Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bear Suffers Comedy of Medical Errors

The latest in medical technology.
Last week, the Bear suffered pain and swelling in a bone in his right hind-paw.  By the time he saw a nurse at the VA on an unrelated matter, the Bear's sore paw -- which had actually started to get better -- became Of Medical Interest based upon the most improbable speculations the Bear has ever heard.  He declined further attention.

Today, he got a call from his Nurse Practitioner (who is more properly concerned with the other end of the Bear) who absolutely insisted that he come in and be seen, or he would probably be dead of sepsis in 24 hours from his sore paw.

The Bear's paw had been elevated to a Medical Emergency.  The Bear admits to being flattered by the concern  and he went into the local VA clinic and was seen by Dr. Tong.  Dr. Tong does not speak a word of English, although no one has ever had the courage to tell him so.  Even the Bear hesitates making his primary care physician hate him.

Dr. Tong apparently agreed with the Bear that whatever made his paw sore, it was getting better. Nonetheless, having been seen by Dr. Tong, he was obligated to send the Bear to the regional VA hospital for an x-ray.  Apparently, just because, but the Bear will never know for sure.

His sore paw x-rayed, the Bear was free to go.  The x-ray table is very hard, and it is quite awkward for a Bear to remove himself except by doing a sit-up.  In all honesty, the Bear does not do very many sit-ups, relying on his natural animal fitness.

So, remember, the Bear had just gotten an unnecessary x-ray for a sore paw Dr. Tong had already declared (the Bear believes) a non-issue.  He should never have been there in the first place.

In rising from the x-ray table, the Bear popped an old hernia repair.  Congratulations, VA, you have now caused a real medical problem by playing around with an imaginary one.  So now the Bear walks to the Emergency Room, holding his guts in with a pot lid, like in Apocalypse Now.  Well, not quite, but still...  (See how things can quickly escalate once you place yourself in the hands of the VA?)

An hour and a half later, the Bear leaves with his arm bandaged for the "rainbow draw," you automatically get at the ER, and a surgery consult that might result in a phone call in a month or two. Or not.

The Bear is something of an expert in hernias (is this oversharing?) having had his stuffing popping out in various places so many times no surgeon will touch his hernial areas with a ten-foot-pole. Apparently, after a couple of surgeries, the surgeon has no "landmarks" to go by and is completely baffled on how to sew up a hole from which your intestines are coming out of.  Ridiculous!  This is Teddy Bear Surgery 101 that the Bear's mate could do!

The ER nurse said to just buy underwear a size smaller.  Seriously.  Can you imagine the Bear in his too-small Walter White tighty whities?  (If you actually did, the Bear is a little frightened.)  Does that even sound comfortable, let alone effective?

The advances in medical science today amaze the Bear.


  1. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    Hebrews 12:6

  2. The worst place for a sick person, or bear with a sore paw, is the hospital.

  3. I will pray for you, Bear.

    Since I work in nuclear energy, I keep an eye out for significant events reported to and enforcement actions enacted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It may interest to you to note that 30% or more radiological events involve doctors and other hospital staff, and another 30% involve use of radioactive sources for radiography, emergency lighting, oil and natural gas exploration, etc. Events at nuclear power plants are not nearly as numerous as the anti-nuke nit wits would have us believe. One medical event was about a physician at the Veterans Administration (VA) - a certain Dr Kao. He was so incompetent that he once dropped a radioactive source on someone's behind. I will try this evening to find the inspection report that documented that. Here is the IA order which the US NRC issued to bar Dr. Kao from any more work with radioactive sources:


    Just remember: 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom 50% of their classes, and it would not surprise me that a majority of these ended up at the VA.

  4. Another tale of bad VA medical care. So, you're not allowed to take your owies to regular doctors and just bill it to VA? I am glad they didnt' kill you. I don't know if the VA labyrinth or the BVD image is more frightening....perhaps some eucharistic adoration can expel all those demons....

  5. Well, usually, the VA is better than nothing, which is the alternative. I have gotten very good care there, and some that wasn't so good. You might be able to say the say about any hospital. But I should have listened to my own instincts, and said thanks but no thanks about my hind paw. It is something that happens from time to time. We know our own bodies better than our medical providers, lots of time.

  6. I bought the Tommy Copper compression shorts for my husband. He thought it helped.

  7. Sorry to hear that Bear, next time perhaps you should see Winnie the Pooh's doctor to get your fluff stuffed back in.
    Will be praying for you.

  8. Praying that the bear is getting better, but now I'm worried about the hernia! My H also goes to the VA and has always received good care, but I would imagine that it may always be a roll of the dice.

    This of course is no laughing matter, but the way the bear articulates a situation, at times gives me the only belly laugh of the day. I'm so sorry the bear is hurting, but on the other hand, the bear cheers me up! Hopefully the funny bone the bear sometimes strikes in me doesn't offend.

  9. I'll be praying for you Bear. And like TLM, I did laugh a bit. Only a tiny bit.

    1. Nothing is wasted if you can make someone laugh a little.

  10. Do they not prescribe trusses anymore? Have been out hospital adult nursing for a while
    And doing pediatric homecare.

    Seattle Kim R.N.

    1. The ER Nurse specifically said a truss can lead to incarceration. At least I got my surgery consult on the 18th of next month. But I doubt they're going to go into a Bear. If it ever gets done it will be laparoscopic, and who knows if the VA has someone for that. Supposedly, you can go outside the VA to get something done and the VA will pay, but it is always vague, and, "I'm sure how that works. I've never actually done that.

      My last hernia, about, 2010 was umbilical. The doctor had a young intern in tow. I said, "have you ever reduced a hernia?" and she answered no, of course. So I told her, "just push everything back in." LOL The doctor told her, yeah do that. I thought she was going to do a runner. I had to tell her to push harder. It was hilarious.

      Hernias are not the most painful things in the world. (Not usually that much fun, either.) What you don't want to happen is for a loop of bowl to get its blood supply cut off. Not happening to me. I've been dealing with these since high school. Just push everything back in and carry on. That's the Bear spirit.

  11. Yikes. I will show this to my son-in-law who is in residency at Wright-Patt and then wants to work in the VA because he wants to serve those who served. If you can wait a 5 years until he gets out of residency, he would be a good one for your surgery. But seriously, I hope you soon get relief, and not from new briefs.

  12. man....I just got back from 2+ weeks sick-mom duty, and am getting caught up on the interwebs stuff. As if francis' latest blasphemy/heresy isn't enough, now the Bear's losin' his stuffing! You are in my prayers...man, everything sucks.

    1. Fortunately, re-stuffing a Bear is the easiest thing in the world. Already been through it six times. But the next time I'm demanding cast iron. Gortex doesn't last long.


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