Brad Bailey

Another Day at the VA (part four)

Yes, there's more.

I might have mentioned that they didn't give me the correct amount of pain meds. The doctor wrote for a 30 day supply, but the pharmacy gave me 20 pills. (Once every 8 hours... that puts us at 6 1/3 days. I tried extending it by skipping them before bed.) I had just figured they wrote it for a shorter time period. What do I know?

So the doc writes another prescription. (This isn't the doctor I saw at the ER, but whoever the nurse I was assigned to was working with that day.) It gets to the pharmacy, and they won't fill it, because their records show that my previous prescription was for 30 days, and it's only been 15. So it looks like I've been shopping for scrips, apparently. Of course, they also have the information showing that I was not actually given the amount I was supposed to receive. So we're clear, the pharmacist knows that I wasn't given 30 days worth.

So I have to wait for the nurse to get the doctor to enter a note allowing an early fill. Then, the nurse comes out and says that because I haven't actually seen my actual provider at my intro exam, they can't give me enough to get to the appointment, because I have to sign a pain contract. (I still don't know what that means; I guess I'll find out on October 21.) This, even though the original pharmacy made the error. I was advised when I run out to go back to the ER. At the VA hospital. On the other side of town.

Somewhere in there, I went through the check out process. I asked if there was any way to get an appointment sooner, due to the whole "in danger of losing my job/not having any money" thing. "No, because the appointment I need is an hour, not one of the 15-minute ones they can just sneak in. Oh, and funny thing, now the clinic I'm currently at is closed for new patients, and the one I was turned away from two weeks ago is now open again."

Yeah. Hysterical.

I said to someone, "can you imagine what it's like for people who have real problems?" I know there are countless veterans with much more severe issues than my own. And some of my troubles are at least partially due to my own short-sightedness, (not realizing that two years from then that I would need them to keep me current, and they might drop me), and maybe not the best response to frustration with being unable to get appointments in a timely manner two years ago. (I pretty much gave up and stopped trying, because, hey, I'm OK for now.)

But I know there is an actual problem here.

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