LETTERS: Always hope; Dealing with pain, and VA

Always hope

It is hope that fuels the human heart, dreams that inspire and stimulate the human mind, and passion that makes a life complete and fills the soul with joy.

In times of sorrow, grief or sadness, or when burdened with regret or guilt or shame, there is always hope of days to come when life restores the courage, the confidence and the faith to dream again and live again.

There is always hope; you just have to pick it up, dust if off, and let your dreams do the rest — because dreams create the future.

Al Garcia

Palm Valley

Dealing with pain, and VA

In June of 2019 I was having very serious problems with posttraumatic stress disorder. The depression, my opinion, is the main ingredient of PTSD with anxiety juxtaposed and lethargic behavior being another branch.

I attended a program in Bandera, Texas, called Warriors Heart. I was at the end of my road. If this didn’t work for me I was going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Well, either suicide or suicide. The choice was going to be which is the lesser of evils — inhaling the carbon monoxide from my car or the good old shot in the head with a pistol and the one many entertainers have decided on, hanging themselves.

While I was in Warriors Heart I met many policemen and firemen and veterans of both sexes. The stay was the most informative place without any salespeople. People were talking about the SGB shot.

The stellate ganglion block is an anesthetic injection in a group of nerves in the neck that is called the stellate ganglion. The procedure has been used to treat chronic pain since 1925 and recent studies have demonstrated great promise as a successful intervention for post-traumatic stress injury.

The author reported the first successful treatment of PTSI through the use of SGB in 2008. The subject of that report was a civilian robbery victim who was presented for SGB treatment due to severe anxiety related to PTSI two months after being robbed at gunpoint. The patient experienced an excellent response to SGB and reported a significant resolution of hypervigilance and anxiety.

A 60 minutes TV documentary program give a very impressive example when veteran Dakota Myer, who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, was featured having the procedure performed on camera.

Since then he is trying to have $100,000 through GoFundMe to help other veterans to get this shot that can help them so much.

However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has only 10 VA hospitals throughout the U.S. that offer the shot. The San Antonio VA has offered it but the VA makes the process very difficult.

The Rio Grand Valley has had the dishonor of being named worst clinic in the U.S. Our little clinic over by Treasure Hills Elementary School in Harlingen is in bad shape because the VA employees have no respect for our veterans community.

Call and ask for the pain section of the clinic here in the Valley or in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston or wherever there is a pain management clinic; the shot can become available.

I needed replacement of a knee I broke in 1967, but the VA would not believe me until I was authorized through an MRI in 2016. In May of 2018, my left knee was replaced. Are 50 years not too long?

Fred Rendon Jr.