We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 144: Another day spent at the VA

VA hallway

An endless VA hallway, it feels like a metaphor for something… can’t quite put my finger on it.

It’s been an interesting few days, I’ve had several meetings with my PI and my Co-PI, I’ve got classes starting again, and I have a surprise experiment. However, I have something else coming up that I failed to mention, I’m also having surgery! Which means the inevitable jumping through hoops to get ready. Each VA seems to do things differently, so this will be a fun attempt at explaining how it works.

Since I’ve had my healthcare taken over by veterans affairs (VA) hospital system, I’ve been to three different VA medical centers in three different states. Of those I’ve had surgery in two of the three. You would think since it’s all VA they are standardized, you would be wrong. Each VA does things in their own way. Case in point, at this VA I need to have an EKG, blood work, and chest x-ray before every surgery. For those of you who’ve been following along for some time this will be my third surgery just in the past year.

While each VA does things differently, they do have a lot in common, I hate them first off. Secondly, they waste a lot of my time making me sit for hours on end before being seen. You’re appointment was at 10am? Well we will actually see you at 2pm. The care they give you is often, well lacking. All that aside though, this VA seems to be better with the care, despite still being extremely substandard. I mean, the last surgery I had at my old VA, I developed a hematoma, which no one seemed to care about despite being quite bad. Recovery from that particular surgery was horrible and I had to have a second corrective surgery about 10 months ago to fix their mistakes.

All this is a very long winded way of saying, I am having surgery next week, smack in the middle of doing my surprise experiment. My Co-PI doesn’t mind, he’s super polite about it (okay they both are, but he’s in charge of this experiment), but I still want to be there for it. Thankfully it’s minor surgery, minimally invasive stuff; I should be on my feet again the next day, but I cannot do heavy lifting for the next month so there is that. Sometimes life gets in the way of the things we are doing, thankfully this should have a very minimal impact.



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