Friday, August 24, 2012

Ping Pong Game of Healthcare for Veterans

This is sort of the never ending saga of our state of health care for Veterans.

My hubby was in pain yesterday, the medical people call it 'idiopathic' pain as it doesn't have a source that they can pinpoint it to.  His B/P went from way high to now... way low.  

As low as 103/77, which sounds okay and good, but when you are dizzy, nauseated, and unable to concentrate...it becomes a bit concerning. 
[Yes, they put him on a new B/P med which makes his blood pressure dip wildly, and it also fluctuates wildly.]

The phone call to the VA hospital triage nurse was made.  She insisted we go to Vernon Memorial...the hospital that we had such a bad experience with before.  
Hubby said no!  She warned him that he could 'die' in transit in the car.  He said 'SO?'
So off we went with a great sense of urgency.   
[Two stops for barfing...ewww, thank goodness none IN my Jeep!] 

At the Urgent care, after 5 hours they decided to keep him for observation and then a stress test the next morning.  

Good.  I had to work a midnight shift and I felt this would be a great option.

Then the substitute psych doctor came in and told him that he saw no psychiatric signs of distress and that my hubby really wasn't in distress and that high blood pressure and headaches were not caused by stress. 

[HMMM?  Where did this guy get his license to practice?  Out of a magazine? He had some way off the wall things he said to my husband and instantly his BP went from 130/88 to 187/90.  Stress nor emotion effect B/P?]

The attending doctor said he could go home and she wanted him back in the morning for a stress test but no change in meds.  
I looked at her and said *Do you have any idea how far we have to travel?  I work until 8am and I am in no way going to be able to bring him.*

She looked at hubby and he gave her the 'stink eye' and told her he hasn't been able to drive in over 3 weeks because of this...much less function.  

OH.

Well, they had beds, but he wasn't 'bad' enough to be kept and they had beds, but they needed to save them in case... so ... yeah it was a long way but could we come?  This needed to be done right away!  OH and by the way, if symptoms persist or he doesn't feel better, please come back.  But, he was to stay on the meds that were making him sick, no change, no plan other than the stress test.

Roll of the eyes.  I said so ... 'I can bring him back every day?'  No answer.  The A.M. Stress Test was out of the question for Friday morning.  No way I could work a midnight shift and have him there in time.  

The VA hospital is a good care facility, I will give them that.  What stinks is that they don't have the capabilities to actually take care of all the veterans who need help.  So the system works on the triage system.  Worst ones first.

I get that.  

Today?  He is feeling just as crappy as ever.  Two nurses have called.  One to schedule his stress test for Monday and the other to see how he was doing.  

Any changes?  Nope.

Better? Nope.

He told her not even to suggest the drive.  

I'm sure that my husband is not the only Veteran who feels like he is getting the run around for health care.  It is a sad state when these men and women give everything to protect our rights and then get shuffled around like numbers.

One person even patted my hubby's hand and said, 'Honey there is a light at the end of the tunnel.'

She meant to be nice, but I wondered if she was talking about a freakin' freight train or a 'near death experience'?

And the beat goes on.  [We hope]

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