You know this really irks me to read a headline like the following article. Who writes these articles? I mean are they even veterans with any experience of how the VA hospital care works? Especially since COVID took off and we were told the ER was for people with COVID (symptoms etc) and if you're bleeding out. No seriously, we were told this on more than a few occasions. So the ER visits have fallen because they flat out turn you away. Now I will say that the VA hospital ER is terrible anyways, but to write an article about this and not know firsthand what they are even talking about. Sure the numbers are drastically low, because they will not see you unless your COVID related or bleeding to death. Just to get in the hospital, as I mentioned in earlier blog, you better be on the list. they will not let you in otherwise. Per that blog I posted about being on a list. I watched a guy get dropped off at the ER (the COVID check tent is right at the entrance) and looked like a broken ankle. He was made to sit out in the parking lot until they could add his name to the list. Total bullshit, but I am digressing.
It was normal to see couples going to appointments together, as we do the same thing. I like having someone there in case I forget to bring something up or for just straight out proof of what happened in an appointment. They aren't even allowing spouses in together. So the person with the appointment goes in while the other waits in the parking lot in their car. I have seen several instances where the person really needed their significant other with them. We witnessed an elderly man that was carrying a blind walking stick and couldn't hear well, trying to convey to the desk personnel he couldn't read what she wrote nor could he hear well. The poor guy was trying to have his wife on his cell phone so she could hear his appointment information. The lady was inconsiderate at best. The way we figured out to get around all that nonsense so I have a witness still, is I have my boyfriend push me in a wheelchair. The COVID nurse screeners don't want anything to do with pushing someone around, so we are able to get in together.
I started writing this specific blog entry about a week ago and hadn't gotten back to it. But since this was about VA ER, I figured this would be a great opportunity to share my recent ER visit. So Tuesday, September 8th, I had to go in for a procedure for my shoulder. Now this is the very same shoulder I had surgery on in June. Orthopedics has completely just fell off the radar because they pushed me onto pain management, which did a nerve block that only supposedly lasts up to 18 hrs. FYI it lasted maybe 5 hrs at best and after it wore off the pain was back just as bad. Well they are all skirting the issue and whispering thinking I'm deaf, I find out my rotator cuff is torn. So yea not happy. I left that procedure and went to my primary care appointment to get them to prescribe antibiotics for an unrelated issue. The doctor then says I don't feel comfortable sending you home so off to the ER. I was not happy. I didn't like the VA ER when COVID wasn't a problem. Anyways I get taken, per doctor's orders, into the ER. They take me down this back hallway away from the "normal" ER bed areas to a "female room". I asked what the heck is this and she says, "Oh you're a female and I don't want to put you with the males blah, blah, blah. This made absolutely no sense whatsoever as this is news to me. I have been with male patients before with a curtain dividing us and that was never an issue. So in this room (I added a video below) has this huge air blower thing in it and I mention its pretty loud. She says oh that has to stay on for ventilators in the rest of the ER. Now I am no rocket scientist but once you see the pics feel free to tell me what you think this thing was in the room. So then I have a male nurse who proceeds to put in a IV cath to draw blood and also I had to to CT scan with dye. He immediately blows out my vein in left wrist, then goes and does same on the right side. It looked like I had golf balls in my wrists. He leaves it hanging, draws blood out of that, and then calls a phlebotomist to come fix it. She was so pissed and couldn't believe what he did. I am also attaching photos that I did indeed take as well to document it. I waited 2 hours in that room before going to CT scan. I was over it all. I just wanted to get my damn antibiotic and go home. I get dressed and wait..nothing. I walk out to nurse station and their on the phone/surfing the web etc. I said "excuse me" at least 10x before I knocked on the desk to get their attention. I told him to remove the IV cath and I wanted to leave. He tells me if I leave it would against medical advice. I said I am not sitting another 2 hrs waiting for radiology to read the scan and that crazy air blower thing is loud as hell. He gets pissy and comes back with me and flips an off switch on this "supposed ventilator machine"! He went and got my paperwork along with my antibiotic and threw them at me. I was like "you know what guy? I've been here all day. I have 3 kids at home and I hate being here alone (yes my boyfriend was made to sit out in the parking lot)." So yea I flipping hate the ER and their shitty attitudes. Yes I worked in a hospital doing lab work etc. I know it takes time to get results but I didn't feel this whole charade was necessary. Nor do I feel their attitude/bedside manner/whatever was appropriate given there was me and I believe 2 other vets there. Basically it was a very slow evening at the ER.
Below is the video of this thing in the "female only room". And yes this sound you hear is that machine.
Another picture of that machine, then several of the awesome blowouts and that doesn't even include what they look like today. The last one is a bit out of order (still learning the ropes of posting pics and videos) but that was the blown out right side which he left about half of the IV cath hanging out and put tape on it.
I have attached the article that started this blog entry. I know there was some rambling but funny how this all came together like it did and I was able to figure out the posting of the video. Come to find out had I waited 2 hrs more for the results I would have been sent with the same papers and medication (antibiotic). I hope you all have made it this far through this post and feel free to comment, I encourage any comments or questions!