Brad Bailey

Another Day at the VA (part two)

So, the VA made me an appointment for seven weeks away, and sent me to the ER at the VA hospital on the other side of town. I'm upset, almost "drummer kid in Whiplash after JK Simmons slaps him a few times"-type upset. I'm pretty much collected by the time I get there, and the check in process was pretty quick. I'm taken to a room they refer to as "lenai," or something like that. It seems to mean "place you sit and wait while an orderly sits and watches you."

I actually see a doctor. She goes over all the questions I've answered six times already, but that's her job, so it's cool. She rules out a stroke, which is nice, because that hadn't even occurred to me. (Remember, I jumped straight to Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS.) A couple of X-rays later, and it looks like my C4 and C5 vertebrae are "smooshed," (which seems to be the technical term), and I have degenerative bone disease in my lower back. The theory is that these issues are combining to pinch nerves, which could account for my left side going all weird on me.

Right then, they gave me a couple of shots: a steroid in my shoulder, and some sort of painkiller in my hip. The hip one, I barely noticed. The one in my arm... Well, within minutes it hurt more than any harm that has ever been inflicted upon me, and I was thinking, "Maybe you guys could just amputate instead?" (After about an hour it settled down.) The nurse was surprised, because usually the hip one was what bothered folks, and that steroid thing worked wonders on his allergy attacks. (Apparently kittens cause an instantaneous death spiral for him.)

I was sent home with prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxers. 

Wait, it gets better.

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