Brad Bailey

Another Day at the VA (part one)

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning with my left side feeling weaker than normal. I was kind of freaking out, worried that I might have ALS or something. I went to work that day and the medic on staff checked me out. My blood pressure was sky high, which is extremely rare for me. (I actually can't remember an instance of high bp in all my checkups over the years.) They insisted I go see a doctor ASAP, which, for me, was the next day.

I went to the clinic I had last gone to, the one on the southeast side, as a walk-in. They triaged me, and then the nurse went to talk to the doctor. After a long wait, she returned, informing me that I should go to the emergency room. The emergency room located at the VA hospital on the extreme north side. By extreme, I mean there's the hospital, a couple hundred yards of desert terrain, and then a mountain. Turns out, since I hadn't been to the doctor in a couple of years, (due to lack of availability of appointments, and a bit of general laziness on my part), I had been purged as an active patient, and due to a loss of providers, they were no longer taking new patients. Lovely.

So I waited for an hour or so to be checked out. (They check in new arrivals before checking out the ones already there.) They were happy to schedule me a new appointment at one of the other VA clinics in town, all of which are on the opposite side of town from me. I picked the southwest clinic, as it seemed closest to the freeway. The soonest appointment was October 21st. Seven weeks out. FML.

(to be continued...)

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