OMG WTF VA? Make Up My Mind

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I mentioned halfassedly yesterday that I would be visiting the VA clinic to have a fasting blood panel done to gage my A1C level (diabetes) to see where that all stands. I could get into my trypanophobia and how it really blows being a diabetic, but I have come to accept the overabundant amount of needles in my life so blood work and insulin injections are easier for me to accommodate these days. This part of my visit remained very clinical and well executed. Other than having to be stabbed twice, that appointment went alright.

Scheduled directly afterwards was an appointment with the orthopedic clinic to follow up with my issues I am having with my almost 7 year old knee replacement. As a recap, my initial visit was a disaster because in the doctor’s opinion it shouldn’t have been replaced due my age and higher activity level. I was lectured with an “I told you speech” eventhough it was done in the civilian sector. Anyway, I felt 4 years old while he handed my lollipop, swatted me on my ass, and sent me on my way for being a bad, bad boy. I was so pissed and frustrated that I filed 2 complaints, one to the VA, and one to my congressman. How was the appointment? Short and sweet. There was a no touch examination which resulted into a referral to finally see an orthopedic surgeon, after new xrays and MRIs of course. I have been officially handed off to the next provider, bit I feel discarded at the same time. The drama continues next week.

Let me tell y’all what keeps my head above water. Other than being very patient, I have people to talk with who have personal experience with the VA “system”. Last night I was reminded (thanks Rexi) that the goal of the VA is to wear you down so you give up. It just reenforced my own reasons for not EVER giving up. Plus, I have way to much time and energy invested into getting my knee operational once again. Let’s not forget I started this little adventure back in the spring of 1990 when I initially broke my knee. Maybe I need to write about that one day.

Anyway, for those playing at home, the score is now  tied, VA – 1, Me – 1. Don’t worry, as I continue this bizarre journey, I will continue to update y’all. Until then, remember to eat it everyday because everything else just bites!

Every Beginning Ends

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I was once told, for a reason I can’t remember, the every beginning is the result of another beginnings end. I don’t know why I am thinking of that today other than I realized that I prefer privatized healthcare over being a part of the VA healthcare system. Its almost like moving backwards instead of forwards when it comes down to my health concerns. I have, in my own personal opinion, two that give me the greatest concerns. Those being my knee and my diabetes. Care and or treatment for both have turned into an absolute clusterfuck if you were to ask me. If I want to talk to a dumbass fucktard I can go to Walmart, however, when discussing my health with a healthcare “professional” I do expect that you know more than me. So far, I am fully disappointed with most of what I have experienced with the VA healthcare system. Not to be confused with the VA who have accommodated me since day one all the way back in 1999 when it was decided that exiting the Air Force was in my best interest. A decision made for me but as I look back it was probably still the best decision because I wasn’t sure if what I did is what I wanted to be doing any longer anyway. Maybe I will get into that soon as it would seem I have been doing quite a bit of reflecting on my life here the last few months.

Now, one would think that one could trust the VA medical to do its part in ensuring that when they make changes in ones medications that they hold up their end of the deal and ship them out to you as promised in a timely manner. I suppose I am the dumbass for assuming that would be the case. In grand anticipation of the changes I seemed to overlook one thing, I way overestimated what I thought should be a timely manner. Why? On 25 March 2014 I saw a diabetic specialist who prescribed me a different insulin because the VA doesn’t offer the dial a unit pen version. I needed a refil so it go changed so I could accommodate the way they do business. Fair enough I guess. However, after ten days (the allotted wait time) I received all of my refils with the exception of a few, one that was back ordered (indefinitely), and two that were never ordered, my glucose test meter and my insulin. After inquiring and getting the cock and bullshit story I was reassured that it was now done. Oh, and by the way, we will go ahead and order the syringes you will be needing as well. I made this call on 09 April 2014. Yesterday, yes the 16th, I received my syringes, but nothing else. I called to inquire again and was told it was all mailed on the 14th so give it another 7-10 days before any concern can be given. Really? Good goddamn thing I got friends in low places (I.e. doctors) who made sure I received a loaded pen of my old insulin to carry me to the big switch event. I want to be done fucking around and being fucked around by the VA medical. I see now why they have a well deserved reputation of being a literal joke. But wait, there’s more.

Today I saw an orthopedic specialist for my knee. The same knee that has had eight surgeries on it and nobody wants to replace it with a shiny new one. As well, this doctor, in his best opinion, believes that there is nothing he can do to better the way it feels, moves, or functions. Do know how hard it is to explain to another human being what “pain” is to you? Now, try doing that same explanation to a doctor, now do that with a VA doctor. Do you know what the result is? There is no result. None. There are predetermined answers which much be given to downplay what one is feeling. So, I get to be made out to feel like shit because my knee, once again, is shredding to utter pieces. Yes, I did xrays and some other imaging about three weeks ago. Yes, he reviewed them in front of me, yes he cringed a little when he saw all the screws, bolts, and other artificial bullshit that showed up plain as the nose on your face. However, even though he commented that the hardware had shifted and I have a screw backing out that this fact has nothing to do with what “appears” to be my ACL ligament being ruptured yet again. Oh really? I tossed out my yellow bullshit flag and called for a time out why we reviewed his credentials. No diploma on the wall but he has a real cool badge. The long and short of it is that I was given a cortisone shot and a prescription for antiinflammatory medication which I should get in 7-10 business days. I won’t hold my breath. I got a better exam from my son who explained to me that if something hurt to do then just don’t do it. Well, shit, that solves everything, I will just stop walking and standing from this point forward. On a patient/doctor statisfication rating of 1-10 I give this a 1 with my middle finger being then one I choose to show how happy I am right this second. Oh, I get to go back in the end of July to see if I have improved at all. I can make a prediction on how that appointment will go, y’all probably can as well.

If this hasn’t been fun enough, I registered with the “my healthcare.VA.gov” website only to find out that to access any of my records I have to go to the main facility with a government form in hand to be verified in person with proof of I.d. so they known its me on-line. This is so much fun I couldnjustnshitnrazor blades in rejoice. I know, sounds like allot of whining, complaining, and bitching for no real reason. Well, if it helps y’all, in feel the reasons are pretty valid. For the first time in my life I imagined how good it would feel to choke the life out of someone giving me grief for no special reason. Is this karma sneaking up non me to let me know that it is finally time to be rewarded for all the years I have been an asshole? I should be careful who I ask that. Anyway, appearantly the adventure (my life) continues on yet for another day, whether I like it or not, I can be happy about that I suppose.