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Settling Future Medical for PTSD
#3
Wow. That is a great deal of good information - thank you so much. I read your response several times and followed the links. My guess of living another 30 years was pretty close to ssa.gov's calculation. The value of money link was valuable, but returns more $ than I anticipated, so I might have made a miscalculation somewhere. You are wise in suggesting I not guess at how much my care costs and will cost, but my acute post injury phase was far less expensive than the maintenance phase. When I first went off duty, I had weekly psychological visits, but the only medication I had was daily omeprazole (the stress caused terrible stomach acid production), occasional Xanax for anxiety attacks, and a small dose of flexeril (a muscle relaxant) because I tensed up my muscles at night during near-all-night-long nightmare/night terror sessions. After moving to Texas, the new psychologist wore me down and I sought out an experienced PTSD psychiatrist who prescribed anti-anxiety meds twice daily, an anti-depression patch worn 24/7, the omeprazole, a sleep aid and a huge dose of flexeril, as the nighttime muscle tension has not abated. I also take Prazosin daily to deal with the nightmares. I still have them, but I don't remember them, and therefore I still tense up my back, neck, shoulder, and jaw muscles every night and wake up a frozen, terrorized mess. To help alleviate this, the QME doc recommended yoga, sitting in a hot tub, stretching, meditation, and massage therapy. It has been approved each time my primary treating physician (the psychiatrist) has requested it. This is why I think my maintenance costs are more $ than the initial costs. I would love to try more of the eastern medicine treatments that wc would not likely consider and decrease the amount of medications, which is why I want control over my medical costs.

As for the Medicare piece, I'm not that familiar with how it works but I paid into my department's retiree medical plan since day 1 and I have excellent health care for life. Also my disability retirement is largely (about 75% tax free) and I have no debt. My husband is an executive 9 years my junior, so I doubt I will ever run out of money needed to pay for treatment if things go sideways somewhere along the way.

I just think it's easier to budget a physiological injury than a psychological injury. PTSD was caused by 25 years of trauma in a busy major metropolitan department serving a densely populated area punctuated by a few major national incidents of a horrific nature.

There are many studies out there, but the majority are veteran related, and I do not believe first responder PTSD to be the same on many different levels. Even with treatment and medication, unexpected situations will trigger horrible flashbacks, anxiety, panic, and night terrors. My plan is to gather as much data as possible to make my case, if I need to. So far, I have been treated more than fairly and I do not anticipate a sudden turnaround. If the initial offer is reasonable in my estimation, there will be no need for negotiation. I am not a gold digger - I just want fair treatment. In order to know what is fair, though, I need to have some idea of how to calculate my future cost of care to a reasonable extent.

Again, thank you for such great advice so quickly, I really appreciate it.
 
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RE: Settling Future Medical for PTSD - Shortfuse - 04-10-2016, 12:26 AM

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