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28 April 2012

Falling through the cracks...?

Still catching up with all of the handouts and relaxation sounds from this past week of Transitions clinic therapy. Overall it is a good experience. There's coffee available when I get there, which is a very good start, although I am cutting down my coffee intake. I'm down to one mug a day. Notice I didn't say caffeine, as I still feel the need for a can (sometimes two) of Mountain Dew later in the day.

Tuesday night, I didn't get to sleep until about 0400 Wednesday morning. I was late taking my meds as well. That combination usually means I don't wake up for a while, and so I woke up shortly before 1300. That meant I had missed the morning sessions, and the afternoon group session. My list of appointments showed that I had an afternoon appointment with a psychiatrist, so I figured I'd head in to the VA Hospital to try to make that appointment.

When I got there ("there" being a separate building from the hospital, but still attached), I settled into the waiting room and waited for about 20 minutes before looking around for someone. The receptionist wasn't there, so I went for a walk through the clinic where the providers offices are to find someone. I looped back around to reception, and saw that one of my team's nurses was in her office. So I knocked and poked my head in. She didn't see an appointment for the afternoon for me, but she did knock on a few doors to find a psychiatrist for me to talk to right away.

Since I'd had such trouble getting up and I'd been having trouble getting going in the morning for a while now, the psychiatrist suggested dropping my trazodone dose by 1/4. She also noticed that I didn't have a follow-up appointment set up with my psychiatrist two weeks after I'm finished with Transitions clinic. In effect, I wasn't assigned to a psychiatrist at all.

Some background is required here-- my normal psychiatrist Dr. B had retired at the end of February. I was supposed to be assigned to one of the remaining psychiatrists, but since I didn't have a future appointment made the reassignment didn't happen. Since the reassignment didn't happen, when I'd started transitions a follow up appointment hadn't been made because I didn't belong to a psychiatrist. Ack!

Before I had the chance to even think about kicking out a WTF, she (the psychiatrist I saw on Wednesday) had talked to my nurse and added me to her own caseload. As she handed me her business card and a card with the nurses phone numbers, her exact words were "I'm not going to let you fall through the cracks."

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I imagine it is situations like this that get veterans upset about the VA. It is easy to say that the VA screwed up, hung me out to dry, etc. but saying such a thing would simply be wrong. As soon as someone (in this case, a psychiatrist I'd never even met before) noticed what the situation was, the situation was immediately corrected. No red tape, no being passed around, and no bullshit.

No falling through the cracks, either.

(It should also be noted that the reduction in my trazodone dose is helping me considerably in the morning. At least so far, my new psychiatrist made the right call.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, my name is eden and I'm real close to starting school at an art institute close to me. I am attending school thru voc rehab. I recently have been going thru financial distress also and found some solice thru your blog. It doesn't so much make me happy that other veterans feel like me but, that I'm not alone in doing so. Seems so strange at times, how could I possibly be in this situation. When just 3yrs ago I was happily in the ANG and working making bank. It is time for me to reinvent myself. Reinvent ourselves... Thanks for posting your day to day ops, keeping our heads above water is the way of the future.

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