He's now medically retired at 90% but it took a lot of persistence. He wasn't even properly diagnosed until he got out and went to the VA.

     

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