Saturday, September 03, 2011

It is what it is

They sent my dad home from the hospital today.

They did a whole crapload of tests and they still have no idea why he has the issues he has. What they do know - he has internal GI bleed somewhere. It left him pretty near death and with a multitude of problems.

What they now think is the underlying problem in addition to the GI bleed is apparently pulmonary hypertension (which could be causing stage one heart failure).

He has to have more tests to get a definite diagnosis on the PH.

And honestly? Let's all cross our fingers it is not PH. Dr Google does not have good things to say about a PH prognosis.

But I am not telling you this for pity or to spread his business across the internets.

I tell you this because my dad is a Vietnam vet.

He uses the VA hospital system*. And he has been sick since Sammi was born almost EIGHT MONTHS AGO.

The VA is an embarrassment. A complete and utter failure to those who have served our country and protected our freedom.

It takes months for my dad to even get an appointment there. Then they do a test and it takes more months before any even mentions the results of those tests. And then they are just casually mentioned with NO plan of action, no treatment, no referrals, no meds, nothing. Just a "oh, you have a lot of blood in your stool, have a good day."

And because of that my dad has had an internal bleed for months now. The more blood he lost, the weaker he became. Then it got harder and harder to breathe. Then his legs started to swell. Then he could hardly function.

And all of this is from a man who 8 months ago would take us kids into the woods and hike us nearly to death without even blinking an eye.

I know that healthcare is a hot topic right now. I know federal cuts are a hot topic right now. (In our own house we pay many, many, many thousands of dollars out of our pockets every year for our health care.)

But if you have a minute let your congress person know that our veterans, old and young, deserve access to decent healthcare.

*We finally forced him to go to the "regular" hospital with a level one trauma center. They listened to us there. It isn't perfect. (Obviously, we still don't really know what is wrong, but he saw doctors, got blood transfusions, has medication, has diet recommendations and has follow up appointments already scheduled).


  1. Thinking of you. I completely understand the stress of healthcare. Chris's mom has been in the hospital and nursing homes more than she's been home, these last three years. The level of care/quality is astounding. Living in Detroit doesn't always work in their favor either. Extra hugs for your family.

  2. what a bummer. the VA hospital in our area is state of the art and top notch, probably the best hospital around. i work at a hospital that is affiliated with it and all i hear are good things. it's important to do your own research, ask questions and take notes when dealing with doctors and medical staff. most medical professionals deal with the most ignorant idiots day in and day out so i am sure they will be happy to have an educated well informed person to talk with, that's how i feel anyway. hoping for a quick and full recovery for your dad!!

  3. I'm sorry that your Dad is going through this (you too, of course). Our VA is a fantastic hospital - my Step Father gets excellent care there. I couldn't say a bad word about it. But, each hospital is different, I'm sure.

    I won't even go into Healthcare issues - our family has no health issurance of any kind right now. It's scary to think of the "What-if's", but what can you do????

  4. Sorry to hear about your Dad Sarah -- I hope they can find out what's wrong with him. Our VA hospital here is ok. My Dad is a Korean vet and he loves to go to the VA, even though their service isn't great. We've had to convince him on several occasions to see doctors outside of the VA. Sadly, they just provide better service.

  5. I'm sorry about your Dad, but glad you are getting some answers and some good care for him.

    Sammi looks like a doll. She is so precious.

  6. Sorry you and your dad are going through this - I'll be thinking about you.

  7. Oh MIss Sarah I am sorry that your dad is not doing any better. The VA in KC isn't anything to write home about either. My husband had to do some of his residency there during med school and it is just a poor system. I think you made the right decision to go to a private hospital. The best thing you can do is find him a wonderful internal medicine doctor. On another note, this is my favorite dress so far. Lots of hugs and prayers.

  8. Anonymous6:47 AM

    I completely feel your pain with the difficulties of finding good care for parents. We've had to fight and fight to finally find a good doctor for my dad. He went to 3 different doctors, who all said, "Let's just wait a bit and see if those 2 lumps in your throat get worse. Make an appointment if you notice any changes." When he could no longer swallow, he finally found a doctor who was willing to actually do tests on his throat to see what was going on. The other doctors just kept prescribing anti-biotics without doing any kind of testing.

    I wish you the very best of luck with your dad's situation! At least he has someone like you who can possibly help out a bit with the research end of things.

  9. Thinking of you and your family and sending lots of hugs and prayers your way. Our family went through being uninsured with my grandparents - battling kidney cancer and no insurance was hard. I hope that the VA and the docs and all the other crap that is falling in your lap falls out of it pretty quickly too.

  10. Ugggh, Sarah. Your poor dad!! My uncle made the decision to go to a different VA hospital a bit further from home, and it was like night and day, but I don't have any idea how easy that is to do.
    In the meantime, I'm grateful he listed to y'all and went to the *real* hospital for some answers. That kind of change in such a short time should have set off some alarms, I would think!!!!
    Prayers for all of you.... xoxo

  11. I've loved all the vintage dresses but I gotta say this was is BY FAR the cutest thing I have ever seen on a little girl! It might help a little that she's just adorable to start with but the dress is amazing.


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