Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nothing like standing in line and listening to insults

Well , once again, last Wednesday, i found myself at my home away from home. The Miami VA. I had an appointment at 2 for Rheumatology. Well, i sat there and waited and waited and waited. Finally, another gentleman got up and went to the counter and simply asked what might be taking so long? Well, all of a sudden, there was a hustle and bustle of activity. See, the nurses hadn't even checked our blood pressure yet or gone through our pain questionaires.
So, i got called back and one of the nurses was talking about the guy who had asked the question. "It's called patience," she yelled out. I was thinking to myself what alot of nerve after they have been sitting back there on their asses for 2 hours doing who knows what. This is what the VA employees do though. They will talk about a veteran like a dog behind their back.
They were pissed because i guess they were hoping we would be cancelled because heaven help them if they had to stay past 4 to wait on a veteran to see the doctor.

So i see the doctor and lo and behold, i am having a lupus flare. My liver is enflamed. Well, i have only been trying to tell them that for over 6 months. My pain keeps me up at night. I hadn't slept in two nights. I had joint stiffness, malaise, fatigue, and a lovely malar butterfly rash on my face.
They diagnosed me in 1997 then changed it to RA in 2000 then in 2005 they said it was psychosomatic. All i know is on Mar 14, 1991 i received 25 vaccines and after i received 2.5 cc of gamma globulin in each but cheek, i was in severe pain from that day forward. So to make a long story short, i had to go to the pharmacy to get prednisone.
So i am waiting in line forever to get up to the window. The closer i get the more abuse i hear coming from the pharmacist. One Hispanic lady went up and asked for her Sin--throid. The pharmacist said "There is no Synthroid for you."
The lady said, "The doctor put it in yesterday."
The pharmacist said: He didn't put it in yesterday, last week, last month, last year.
I was thinking to myself, Yea i get the point. Another asshole with an attitude. Excuse my language.
So the next man goes to the window , an older Hispanic man, who appears to have had surgery on his arm. He says "I have been waiting for 45 minutes and i need to take a taxi to Port St Lucie and i need to get my meds."
Well the pharmacist said"Did you see your name on the tv screen?" The vet responded "No, but i need to take a taxi." So by this time, i am getting mad because the dude behind the counter had an attitude problem. So i said out loud" I am sick and tired of these people having an attitude with veterans."
So it came to be my turn and wheni got to the window I just said: Parker xxxx, i amhere for prednisone. I looked that dude in the eye and he must have known not to say anything to me.

Shame that our veterans are treated this way. American public doesnt have a clue.
More onthis same topic in the next blog. Please excuse the typos, i amhaving lupus flare.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Having to "beg" for medicines and then stand near pee to pick them up.

About 10 days or so ago, I was nauseated. I can handle surgeries, severe pain every day, you name it but i can't handle nausea. That's my weak link. You see, I had run out of Protonix, an acid reducer normally given to cancer patients for nausea. I ran out because my provider had retired and didn't give enough refills. So i had been patiently waiting for an appointment with a new provider for four months. Meanwhile, my "problem list" was as long as a notebook page.
However, last Friday, i called the RN line at 8, 830, 9. They all told me to call the Red team pharmacist and ask for the medicine. I called at 9,930, 10,1030,11,1130, 12....the phone just rang and rang. Meanwhile, every day was another day of the dreadful nausea.
So Wednesday April 8, i started off to the VA and checked my phone messages. The first message was from the VA telling me my appointment had been changed to the middle of June!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What, oh no way.
I called the Red Team and they couldn't give me a reason why the appointment was cancelled.
I told them someone was going to see me. I was so upset-angry and tearful.
I called the patient advocate's office and they had an answering machine on at 2pm. I called the director's office and they said they would check into it.
I decided to call Senator Nelson's office and tell them what was going on. So they called the director's office and the doctor had to see me. They had booked 3 veterans who each needed an hour with the doctor so myself and another veteran were cancelled. So needless to say, we did not get to every item on my pagelong list of needs but at least we got to 2 or 3 of the most pressing issues. I have to wait until June to get an hour with the new doctor. Ridiculous. That is partially due to the fiasco of the Miami VA not sterilizing the colonoscopy machine for 5 years.
Just another day of frustration at the VA.
I almost forgot. I went to the pharmacy and stood in line for 45 minutes to find a puddle of pee in front of the pickup window-the tech said he was too busy to call housekeeping! ARGHHH and then i only got one of the medicines i needed right away.
More frustration.
The line is so long , sometimes they have to call the VA Police to maintain order in the pickup line. I kid you not!