I am John's wife and have been following this post with great interest. I am writing for John because at this point in his contacts with the VA, he is completely worn out. He did meet with the DAV rep yesterday and that was the best meeting that he has had with anyone connected with this c & p evaluation. The DAV rep was very knowledgeable and most importantly, very supportive. He remarked that a person would not be given a 40% disability if he wasn't really hurt. My husband said he was the first person that he had spoke with in the whole process that had said that and it really meant a lot to him. We walked out of that office with renewed hope.
Until we went down to records and got the last two visit notes from the VA Clinic. We went there mainly to get established to get prescriptions because we no longer can afford to keep the prescription coverage on our medical insurance. What we found was that the first visit which was only a routine physical included notes from the doctor that my husband was exaggerating his symptoms because the doctor could see he was sitting comfortably in a chair. If he had asked him if he were comfortable, he would have gotten a long sad answer. My husband has lived with this injury every day since 1969 - he is used to being in pain - to complain about each and every day would only be depressing. He tries to live and push the pain in the background.
Then he was treated at the Clinic for his back and on the notes the only part that couldn't be transcribed because of "phone or computer problems" was the part about how the doctor found numbness in his feet and diagnosed him with a pinched nerve in his back. According to the notes, she has no recollection of that part of the exam. So that really put him in a very depressed state of mind. I am not so naive that I believe that the VA is going to make this process easy. But when you are really hurt and even the doctors are misrepresenting the record, you lose faith in the whole system.
If we had not talked with the DAV rep yesterday, the despair around here could not be coped with. But we both appreciate all your help and information in this process and your referral to the DAV. Diane