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"Yoga is the Best" backstory

So a bit of backstory on how this all came to fruition. I may jump back in forth throughout my posts. It's important to give details especially in this case, but what finally pushed me over the edge to this point? Well I will rewind to the beginning of this year. I was recovering from a surgery (thankfully done by Albany Med Hospital and that's a whole other story) that was done just before Thanksgiving 2019 but took me until about January 2020 to be able to start doing some light workouts. Yoga is something that for as long as I have been in the VA system has been their recommendation for anything: weight loss, range of motion, surgery recovery, smoking cessation, etc. You see were I'm going here. And before any Yoga supporters come at me, I did Yoga for years by choice, not by the VA's advice. So after being bedridden for what seemed like an eternity, I was excited just to do something active even if it was their annoying advice to do Yoga. So I started a Yoga program in maybe mid January and about mid February during a session I felt a pop in my right shoulder. At the time I thought I just overextended and pushed thru another 4 or 5 days of it. Then I realized it wasn't just a pull. So March comes and brings with it the wondrous COVID-19 bullshit and shuts everything down. The VA hospital in Albany completely shut down. My pain was worse so I called my ortho guy and explained what was going on. I was told that unless I had COVID or was bleeding to death (their words not mine), I could not get care. So the normal take Motrin, ice, heat, etc was their plan (I had already been doing that for 2 weeks). I had to call almost everyday for 2 weeks before I was given a CT scan and another week after that to have them call to give me results. The CT scan showed a definite SLAP tear and in ordinary circumstances (non COVID crap) I would've been in surgery the next day. But as well all have experienced, especially with the VA, the shuffle began. April 1st I was given 3 steroid/cortisone shots in that shoulder to alleviate the inflammation until the "VA reopened". He said most likely it wouldn't work because of the tear but it was all they could do. So needless to say it didn't help and I continued to wait and things only got worse for my shoulder/arm. The VA shuffle started with "VA is still closed", "You can't have surgery now for 3 months due to the cortisone shots", "Take Motrin it'll heal", "Here's a sheet of paper with PT exercises and a stretchy band, go do this at home", "oh we actually need an MRI but not sure we can get one due to .......(several excuses)". Well I pushed until every box was marked off and no more excuses remained. They even contradicted themselves many times. For instance: "Oh we never said you needed surgery ASAP", "You do need PT/ you don't need PT", "It's a horrible tear and needs surgery", "It'll heal on it's own", "oh your bicep it completely separated from the shoulder now", and on and on and on. Lucky for me my boyfriend hears every conversation I have and when he started pointing out the inconsistency of all the calls/conversations, backpedaling again.


After all of this and struggling to get anything done for months, I get the results from the MRI. Well surprise, surprise. The MRI showed the same thing but worse now (time between the CT and MRI was 3 months) and I was told "VA is closed unless you have COVID or bleeding and face imminent death", "Surgeon says you need to do aggressive OT (not PT) this time and take Celebrex (another nonsensical drug to me, and yes I've been on it years ago), "our hand are tied due to COVID", and many more excuses. I completely lost it. I have been struggling to get through most days as it is with this shit and this is the answers I get? This is only one issue I have had with the Veteran's Affair and there are just so many more that I'm sure many would just love to hear about. They want to try and keep things done in house, i.e. patient advocate, chief of staff of the hospital, etc. But the advocate can only do so much and she's only one person and I'm not the only one with issues. I know I'm not special but there needs to be a voice for those like me. Those like us, veterans who still have to fight each everyday to get help after the years we gave to help our country. It's a horrible thing to be in this situation. I am 100% service connected and there are so many that struggle to get a small % of service connection and that take years and years of fighting. The VA wants veterans to give up that's why all of the shuffling and sending us around in circles. It's sick and I am sick and tired of all of it.


To wrap all this up, although I love Yoga, it's not for everyone nor is it impossible to get hurt. I used their words and all the contradictions they spouted at me in an email to orthopedics in general and threatened to take it further. It went to the Chief of Surgery and I was immediately approved for surgery (June 18th). So fingers crossed some other world ending thing doesn't come up so they can cancel it. They've already canceled my dental procedure again...and that's another story....

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