Herewith is a personal story you may not want to read, but every word happens to be true. It’s about struggles with the Veterans Administration for prompt medical services. It regrettably goes like this:
I owe a great deal to the U. S. Veterans Administration. In the early 2000s they generously provided me with two artificial hips and a 24 day ICU hospital stay for a very ill pneumonia patient. This was while I was in Honolulu, Hawaii my once center of operations for nearly 30 years.
On returning in July, 2015 after a lengthy residence in Indonesia the story of our courtship differed greatly. I had no permanent address in Hawaii and was treated as a first-timer. The long wait in hotels and condominium for appointments and care became more than a needy patient could bear. The 6o day plus period I experienced while in excruciating pain waiting for knee surgery was I feel excessive, and I may add expensive.
Not that I neglected an attempt to acquire meaningful treatment, having approached the emergency room on three occasions and a phone call to 911 for assistance which should have alerted them of my painful condition. (The merciless episode is documented on this blog roguedinosaur.com, archive, September 2015)
After being shunned I returning to Indonesia to obtain commercial care. High on VA and commercial drugs my daily activity was to some extent relieved until obtaining surgery at the Nakota Medical Center in Malacca, Malaysia. Thereafter almost immediately, two days, I was walking without the pain that had become routine, and my rehabilitation completely resolved in two months. The previous arthritic knee affliction causes absolutely no difficulty today. I feel the procedure could have been taken care of easily in Hawaii within two months time, but due to bureaucracy and an inattentive medical team, was not.
During this period of lengthy waits and walking with acute pain, a few inches at a step, had by this time taken its destructive toll. The collapsed knee set in motion other afflictions not previously known or of minor nature: Incontinence, severe back pain, kidney malfunction, and an extended testicular hernia among them. These ailments later predicated two unsuccessful trips to Guam U. S. A. for relief. Lacking VA care I am presently encumbered in Batam, Indonesia with local doctors and clinics for my medical needs, causing financial stress and physical strain and discomfort.
I have written the Secretary of the Veterans Administration and staff members in Tripler and the clinic in Guam proposing authorized veterans returning from southeast Asia and other overseas locations be given priority for treatment. These patients have flown thousands of miles at their own expense and have not received timely care. I speak for them as well as for myself. However, I am concerned the elephant in the room cannot change its bureaucratic ways.
There were times during this painful ordeal I felt like taking a Ingrim MAC-10, clearing the clinic of people and shooting the building apart, half hoping a non-lethal stray bullet would strike an uncaring bureaucrat or negligent medical staffer. It’s only a dream. only a nightmare, but I assure you those that dream at night, wake to find it was merely vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous and may act to make it possible.