Custom Search

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Are We JUST Noticing This?

You know, NOW I am annoyed.

Wapo article "Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility".

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the rest....

My problem with this besides the obvious is that people are JUST noticing....

Over a decade ago, when I was working for a doctor in Florida, we had a patient, a veteran that went into the VA for treatment for his diabetes, a simple procedure and by the end of it, because of a "mistake" the man lost ALL his toes on both feet and the government then had to pay for his rehabilition and for his being taught to walk again.

More personally, my mother.....a veteran, proud of it too.

How was she treated when she finally had to go to the VA to be treated? Let me tell you.

After her first heart attack 10 years before she died, I moved her in with me because I did not want her living alone.

She developed pancreatic cancer and went through a horrendous surgery to remove the tumor....she then beat the odds and a year later was told she was cancer free, the odds back then were only 10% lived past the six month mark....she did it.

6 months later she was in pain again and we took her to the VA emergency room, they sent her home with pills telling her the pain was in her head...this happened five times before my brother and I went with her and raised holy hell.

She was then admitted and lo and behold her cancer had returned, the VA had never notified oncology to let them know one of their patients was experiencing pain and by the time the VA decided that she had cancer again, it was too late.

Shit happens right? That isn't the end of their incompetence though.

After she was admitted and oncology informed me that if they had been notified a few months before, her chances might have been better, they then accidentally overdosed her on morphine and for three days her nurses marked her chart saying she was fully aware..... what a joke!!!

I had been by her bedside 24/7 and for those three days she couldn't tell you her own name, real alert right?

So WE, the family, had to contact the doctor and tell him that the nurses were marking the charts wrong. The doctor came in again that day and discovered she was suffering from an overdose.

My mother WALKED into that hospital and two weeks later, her legs were ballooned out so badly she couldn't stand, her heart was enlarged, her lungs had collapsed and she was suffering internal bleeding....because they overdosed her.

She asked to come home to die, so I brought her home and she died the next she wanted to.

The moral here? We are very slow in finally noticing that our veterans are not receiving the proper care.

For the record, of course I did not sue them... First-it wouldn't have brought her back. Second, some cannot afford health care and must use the VA and I would never take a cent from their care.

Why are we just noticing the horror stories about the treatment or lack thereof from the VA Hospitals?

Our Veterans deserve more from us...more support, more care and definitely competent medical treatment.

My father and brother are veterans also and they refuse to use their medical benefits with the VA....any wonder why?

This problem has been going on for decades and it is about damn time something was done!!!!

Others annoyed:
Debsweb and Moderate Voice.