07 May 2010

Extremely Tired

I went to the VA ER yesterday afternoon.  It was an awful experience.  I got there about 3:30 and did not leave until after 11:30.  I did not actually make it back home until after 1.  Tired, in pain and hungry.  I did not realize that I had not eaten anything all day until my head hit the pillow, the drugs took over and my stomach started growling.

As I sat in the ER, it was a horrible night.  It took hours to get to be seen.  There were so many people there that had such bad problems.  There was youngish man that fell down the stairs head first and there was an old man who had blood in his urine (which kept getting redder as the night went on).  The place smelled bad....old old people and piss.  After sitting there for 6 1/2 hours I still had not been seen, but neither had the man with the blood in his urine.  The grumpy nurse finally came out and called my name.  As much as I wanted to be seen, I could not really in good conscience go back while the man with blood in his urine was sitting there in agony waiting to be seen.  I said to the nurse that I would rather give up my bed for that man to go back.  She scoffed at me and turned around and left.  She came back a few minutes later and got all three of us.  I am so glad I did that.  Granted my care could have been better, I made sure those two men were seen too.

I went back and the doctor never even touched my shoulder.  He sent me for an x-ray.  I could have told him that he was not going to see anything.  Oh, wait, I did tell him that and oh yes, I was right.  There was nothing on the x-ray.  He just gave me some pain pills and an appointment to make an appointment.  I think he really just thought I wanted the pain meds.  Really, would I wait 6 1/2 hours just to get my hands on pain meds?  I found out that the appointment he had made for me was just to see if I really need to go to ortho.  What?  An appointment to make and appointment.

I did call my primary provider today and asked if she could just make the referral.  I was told that she could, but they had no idea how long it would really take for me to be seen.  So, I am stuck wearing a sling, living on pain meds and being oblivious to the whole world.  Unfortunately for me, I have a lot to do next week.  I am going for my compensation physical for more VA benefits....I guess it is good that I will be in my sling and in pain for that....they might actually believe something is wrong with me since no one else does.  That is Wednesday, Thursday is Max's graduation program from preschool.  (I won't get started on that....my baby is going to kindergarten next year.  Yikes).  And then Friday, I have to go and get my knee braces and my shoe lifts.  It is one thing at a time.....slowly, someday I will make it to the end of this journey and find someone who knows what they are doing and how to treat me.

Now for my political commentary on the whole experience.  That is the VA healthcare system for you.  I really hope that all of you never have to actually deal with the healthcare system that Obama has made.  It will look much like the one I am dealing with.  Taking forever to have anything done or see anyone who knows what they are talking about, all the while in extreme pain.  

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