Don’t Skip Your Medical Care

Military service members share one commonality across all branches – serving is not easy on the body. Whether it is repetitive stress injuries, joint problems, TBI or PTS(D), the likelihood is that most service members will under-treat themselves medically for a variety of reasons. It is not uncommon to hear people separating from the military talk about how they have never been to the hospital for treatment (and they are proud of this). This does not mean that they were never injured, simply that they fought through their injuries to continue doing their job.

DoctorEvery person is different and their ability to overcome injuries reflects that as well. What works for one individual may not work for another. Unfortunately whether it is a stigma against medical care or a bad previous experience, many service members are ignoring their own health and well-being and putting themselves at risk down the road.

Preventative health care is one of the best ways to mitigate long term health issues. Identifying negative trends today can assist in resolving them before they become problems. By not seeking medical care for small ailments, we are opening the door to long term health problems as they build up. From a health care perspective, it is not only more costly to treat the long term problems, but it may also result in life long disability payments on something that could have been handled easily if addressed.

This is seldom as big an issue for civilians. Consider the comparison:

Person A (civilian) decides to go for a run. Feeling optimistic, they do five miles up and down hills before they get pain in their shins. They stop running, call a cab, ice their shin, and likely do not try this again until they feel 100%.

Person B (service member) wakes up on Monday morning and goes for an eight mile run with their unit. At mile six, they feel pain, but they are almost done and heading back anyways. Also if they fall out of the run, they are likely to get yelled at. Upon completion they shower, change, and then start their day. They are unlikely to see a health care provider until the next morning at sick call, if they even bother to do so. The next morning they do their early morning workout, still feeling pain from the day before.

A health care provider is there specifically for service members. Their role is to care for them and provide them the help they need to perform their jobs. They are a tool for retention because the individual is able to stay in the military and do their job longer if they are healthy. They also serve an important role to help reduce injuries by providing profiles. A profile limits the performance of specific activities to allow time for the service member to rehabilitate their injuries. This gives time for those shin splints to heal, the dislocated shoulder to recover, or even the traumatic brain injury to subside before risking reinjuring the area.

The goal is to heal the service member so they can be at their top level of effectiveness. If the nature of the injury is so severe that healing is not possible, the goal is to ensure that the correct issues are documented and that the service member can receive that compensation for future care through disability and the Veterans Affairs.

Life is too short to spend it in pain for any reason. The health care providers are focused entirely on improving the state of care of service members. So meet them halfway and get the treatment you need.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

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