I have been gone for sometime – life has been wonderful and busy and crazy all at the same time. My granddaughter is growing and her smiles and giggles remind me what is beautiful about life. I find myself fiercely determined to protect her in all things and nothing in the world brings me peace like picking her up and seeing her smile at Grandma. God has bless me.
However – I have to find time to speak about the latest from the VA. I have been reading, watching C-Span hearings and finding my heart breaking about the newest round of scandals from the VA. Some of it makes me so angry – so of it makes me weep. It was so avoidable.
If you are a regular reader of my blog – you know that I work for a VA Facility. I am proud to report that we were recently informed that – after the investigative team came through – they will not be coming back for follow up of the current concerns. We are good to go. Now I don’t know if that means we are perfect – because no one is perfect – but I can tell you that I have never seen paper lists – I have never seen patients denied care in MY office and I have never been a witness to any of the bullshit that has been reported in the news. I speak this honestly – because had I been a witness to it – I would have seriously raised hell. In fact – I recently bought myself a t-shirt that says…”I will NOT keep calm…I will raise hell and break shit!” I thought it was fitting.
Although this is good news – I continue to fight the stigma of MST in my facility and I actually had an event (with a staff member) that was enough to send me over the edge. So I had to register for FMLA and I am back in therapy. It is okay – sometimes we need to revisit the issues we bury in an attempt to feel normal. So I am currently in the process of hell-raising and I was recently informed that I have a “reputation” in our facility. Well – my answer is Fuck You..to those who have decided that I have a “reputation.” Because I know who they are – they are scumball mid-level leaders that don’t give a shit about Veterans!! All they worry about is protecting their little territories.
I can honestly say that I know how this was all happening in Phoenix, Houston, and other VA Facilities. The “get patients in within 14 days” was elevated to be some kind of a rule – instead of a goal. Therefore, we were instructed to make it look like the patient was seen within 14 days. In other words – if you called and asked me for a routine annual physical (you are not sick) and I asked when you wanted to be seen – your answer might be “anytime is good with me.” I may book you out 3 weeks…but it would show that you didn’t have a clinic wait. This was NOT something I made up – this is what we were instructed to do. However – I will clearly state that this was for routine physicals and never, ever for an ill patient. I have seen the providers that I work with double book or skip their lunch in order to get a sick patient in to see them same day. I work with some outstanding providers.
However – back to my reputation. My complaint of late has been that my rights as a patient have been violated because I am an employee. I had a Dermatology appointment and the male medical student expected me to remove my shirt in front of him without a gown or a chaperone. NOT HAPPENING. Therefore – I had to educated him. I was nice about it – and I also had to educated the female resident who came into the room. “What is MST?” I explained. Why should I explain? I am the fucking patient!! YOU should know! I did go to the patient advocate – who is a really terrific woman here – and she was equally upset.
A very short time later – I had a run in with one of Brigid’s nurses. She is about to have a tumor removed from her brain (it is not cancer – but we are both scared to death – please…pray for her and for me.) I talked to her nurse about her MST status and about her wishes. She said – “that will be up to surgery.” I said, “Okay – I can contact the head surgical nurse.”
She said – “YOU WILL NOT DO THAT – YOU ARE OVERSTEPPING YOUR BOUNDS.”
Overstepping my bounds??? I don’t have boundaries when it comes to Brigid. I am her medical power of attorney. I will do what I have to do when I have to do it and how I have to do it to make sure that she receives the APPROPRIATE care related to both her physical and psychological needs. I will do it in a calm, professional manner until you FUCK WITH ME and then I will wreck your world!! And do not play the employee card with me – because I am a Veteran and a patient who just HAPPENS to work here.
Anyway – I will finish my rant now..because I am not allowed to throw shit and break things at work.
But I am truly broken hearted and suffering from the recent news coming out of the VA system. It tears at my very soul…