So indeed it has been quite some time since my last blog. Between kids and surgical recoveries and life, well it's been busy. I would love to be able to type more but I get sidetracked with life and well there you have it. I still hate the VA with a passion. I had a few issues since I last blogged but when don't veterans have issues when they have to go to the VA for anything? I was fortunate enough to have my shoulder fixed by an outside orthopedic surgeon through community care (as I mentioned in prior blog). The problems arose when the surgeon told me months and months ago, during my physical therapy phase, that I had an issue with my elbow that stemmed from the shoddy ass surgery performed by that lovely VA doctor in June 2020. The civilian dr tried steroid injections multiple times in hopes it would solve the issue but it did not. I was past the point of no return with the tendon issue in my elbow area. Being right handed it was horrible enough not being able to use my arm and hand for what seemed like years. So he told me in late August I needed surgery to cut the tendon and repair it (another reason I wasn't able to do much typing). He set up the surgery and I called the VA community care people to make sure the paperwork was in order for billing. Lo and behold what happens? Well I am going to tell you....
I was stressing about the surgery date nearing of September 13th and the fact no one would return my messages. I finally got a call from Ortho at the VA!! They stated I needed a followup for my elbow! I was like " Hold on a minute! Ortho at the VA has never seen me for my elbow, this was all in connection to the shitty shoulder surgeon!" She then proceeds to tell me that doctor was no longer employed there, ironically not long after my botched surgery...hmmm. But I was to rest assured that the new doctor would take care of me. Yea right. I threw a fit. How am I going to trust a doctor who has never even seen me versus the man who saved my shoulder/arm? I was transferred to the head of Community Care who was a polite woman named Donna. She informed me the reason I had to return to the VA for care was that I did not meet the requirements for outside care. Apparently Donna had not been privy to the year's prior situation. But she stood by the fact that I didn't live over a certain mileage and they indeed had a surgeon there that could do my surgery. She was under the impression I only went to this civilian doctor because they had no shoulder surgeon at that specific time (3 months after the chop shop surgery). Basically she had no idea I even had the crap surgeon that mysteriously disappeared after I went to the head of the hospital with patent advocate. So I had to go to an appointment at ortho so they could see me in person to submit a consult back to the outside doctor. Jeez this sounds like a lot of rambling but you get the picture.
Upon my return to the ortho office at the VA, I knew they weren't too excited to see me but at least I had the same Nurse Practitioner that tried to back me up with the whole Dr. Chop Shop. He agreed that I needed to return to that surgeon that already knew what was up. He mentioned that the doc I had "was forced into retirement"...or maybe it was just retirement...I would like to think he was forced, the man could barely walk and it was quite possible he was in his 80s. I honestly feel he should have been fired, screw retirement for these asshats that muck around with veterans.
Well Donna, at community care, stayed true to her word and got that paperwork in lickety split. I had the surgery September 13th and seems to have worked, not that I doubted my doctor at Ortho NY. I started PT last week so I can regain strength in that arm...eventually.
So there are a few good eggs, for lack of a better word that truly want to help and do their jobs. Donna and Dan the Nurse Practitioner at Ortho are a couple of them. Its sad when you have a provider mumble that they knew what was wrong the entire time but because they aren't an MD their opinion means shit. So much could have been avoided with this whole ordeal...so much. I've spent almost 1 and a half years with this shoulder nightmare. By the time I am through with all the physical therapy it will have been 2 years. To know that so much of this could have been avoided is just sick.
I will have another post soon. I gotta talk about VA Dental. It deserves its own post! Stay tuned....