For me, the undersigned, the previous years of superb medical performance by the U. S. Veteran Administration have been badly tarnished. Therefore, I submit the Honolulu VA Clinic Facility has not, and did not, perform to expectations as a merciful veteran’s organization. Thus, I a veteran, have suffered these past three-months with severe unremitting pain and swelling, that at times have been excruciatingly unbearable and immobilizing. The background for the complaint may be of interest to some VA patients whom may have shared similar.
Eight years ago I relocated from Hawaii to Batam Island, Indonesia and as a precaution, I requested my medical records be transferred from the Sparks M. Matsunaga Tripler Facility to the Pacific Theater’s Veterans Outpatient at Agana Guam.
Those past eight years were basically healthy ones and the Guam service was unneeded; however, on 2 July 2015 while in Batam I was struck by a sudden unexpected severe arthritic attack leaving me unable to walk without pain and swelling in my right knee, Since that time the paralyzing affliction has been terribly consistent and unceasing.
Seeking help I arrived in Honolulu on the morning of 23 July with plans to immediately attend the VA Clinic that afternoon, but that the fact my baggage was lost I attended the facility the following morning. When I approached the desk and provided my last four social security numbers 2595 was gratified my records were available. I informed the administrator of my severe pain that needed immediate attention. Was asked to provide my permanent address and phone number and given a flyer of contact numbers and told to call these and setup an appointment to see a caregiver. I told them I required the immediate attention of a doctor or a nurse. This was rejected and I was advised to follow procedure. The pain at the time as it was unbearable when walking two or three inches at a time relying on the constant use of a cane.
I directed myself to the emergency room and was thoroughly examined, but deemed to be fit enough and provided drugs to ease discomfort and swelling. Upon leaving was summoned by the desk and told to register immediately once I acquired a permanent address This I did, using my hotel room and later a condominium apartment domicile. Thereafter it became an expensive two month plus waiting game as the pain persisted for weeks in which I lived in excruciating pain when walking and other stressful discomforts.
During this period I attended the emergency room three times and phoned 911 once due to pitiful immobility and pain and received help in the form of more drugs that were non-narcotic. The suffering was intent and one of the most painfully protracted experience in my eighty years.
In August after 36 day in-country was provided an appointment with an orthopedic doctor later in that month. Within the 15 minute examination was given a cortisone Injection and an authorization to acquire a knee brace. These did little to nothing to reduce the football size knee and my pain and mobility. I painfully hobbled out of that office in the same condition as back in early July of this year, but an appointment with a Health Care Giver. That interview was accomplished and more medications provided. The pain and the inability to walk other than a few inches in baby steps persisted throughout these weeks as I struggled to gather logistics and do chores. This gravely affected me and am certain added to my knee’s destruction. I had been informed of another appointment on 16 October meeting with a same care-giving physician and promised an MRI in the future.
Almost immediately on hearing of the appointment delay, October, I determined to return to Singapore – Indonesia to acquire proper and particularly timely medical care. I could no longer tolerate arising mornings and painfully transporting myself across the room with cane and by way of furniture, and to hire taxis everywhere I needed to go, It would be an unbearable hardship and significantly expense to remain in Honolulu, so I decided to return to Asia at any cost no matter what would transpire.
The scandals of a few years ago, that of lengthy schedule periods and the dismissal of the Director General Shiseki hit home and the criticism bears merit. I learned first hand the VA continues to require a reset and a reexamination of procedures in order to adequately, compassionately care for their veteran patients.
Do you read Veterans Administration? More and quicker scheduling has to be done in order to meet the needs of VA patients.
All the Best.