In order to receive health care up at the Veterans Administration Hospital here in my city, I had to apply to have medical conditions service connected. What this basically means is that I have to somehow prove the condition I’m claiming was caused in some way or occurred while I was in active service in the Navy.

Currently, I have a 10% service connection on each of my knees, which totals out to 20%. This is the result of a recent reevaluation. Previously, I had 0%, which was required for me to receive the care I have. The increase in percentage is due to knee pain which is pretty much constant at a low grade and the fact I wake up with pain and stiffness in my knees most mornings.

My mental health condition is not service connected, though I’m fairly certain it was actually triggered by my time in service. While I was in my advanced training school, I sought mental health assistance, and now I’m trying to hunt down any possible records of it so I can perhaps get my bipolar disorder service connected.

The problem with this is that I no longer recall the name of my mental health care provider on base. He was a civilian employee working in a support capacity in a mostly-civilian office on the base. This explanation apparently did little to assist the Ombudsman of the base in identifying where my mental health care provider worked at the time. Also, it’s over ten years since I received care, though I can give an approximate time span during which I did so.

The base’s Ombudsman was able to give me two numbers to call for this purpose. One was for southern region Tricare, who had no record of my care. Apparently, the therapist I saw never had to contact Tricare for payment for my care. The other number is to a hospital where I’m hoping outpatient records may give some indication of the care I received, though it’s pretty doubtful. My therapist’s office was not in a hospital, but a mental health clinic.

So now I’m waiting for a call back from the hospital. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try contacting the Ombudsman again with a better explanation of where I received my mental health care.