Next VA visit will be, um, interesting

They had to schedule my next visit to the Thomas Creek Veterans Medical Center in Amarillo amid all this turmoil.

They just had to do it.

I’ll be there Tuesday morning, just as the sun is coming up. It’s a routine visit, but it comes in the midst of all this national discussion/debate/quarreling/backbiting over the care veterans have been getting.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has quit as the scandal keeps roiling over the deaths of vets in Phoenix, Ariz. The system is a mess. Wait times are unacceptably long, so long in fact that it cost those Phoenix vets their lives … allegedly.

I’ll go in early Tuesday and will sit in a waiting room with other vets. Gosh, I wonder what they’ll be talking about. How it’s President Obama’s fault? How the system has been messed up for decades? How they’re happy with the care they’ve gotten? How they hope the Creek medical center here in Amarillo isn’t among those where patient care is being delayed beyond all reason?

You know, that last item — the status of the VA center here — has been on my mind.

I’m a fairly new VA enrollee, having just gotten into the system a year ago.

So far, I’ve been deliriously happy with the treatment I’ve gotten. It’s been prompt. My wait times for routine visits have been minimal. The staff has been respectful — and they have expressed thanks for my service to the country, inconsequential as it was.

I’ve also been blessed with excellent health. I have no serious medical issues. My visit Tuesday will be routine, or so I am presuming.

Thus, none of the issues plaguing the system apply to my own health needs.

It is my sincerest hope that it will remain that way after I leave the VA hospital.

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