By now you folks should know that it’s fairly common place that I should disappear for a few days time, sometimes without notice. And some of you will know that when I do it’s either due to a flare up of one of my disabilities or a trip my local VA medical facility which usually entails a couple days worth of recovery afterward. Of course, when referring to my local VA facility, the word ‘local’ should be taken with a grain of salt.
To define what ‘local’ means in regards this regular trip of mine, I’ve provided you happy viewers with this lovely interactive map to help you visualize what ‘local’ means around these parts (113 miles one way according the VA Travel but more like 103 give or take):
View Larger Map
Never tried embedding a Google map before. Works pretty slick
I’d have to say that this last trip was the busiest trip I’ve ever undertaken and, amazingly enough, the timing worked out really well—for once. If any of the appointments had started late, which is often the case, it would have screwed the rest of the day up royally.
I hit the road about 8:15 in the morning, successfully avoiding my usual coffee and doughnut stop at the local midi-mart (diabetic you know) and arrived at the VA an hour and three quarters later to an absolutely packed parking lot. I had never seen it this packed before and it’s a fairly good sized parking lot too. And not one free space to be found. I got lucky on the third go around though as an old Ford Taurus pulled out of a spot right in the front row–lucky me.
Guess the doctor that the spot was reserved for wasn’t on duty that day?
I had 3 appointments scheduled for the day, the last one being with my audiologist which took up 2 appointment slots starting at 12:30. The idea was to get the 2 morning appointments out of the way in good enough time so I could hit the cafeteria before the 12:30 rolled around (I have to eat–no choice). I also had to be able to get to the Blood Lab and then to the VA Travel Office before I headed back out on the road. Fortunately, as I said, the timing worked out fine, no clinic was running more than 10 minutes behind for once.
The first stop was at the Green Mountain Clinic (GMF) so a nurse could wash my brain out for me. You see, my audiologist needed to make impressions for some new hearing aid ear molds and my brain was getting in the way so it just had to come out.
I was a bit surprised at how small it was. Guess at that size I won’t miss it much.
Next was a regular visit with my PCP. No, not the drug—my Primary Care Physician. Doesn’t the government ever check these abbreviations of theirs?
Fortunately, as it turned out, she pronounced me Dead On Arrival so I made the cafeteria while the food was still nice and hot although it took 10 minutes for me to get rid of those guys from the basement with the gurney, the tie down straps and the body bag that were following me around. Jeez, can’t a guy eat in peace anymore?
Now to the audiologist and a set of brand new hearing aids, associated gadgets, adjustments, explanations and the large syringe full of pink goop. This visit turned out to be another whole post in itself complete with pictures with explanations and arrows pointing at various buttons and switches and other such fancy things. I have the aforementioned pictures ready but I’ve yet to write up the post. Tomorrow most likely.
As it was, I left the audiologist right at 2:30, dizzy with all the new noises I was hearing, made the Travel office okay and stopped at the blood lab on the way out. The vampires took the usual 16-1/2 vials of blood and handed me the dreaded ‘pee-cup’. This I took humbly took into the bathroom, cursing myself thoroughly for already taking a whiz right before. Why it is that I can never remember to wait until after I finish at the blood lab I’ll never know. Even so, I managed to squeeze out enough to satisfy them and out the door I went.
The day wasn’t over yet as I had to stop in Woodsville (about 40 miles up the highway) at Walmart to replenish the various sundries and such that we needed at home and then on up the road another 30 or so miles to St.Johnsbury and the supermarket there for some stuffed salmon (they have the best seafood selection going even though we have the same supermarket up at home…figures). All the while marveling at how much more I could hear with these new hearing aids they stuck in my ears.
I finally arrived home around 6:30 in the evening, of the same day no less, dragged out and very glad to be back. My honey shoved to fish into the oven and I brought her up to date about the happenings at the VA. When I got to the part about my doctor pronouncing me Dead On Arrival I had to take my vital signs right then and there before she would believe that my PCP wasn’t actually right.
I’m still amazed at all the sounds I can hear now.
Man! Sure is noisy around here.