Saturday, August 11, 2007

I hate the VA

purposeful prose by Jack Michael

Sweet Jeezus, I really hate the VA. Dad was checked in with a stubborn infection on his left leg stump and a full packet of info from the nursing home. So i was stunned when i asked if they were doing something different with his pain meds, 'cause he was acting really out of it, and the VA nurse told me to my face she would have no way of knowing what his medications back at the home were... Oh, and the night of his check-in, after my sister literally checked him in with all the info from his house doctor and the home, i got a call from the VA night doctor like at 11:30 or so wanting to know what precisely he was in for. And when i saw him using his good hand with its long fingernails scratching all over including the site of his infection, i asked the nurse about getting his nails clipped. But she told me that wouldn't be possible, and i should bring a pair of clippers from home, which i did. And then on Friday, after confirming he wouldn't be discharged over the weekend (cause i was out of town), i arrived back at my home to find out he had already been turfed back to the home. And it gets better... i got a call from a VA social worker wanting to know how the transition back home was, and she didn't even know where he had come from or that he returned to a nursing home, and if i had it's phone number... Did i tell you about all the info he arrived with? And then a VA nurse calls me and tells me we need to get him to have a skin cancer removed, and she tells me it's been almost 2 years since he's seen his VA doc and we should know that he could lose his VA coverage and i think to myself, has it been two years already since the VA cut off his legs and don't they know that he lives in a nursing home, and has a house doctor, and why he doesn't make it up to the VA hospital as often, without his legs, except when he has to, and sometimes he needs his nails clipped, even on their watch.


RitaPDX said...

I hate the VA, too. Though, I have to say that I believe if the VA was adequately funded we would encounter a whole different attitude amongst the people working there. It must be horrible for them to not be able to do anything for so many veterans just because "Gorgeous George" has decided that funds should go elsewhere.

Thom said...

too true, Rita. Good people... BANKRUPT system... I haven't met the political party yet though that would fully fund the VA. Go into debt to prolong the Iraq occupation... sure! Create even more disabled vets... no problem!

True story from the last time my pop was in the hospital... I bussed up there one day, expecting a ride back downtown with my niece. There was a mixup and there i sat, without even bus fare. I like hiking, so big deal... My dad gets wise though and tells this VA nurse , and i say "Pop, don't worry... really. No problem."

(It was cute having my dad intervene. He's slow in speech since his stroke - and he's a Texan, to boot! When he finally got his point across, it embarrassed me at first. But over all, it was very cool.)

Long story short, she brings me this day pass for Tri-Met and said, "Now you'll be sure to bring those nail clippers tomorrow?" Good people. Bad system.

Thanks for your comment Rita (and your service!)