Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...
The author of Mark's Work

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Crossing the Eel River at French's Camp

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Butter in the fly...

July Jewels

July Jewels
Bees to the Kingdom

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, July 6, 2012

Form DD 214


Form DD 214
We moseyed down to Ukiah yesterday, for a session with Dr. Mark.  We left the house at seven-thirty in the A of M, and initially landed in Willits for a nine o’clock appointment with the tax lady.  Since our visit to the psychologist’s office was not scheduled until two, we knew we had a fair amount of time to kill.  There was a time when that sort of uncertainty inevitably produced anxiety in me.
Yesterday, with my laptop available, and a list of potential stops, I was not worried about past practices interfering with my new-found ability to not only handle the excursions to the shrink’s office, but to even enjoy them.  The first thing we did, after stopping at Pour Girls for our obligatory lattes (I get a special dispensation on the caffeine issue for this), was hit the post office.  I was expecting a special document from the National Personnel Records Center, located in St. Louis, Missouri, but since it involved the military, I was not holding my breath waiting.
Because our health insurance has run out from the school district, Annie and I are scrambling to acquire health insurance.  At our ages, that is not a given.  There is this stipulation about “pre-existing conditions,” that seems to interfere with this process.  I have decided to pursue the VA option, because I have been led to believe that this is viable.  I have to go down to Ukiah to see a doctor, or to San Francisco for something more serious, but that is just the price of poker.  However, in order to apply for any sort of Veterans’ benefits, I must be able to produce the document that states unequivocally that I have served my time.
When the Big Green Machine spit me out in Oct, 1973, it sent me on my way with a magic piece of paper, warning me to never set it aside, because it was my guarantee that the BGM would not be able to reach out and snatch me again.  Though I did make it through the twenty-one months of personal agony, better understandable now that I have been diagnosed with MSD, I did not manage to hang onto that precious document.
When I decided to pursue VA insurance, I knew the first thing I would need was that Form DD 214, the one which gave my entry and separation dates, and all other pertinent information concerning my illustrious military career.  Included in that information is the fact that I was awarded The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, an Army Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.  Of the three, the first and third were awarded as perfunctory measures for a job done well.  The second one, the Army Commendation Medal, was only awarded to those who made an impact.  During the sixteen months I served, I only saw one other of these handed out.  *
The company was gathered together for the presentation, and nice things were said about the individual in question.  In my case I had worked in my personnel management division, which was responsible for cutting orders for those returning home, and had made a proposal for changing the system within the office, to include a central filing system, which would allow access to information, that was otherwise scattered about in fifteen different stations.
As a result of the proposal, I  became the individual responsible for assimilating fifteen different filing systems into one centralized site, which began and ended with my desk.  It gave me something to do and got me out of the “barn” twice a day, to make the 8th Army rounds.  To this day I value the fact that even though I was bitter and resentful toward the military, I still kept it together enough to serve with distinction.
Now it was time to come knocking on Uncle Sugar’s door, asking for them to hook a former “soldier” up with a little health insurance.  It helps to know that I can ask my older brother for guidance, because he directs the show at the Veterans’ Hospital in Martinez as its Chief of Staff, and done so for a long time.  We are not especially close any more, and I do not even know for a fact any more than a peripheral idea that I am ill, but I do know that he has provided information in the past that relates to veterans’ affairs, so that’s my cue.
Having glommed onto my Form DD 214, we now proceeded to run some errands, enjoy a nice lunch, and then make our way to Dr. Mark’s.  We have only been three times now, but he has already conducted his diagnostic clinic, and concluded that we are certainly looking at a mood spectrum disorder, what would be classified as Bipolar II.  He examined my mood charts yesterday, going over them with me so as to understand the different columns, which I had modified from the original, so as to tailor it to my needs.
We talked about Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how they applied to me, and agreed to meet again in two weeks.  With my sleep patterns now changing to reflect a more “normal” pattern, I am enjoying an extended eurythmic period, which simply means it doesn’t get any better.  Since that’s the ultimate goal, so I would say we are on target, so direct.


* I wrote an expanded piece which went into a great deal of detail on this whole process.  The name of the piece is "Military Madness (11) The Barn-Black Friday," and posted it last summer, in August.

2 comments:

  1. Glad to see your report on Dr. Mark -- sounds like a match made for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My dad served honorably in the Army but for some reason they told my mom that he was not eligible for any benefits.

    I'm with your sis - - maybe it's the name you share :)

    ReplyDelete