Friday, September 28, 2007

A Day with the VA

The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can't ask his patients what is the matter-he's got to just know. ~ Will Rogers

They were concerned enough that I was “required” to be moved around the hospital in a wheelchair. I hate wheelchairs! I dislike being confined and having little control of where I am going. But vulnerability of having no insight into the healing of my leg is exactly how I left the Veterans Administration hospital yesterday.

After five hours at the hospital, I returned home with this information:

  • No reason for the continued swelling and pain in my leg can be found.
  • The “cracked heel” noted in the x-rays taken on September 1st is a “very old injury,” possibly as old as the 1970 tank accident that left the 13 inch scar on my leg.
  • An MRI was done yesterday to be certain that I have no blood clots in either of my legs; thankfully it came up negative.
  • The VA will schedule me for more medical tests and I will be contacted at a later date informing me of the time and place.

The kind woman who had been pushing me around in the wheelchair took me to the front door, where I got out of the wheelchair and, with the aid of my walking stick, hobbled the quarter mile to where I had found a parking place in the humongous VA hospital complex.

When I got home, Alex told me that I should have gone to see his vet.


  1. i think i need a referral to alex's vet too!

  2. I don't think there's anything more frustrating than going to a doctor with a problem and having them shrug the shoulders and say, "Huh, that's weird." I hope your problems get resolved soon.

  3. Good luck Nick, I agree with Alex. Completely.

  4. Yay for Alex's vet. Sorry they couldn't come up with anything definite. I know that feeling well by now.

  5. Oh, Nick. I share your frustration. Now you've got me thinking of going to a vet.

  6. Nick at least there are no blood clots, so THAT is a positive!
    Tell Alex I said hi!

  7. I hate wheelchairs for the same reason! Best wishes.

  8. I'm glad you don't have blood clots. I understand that there's pain, but blood clots.... Don't even want to think about that.

    I hope they can think of something to help you.

  9. How frustrating for you Nick I'm sorry the clinic wasn't of more help maybe Alex has a point.

  10. My friend is having problems with the VA...hopefully things work out better with you then she's experiencing.

  11. Alex, is right. Like always.
    IMO, our VA hospitals should be a lot more on the ball than they are. My Dad and Bob's brother both go to VA docs and hospitals and both don't receive the care they should.

    I think the men who fought for our freedom deserve the best medical care this country can provide and I don't think they're getting it. America should be ashamed of that.

  12. Glad you're home Nick - they sound like they're trying, but I'm sorry it's taking so long...

  13. you can always count on alex to pipe up with a witty quip. just rest up, and delight in some hob-nobs!

  14. Hi Nick ~~ Sorry you didn't get much help, but at least there are no blood clots. I hope they don't keep you waiting too long for a repeat trip
    and that they do something more for you. Take great care, Kind regards, Merle.

  15. ` Aaa haaa haaaa! They really ought to wheel people out to their cars! Well, at least you know what you don't have now.

  16. I certainly hope you obtain a diagnosis and some relief soon.

  17. It must be frustrating going to hospital to get well and leaving without anything being done. Hang in there, Nick.

  18. As expected.

    Ya know, I have more than one patient with "unknown" extremity swelling, some have the additional joy of open wounds that stubbornly won't heal. They've been through the ringer with test after test, doc after doc:
    "Are you a diabetic?"
    "Do you take any kind of fluid pill?"
    "Is the edema worse in the afternoon and evening?"
    "Do you wrap the leg?"

    I have one guy (and I am NOT recommending you do this) get so fed up he decided to "open" the leg himself with small incisions to allow the fluid to drain. Amazing! It worked! Man was his doc mad, flaming fucking furious, actually.

    May you find physical relief...and a greater degree of certainty in the days ahead. Flippin' drag, this.


  19. grrrrrrr. i hate VA hospitals.

    i'm afraid you will hafta keep nagging them. it's always the squeaky wheel with the VA.

    I'm glad you don't have to worry about clots, at least.


  20. My FIL and BIL have both have been several times to the local VA and the main result was massive frustration at the waiting times and lack of action. Hope your problems get better soon. ec

  21. No experience with the VA but I know doctors in general are not all the same. I have had problems in August for 3 years in a row. Tests were done, more tests were done and nothing. Oh well. Glad you are back. Sorry it took so long for me to find that out as work has been crazy. Hope they figure it out soon.