Tomorrow morning, July 20th, I check-in at ST Charles for hip replacement at 0545. My Doc will be DR Tony Hinz of the New England Patriots fame and he'll be assisted by CPT (P) Mike Wulf, (3 weeks back from Iraq). YUP! The VA is paying for the hip replacement in Bend, instead of the Portland VA Hospital.
Why Bend and not the VA Hospital . . . well, it seems that back in 2002, the Portland VA Hospital got caught for having a 3 year + waiting list for hips and knees. Congress called them on the carpet for the long waits back then, and they had to jump and correct the problem. Well, when I went on the list for hip replacement May 20, 2009, they told me it would be 6 months (the lying bastards). May 20th of this year, they still had no idea when it would be. Then, in June I get a call that the wait list was over 3 years for hips and knees again, and that the Portland VA Hospital found some funds to contract out hip and knee surgeries at a number of hospitals around the state of Oregon. Lucky for me, when they chose Bend, OR, my name came up at the top of the list. I'm not complaining mind you . . . I'm happy to be getting it done!
On a side note, Stu should be back around the 22nd, so we'll be pushing for the DRO hearing shortly after I get out of the hospital. Doc says I'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days and out of work for several weeks. I've got a bet with the boss, that I'll be back to work after 1 week. Doc and I are working on an agreement that would allow me to write my own PT again and if progress is good, I may still win the bet. We're also working out a deal that would get me out of the hospital in 2-3 days . . . (last hip replacement saw me home the second day after surgery).
Took my last Oxycodone around 1530 today, cold turkey time is here. I should be in a fair amount of pain by morning, but I'm scheduled for surgery at 0730 and then I should only have a slight irritation when I wake up . . . at least that was my experience the last time. Will update from the hospital bed later. (Yeah guys, I'll have my laptop with to continue to hound some of ya'!)
If this story makes you mad about the VA . . .
If this story makes you mad about the VA . . . contact your Representatives in Congress and the Senate, or the Veteran's Administration and let them know how you feel about the way the VA treats our vets. You can reference my blog or or the stories of many other vet's and their treatment by the VA available on the web.