Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Sheridan VA Medical Center Screws Up Again!

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Attention: Secretary Eric K. Shinseki
810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Secretary Eric K. Shinseki,

The enclosed letter is a copy of the letter I sent to Director Debra Hirschman of the Sheridan VA Healthcare System in Sheridan, WY.

What they are doing to me and others is unconscionable, but it is a little fiefdom with it's own rules and agenda. And the bean counters who are out of touch with us real veterans.

Thank You for you time and any considerations regarding my letter. The entire VA is not bad, just bits and pieces, but they matter a lot.

William D. Harasym
USAF Veteran and Disabled


Enclosed Letter originally to Debra Hirschman, Director at Sheridan VA Healthcare System:

Director Hirschman
1898 Fort Rd.
Sheridan, WY  82801

Dear Director Hirschman,

The Sheridan VA Medical Center of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs really messed with me today, and I'm not going to take this sitting down.

I had 2 appointments today, one after the other. The 1st appointment I scheduled, and it was in their computer system. The 2nd one was scheduled by their appointment czar, (A month ago.) who I'm guessing has a computer too, and would have seen a conflict if one was there, but she didn't.
My 1st appointment was over at MHC, and I went to book my next appointment at MHC, but there was a line of a few vets also doing that. (Usually there isn't.) The guy at the window was taking forever, as I looked at my watch and saw it was almost time for my 2nd appointment. After 5-7 minutes I finally got my turn and did it as fast as possible, like <2 minutes, and asked the lady at the desk to call over to primary-care to tell them I was on my way.

I rushed over there, breaking the speed limit on campus to get there, and doing it on a forearm crutch and 2 really screwed-up & horribly bad knees, one that has needed surgery for over 5 years now (No ACL, torn meniscus and much more---it's bone on bone right now.), but the VA says I'm too fat, so suffer sucker! I get there at the front desk to check in, and there is another line of over 1/2 dozen folks, so I had to wait another 15-20 minutes there (They only had one person on duty when they usually have 2.) and I finally checked in. She said the previous appointment people called and let her and triage know I was on my way. She apologized for the delay and said have a seat, and they'll call you back soon, to see the doc. I sat there another 7-8 minutes, and one of the nurses came out and said the doc is already seeing the 2 o'clock appointment, and that he can't see you today, so come back Friday, on May 23. 2014. I was pissed, and still am. What kind of fucking circus are you running there?

It was the VA's archaic system that caused the delays, yet the VA decided I was their scapegoat and the one to fuck over today! It's bullshit, and I will be informing the IG of this and a plethora of other evil acts by the VA. I've always had the VA's back, but it seems they don't have mine. On some issues, you live in a black and white world, on others, it becomes a gray area, but this shape-shifts to accommodate whatever the rule du jour is, and who's interpreting it.

I'm a Ukrainian Bear---Gentle when stroked, Fierce when provoked!

My mom died just a few months ago, and I'm not a happy camper, and that's what I discussed with my psychiatrist today, my current state of depression (Oh, I'm bi-polar too, so depression is not a good thing for someone who is bi-polar, just speaking from experience.) and then what does the VA do?- They decide their world had to be black and white today, and fuck the vet because he is a little late, as it's never the VA's fault! How many times over the last 30+ years I've been using the VA have my doctors been late, or even no shows for appointments? Scores of times, but did we send them home? I think not. This was bullshit and I want an apology, and the opportunity to schedule an appointment at my convenience, not some nurse's or doc's.

While I'm venting, let's talk about my knees—-they are screwed-up, and pretty soon I'll need a wheelchair of some sort just to get around, due to the VA's obstinate behavior. When a person is in pain, and can't walk, there isn't many exercises they can do except water aerobics and water physical therapy. But the VA in Sheridan is run by idiots, and you're only allowed a few visits, then they tell you to go to the YMCA. Why, when the VA has the facilities, and space for veterans to use the pool every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1pm. Why do I have to give a private religious party (YMCA) my personal and financial information all because we have idiot bean counters running the VA? That is a sin! Never mind the separation of church and state.

That brings me to my knees---I tore my left ACL 5 ½ years ago, and then everything else fell apart. Now both knees are screwed up and the VA does shit. If my knees were replaced like I was told 22 years ago would happen in a few years, then I could walk, and do exercise. But you folks do thing ass-backwards, and are inconsistent. Last year a friend's husband hurt his shoulder, and within 3 months he was getting surgery. He too was suppose to go to Cheyenne VA (Like I'm suppose to do with my 23 year old car that I don't even drive out of town for fear of it dying or breaking down.) for surgery, but his wife cried saying it was too far for the family (They have 3 new vehicles and their only child just got her nursing degree here in Sheridan.) and inconvenient. So they let them do the surgery here with a local orthopedic surgeon. I've been begging this for years and they just laugh at me.

Thanks for you time. Enclose is the appointment card I got today, along with the other waste of paperwork I also received. Recycle it, and use your IT system the way it's suppose to, not half-assed like it is now! Everyday is Veteran's Day at the VA! Yeah Right!

William D. Harasym

cc:  VA Office of Inspector General - Richard J. Griffin- Acting Inspector General
       The Secretary Of Veterans Affairs - Eric K. Shinseki
       VISN Network Director - Mr. Ralph T. Gigliotti
       Congressperson Cynthia Lummis
       Senator John Barrasso
      Senator Mike Enzi
      The N.Y. Times Newspaper