Anthony Konkler Tony Konkler


Where to start.......I recently started to take on a challenge that I have no idea yet I am challenging.  I have been to this doctor and seen that doctor with still no explanation as to why I am having pain that has overtaken my body or why my liver is showing signs of acute damage.  I ask why with no answer and feel that most look at me as I'm creating this in my mind.  I wish this was as easy as that and tomorrow I could wake up and be pain free and not worry that I may do something or take something and make things worse.  I hope that answers will come and find out that something simple was missed and I will be better and back to me in no time.  I feel helpless and like I have nowhere to turn, but am thankful that I have support and prayers from friends and family.

This all started with some simple aches and pains that I figured would resolve in a few days.  The pain did not resolve and intensified and with it fatigue barely allowing me the ability to get out of bed for 3 days.  Then came the rash, localized at the start, eventually getting to the point that it was covering me head to toe and would last for a day leaving in its place firm painful welts.  Last Friday April 19th then began the decline and has since only progressed into more unexplainable symptoms.  My speech then started to be impacted starting with facial drooping, slurring of speech, and a migraine worse than ones I have had before.  They treated the migraine which also corrected my facial drooping and slurred speech.  The following day the same thing and rather than going in again to the local hospital I thought going into the VA in Minneapolis would be in my best interest.  We arrived to the VA emergency department and immediately I was told I was going to be admitted.  During the time spent waiting for a room my slurred speech now had turned into basically the complete inability to speak and to find words.  I was more scared than I have ever been in my life at this point not knowing if I would ever be able to tell my wife or son again I Love You.  My mind was consumed by thoughts of the worst.  I sat from Sunday all the way until Tuesday being seen by this specialist and that specialist.  Only to learn that behind the curtain they were simply looking at my history finding that I deal with depression and anxiety.  Rather than look into it more they discharged me simply telling me to go home and I will be better in a few days.  Well neither me or my family agreed and felt they were just simply taking the easiest way out.  Luckily I have a case manager at the VA who has been a great resource and helping hand over the last 5 years and connected me with an appointment with my primary care provider.
This is when I knew that I had not been treated nor given the appropriate work up and a lot of critical pieces had been missed that were potential life threatening if not caught.  Thankfully I was cleared of the imminent threats and got the consideration and tests ordered that I should have gotten three days prior.  The mistreatment of me got me thinking and wondering how many other Veterans are not getting the care they need and as a result suffer at the hands of doctors claiming to be the best.

I now sit at home awaiting results and finding ways to cope with the pain, which got to the point I again found myself at the emergency room overtaken by pain with no option to treat because my liver function is compromised by and unknown attacker.  I hope that I will soon find answers and hopefully get into Mayo Clinic to see GI Specialist, Infectious Disease Specialist, and Rheumatology Specialist.  For now I remain hopeful and look at this as God's plan for me and as a new start to correct some wrongs in my life.  The difficult part is that our home sold recently and are going through inspections and appraisals.  There is no more plans to start building a new home which we were so eager to start.  With a recent change in my status at work I no longer have benefits to provide an income with a disability plan and now am dependent on my monthly VA check that is no where near what is needed to make ends meet.  This was a gamble I took and now am unfortunately paying the consequences.  But as long as I have family and friends continuing to support and pray for me I can feel better and know that God is looking out for me and because of that I am able to look to each day and be thankful for what I have and surround myself with love and support.


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