Brad Bailey

Another Day at the VA (part three)

Where was I? Ah, yes. Muscle relaxers and painkillers. 

So, the next day I head in to work, knowing I'm going to have to ask for a leave of absence. My job won't let me work while I'm on the meds I was prescribed. (Apparently an industrial environment and being out of my mind on drugs aren't conducive to not having horrific accidents. Go figure.) Turns out I could have done it on the phone. Which would have been nice to know, but I'm sort of new, and figured that the HR department actually did HR stuff.

Anyway, half hour on the phone, and I'm temporarily set up. I'm going to need a doctor's approval to return to work, since my problems don't seem to be directly work related. Which seems fine.

Until two weeks later.

Did I mention they only gave me like a six day supply of the pain meds? Because they only gave me a six day supply of the pain meds. Plenty of muscle relaxers, though. So I was trying to ration them.

Anyway, two weeks later. Two weeks is about how long it took for me to receive the paperwork I need the doc to sign off on for my medical leave. I walk in to the new VA clinic I've been assigned to. Triage and everything is really fast. 

I see the nurse and she tells me they won't be able to do anything with my paperwork until my for reals appointment on October 21. (Remember that? The soonest I could get an appointment was seven weeks out. Now it's five.) Then I wait for an hour or so, reading my book. (I brought a book. I always bring a book. This time it was Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Really good. Check it out.)

The nurse comes back, and the doctor indeed won't sign my stuff, because I haven't had my initial exam. (Because they purged me from the system, I guess they don't have record of me from two years ago. Except I know that they do, because they've referred to it in dealing with me.)

So, here's where I stand: My job won't allow me to come back to work until I get a doctor's approval. They also won't approve my medical leave and temporary disability pay, also because of lack of doctor approval. And if I don't get the doctor's approval, which I can't get until October 21st at the earliest, I guess they could fire me for not coming back to work. Which they won't let me do.

But wait, there's more...

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