This Would Make a Great Sitcom

@FourWalls (16203)
United States
February 1, 2016 8:45pm CST
The stereotypical working day in the U.S. is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's so common that Dolly Parton sang a song about it (the title song from a movie she was in, 9 to 5). My "9 to 5" today involved a most unpleasant trip to the local Veterans Affairs hospital. It would make a great sitcom....if it wasn't a sad, all-too-frequent reality. My day was only supposed to be about 15 minutes, a follow-up examination in the neurosurgery clinic. They had sent me for a test on my arm to determine if I have carpal tunnel. Any rational person would think that the clinic that sent someone for a test would have answers for that test. Ah, but this is the V.A. Throw rational thinking out the door. In fact, I think Steely Dan named an album after V.A. thinking: Pretzel Logic. NO, the doctor I saw today said he doesn't treat carpal tunnel. That's not neurosurgery's department. Okay, then why did they send me for the test to begin with? Oh, and what about my back? Surely the neurosurgery clinic that's treating the spinal stenosis in my neck can also deal with the spondylolisthesis in my spine, right? Of course not. In order for him to see me for that I'd have to spend another 6-8 weeks chasing my tail in "the system." Here's a "civilian" specialist analogy. You make an appointment with a podiatrist because of pain in your left foot. On the day of the appointment you mention you have had some pain in your right foot for some time as well. The podiatrist refuses to look at your right foot because you made the appointment for your left foot. After sitting for about 100 minutes for a fifteen-minute appointment the rest of my day was spent dealing with the patient advocate, getting my wrists x-rayed, getting occupational therapy and hand surgery appointments, and finally, going to the emergency room. It wasn't really necessary to see the ER, but as the VA forced my hand, I had no option (other than to wait 2-3 weeks for my primary clinic to call and tell me it'd be 2-3 weeks before my primary doctor could look at my request to be seen, and then 2-3 weeks to be seen, followed by 2-3 weeks to have the back x-rayed, etc.). The wait in the ER was remarkably shorter than I have waited for a true emergency (e.g., an asthma attack, rectal bleeding), and it accomplished the purpose splendidly. I now have medication that my clinic doctor refused to prescribe, documentation of the progress of the spondyolisthesis, and a head start on getting an MRI done. As Bruce Springsteen sang, "Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny." I'm sure I'd be laughing if I saw this on TV. In reality, it stinks NOBODY should have to endure a day like today in the healthcare system. Least of all, a veteran who goes to a hospital that treats only veterans. We deserve better.
4 people like this
3 responses
• United States
2 Feb 16
Bad stories about the VA are way too common.
2 people like this
@LeaPea2417 (23079)
• Toccoa, Georgia
3 Feb 16
The VA should be treated like Kings. The bad stories I hear regularly, is criminal. It is so not right.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 16
@LeaPea2417 Our country should be ashamed.
1 person likes this
@LeaPea2417 (23079)
• Toccoa, Georgia
3 Feb 16
@AbbyGreenhill I totally agree!
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (34697)
• Canada
4 Feb 16
It might be funny watching a sitcom about it but not so funny in real life.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (121017)
• Boise, Idaho
2 Feb 16
If you a problem in your neck and then get the tunnel I would think that they are connected/
1 person likes this