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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Friday, April 15, 2005

Frustrated Friday

Friday morning is suddenly reaching out day for the RRR. Multiple things are occurring in the lives of the people he cares about. His good friend (we'll call him Jim) has been struggling with deep problems of depression and self destructive thoughts and a real crisis in is faith. Thankfully he's being released from the hospital this morning. Both he and his wife need the prayers and support of all of us. Grandpa RRR is facing major medical problems as he continues on radiation treatments and now is facing the need for diagnostic tests that would require him to go off medication that is vital for his health.
And I am looking at leaving for blood tests myself in about an hour. The RRR came home from the 'Nam with Hepatitis C as did many of his comrades. I've been on 4 or 5 one year cycles of medication which is basically chemotherapy. Now six months after the last dose, I go in to have blood drawn to see if this time the treatment took. I won't have the results back for a week or more.
Adding to this frustration is dealing with the most lumbering bureaucracy on the planet, the Veterans Administration. Costing the taxpayers double the private cost for care one half as good, it is the real “third rail” of government programs. No legislator dares even criticize it without committing political suicide. Everyone knows what needs to be done but the ponderous weight of veterans organizations prevents it. The whole system needs to be eliminated. Veterans could be given vouchers to take to the health care providers of their choice. It would save us billions of dollars. And the out of work Dr.s and nurses would have to get real jobs, thus eliminating our nurse and Dr. shortage in the U.S. Will it ever happen? Don't hold your breath, dear reader.
I will give you an example. This morning I called the VA to confirm my appointment and see if the labs were fasting. After listening to the required 30 second recording and being allowed to talk to a live operator, I was transferred to the lab. They had no record of me being supposed to show for the labs. I had to call back and get the operator again and asked for my clinic. She transferred me by mistake to the surgery clinic, who then transferred me to the correct clinic, but that clerk had never heard of me either. She paged the clinic nurse who remembered me from my last visit and finally found me in her computer. Someone from the main clinic had discontinued my labs today figuring they could all be drawn when I come in for another appointment for another problem next week. But the Hep C test has to be packed in dry ice and shipped out of state so the results wouldn't be ready by the time of my Hep C clinic visit. The nurse changed them all back on the computer and Mrs. RRR and I will go there this afternoon on faith.
You begin to see why veterans waiting in line for hours at the wrong desk go postal. My favorite was the 'Nam vet who waited in front of a receptionist being ignored for 15”, then went out to his pickup and got his chainsaw and cut the desk in half. You gotta love 'Nam vets.
Mrs. RRR loves this one. Yesterday we went for a walk around the county park and came home to one of her superlative meals. “I am of all men, most fortunate.”

2 Comments:

Blogger H. Jane said...

"go postal"--fascinating phrasing, Dad!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Eutychus said...

Do you know what it means when the flag is at half staff at the Post Office?..........................................................................they're hiring

4:16 PM  

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