Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hell's Waiting Room or "My Day at the Veterans Hospital"

If Hell had a waiting room, I was in it yesterday.

A family member needs surgery. As they are a veteran, we made an appointment to meet with the surgeon and discuss the surgery. Well, dear friends, our appointment was at 11:00. We arrived shortly after 10:30 because we left too early. We weren't sure of the traffic situation, didn't know exactly where the office was and didn't want to cause problems with the doctor's schedule by arriving late. The family member signed in and we sat and waited, and waited, and waited... and waited some more. At 2:15 p.m. we finally were face to face with the surgeon. Over three hours after our scheduled appointment. I couldn't believe it. Can you leave the waiting room? No. If you are called and you aren't present, they go on to the next person. They may or may not call your name later. Oh, and a person that doesn't speak English very well screams your name out. The room is huge and "L" shaped. The screamer is at one end of the "L" we are at another. Awful system. Surely there is something better. I like the idea of those hand held pagers like you get at restaurants. I finally snuck away and got us some popcorn (read lunch). Was it over after we saw the surgeon. Heck no. We then had to do all the prep work for the surgery. We went to the blood clinic and waited in line again for her blood to be drawn. Then we went and waited in line again for her to have her heart monitored. We went to the X-ray clinic and got a chest X-ray. This was the last stop and there was no wait. Thank God! Were we done? Nope. We had to make an appointment with the anesthesiologist for a workup before surgery. Then we have to come back for the actual surgery on another day. We finally crawled in the house at 5:45.

Personally, it makes me sick to my stomach to think of our veterans having to endure such conditions. You know those people that risk life and limb for us. Yes, those people.

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