Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Trips to the VA Hospital...

are always so ridiculous. Whenever I pull into the parking lot, I look at all the handicap parking spaces. They are usually always filled. Maybe there’s one spot open. You ever notice how many handicap spots there are? There’s a lot, but it ever seems to be enough. I always drive to the back of the parking lot. I figure if I don’t have problems walking, someone who does could use a closer spot. I walk inside and there is always several vets hanging out. The majority of them have on something camo and a dirty old hat that says where they served. I go to the elevator and wait for it to come around. No matter what, when I go to get in the elevator some guy always holds the door back for me. And when I get off, they always let me go first. The military taught them well…ladies first.

Then I go to check in. I tell them my last name and last four. I grab a magazine and sit until it’s time to be weighed, get my temperature, pulse, and blood pressure read. I’m usually the only female waiting unless my appointment is with the gynecologist. I just found out not to long ago, I could go to the VA for my yearly pap smears. Who knew? I love that I can go there for gyno visits. It seems so trivial compared to what other people go there for. The most recent time I went there, I had this male doctor, who apparently I had seen before but didn’t remember. I was getting ready for my pap smear. I wiggled my ass down to the edge of the examination table to place my feet in the stirrups and he starts talking about my ex-boyfriend. I looked at him confused, like have we met before, but he starts telling me things I didn’t even want to remember. I thought he was going to stop talking when he started doing the exam but he kept on going. This doctor was probing me, while asking me why my relationship ended. I started laughing and told him, it just ended and to please stop asking questions. So awkward.

Once I went there for a physical. I ended up meeting a gorgeous Marine in the waiting room. We did that typical, so where did you deploy? What was your job? Rank? You know, all those sizing each other up questions. The more he talked the more I realized how stupid he was. He was so good-looking, that I just wanted to duct tape his mouth shut. Maybe we could work something out if he just didn’t say a goddamn word. He wouldn’t stop though. Just kept on talking about his cousin, where he lives, and carpenter work. I was finally called in and when I was done he was still sitting there. I knew he was going to ask me for my number, so I tried to creep by him. I almost made it out the door but brain-dead Marine ran after me. I gave him my friends number and told him I was looking forward to hanging out.

Other times I’ve been there, cute little old men talk to me about their days. They like telling me about where they served and they tend to always call me kid. One guy took it to the next level once. I was sitting in a chair waiting for my perception and he just started singing cadences to me. I thought he would get bored after the first one but he just keep singing until his meds were ready. I just shook my head and smiled. Cute but crazy.

I went yesterday to get my ear looked at. Yes, I go for ridiculous reasons…but I don’t health insurance and I can’t hear. There were no hot Marines in the waiting room this time. In fact, I don’t think anyone was under the age of 65. I got weighed, my blood pressure read, etc. The nurse told me my blood pressure was low. He asked if I was dizzy and I told him no, so we moved onto the next thing. I saw the doctor. She was sweet but hard to understand. Strong accent. She prescribed eardrops to me and told me to make an appointment for a physical in two months. I went down stairs to the pharmacy and waited. The waiting area is usually just filled with old men but this time a few guys my age were waiting. This excited me…in a weird way. I wasn’t excited that they needed meds for who knows what but because they were my age. I could finally talk to someone my age who was also a veteran. Veterans are hard to find. They usually just mix in with the crowd. Sometimes I can point one out and I’ll usually talk to them. But otherwise, I hang with civilians all the time. I’ll admit it, sometimes this bores me. I love military people. On my latest trip I had an epiphany, I need to hang out at the VA hosp more often. I’m always entertained by someone who could pass as my grandfather, there is an influx of people around my age who I could have a good conversation with, and maybe I can get a hot date. See you at the VA Hospital.


Blogger olgreydog7 said...

Ever think about going into the medical service corps? You'll still hang with military people and part of your job will be to talk to them.

11/25/2008 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

This post helps explain why so many female National Guard and IRR re-call screens arriving at our Occupational Health clinics choose to have their annual pap with us rather than their gynie. We have four clinics which contract with the government to do these physicals even though our primary function is civilian pre-employment physicals, drug screening, DOT truck driver physicals, firefighter annual check-ups, industrial and other work related injury and trauma treatment. Our male providers, docs and PA's, have been flipping out lately as most females request their pap be done at the time of their annual physical. Believe me, paps are one service these guys haven't done in years, and are not real comfortable performing! Hernia checks on guys, no sweat. Paps, they turn a whiter shade of pale, ha ha.

FINALLY got my VF today!! Bet you'll post an article from the next issue before I'm half way through this one!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

11/25/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger loose change said...

I have yet to use the VA since I was approved to do so about 7 months ago. I want to go talk to crazy old vets. Did it for clinical once and it was pretty ridiculous and rad all at once.


11/28/2008 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love you Kate....and you always make me laugh...no matter what you are talking about

11/28/2008 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Pinball said...

The VA is home, there are things you can say an hear there that would cause the next table go silent if you said them in a coffee shop.

Such is our life, forever we will be unable to connect to civilians in some way. Forever we will share a special connection with those 65 year old men and when we are old and gray, those young kids walking in and looking a bit lost.

11/28/2008 06:35:00 PM  

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