Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 476 - Sep 17, 2009

So, as expected, quite a few people are angry at me at the VA hospital. Word has gotten back to me and I think it's sad that instead of seeing that these things all happened to us, they just assume I am out to make trouble and that I am attacking them personally.

In no way was this a personal issue - this is about the many things that happened to us while inpatient and out. And let's be frank - there were a lot of good things that happened too, but those things don't need fixed (obviously) while other things do.

I can tell you that I will never think it's ok that a therapist rarely shows up for her appointments. I will never think it's ok when a neurosurgeon won't do his job because he doesn't have the time to - leaving your loved one in a near comatose state for two weeks. I will never think it's ok for 3 nurses to stand over a gurney with your son on it in the hallway arguing because they don't want to take their patient down to radiology. Do you honestly think he couldn't hear what an imposition he was? I know I heard it and that's when I took him down myself - with the help of one of the great nurses there.

I think what made all the tens of issues even worse was that when you did talk to the supervisors about any of the problems you are always told that either they have the best nurses on their team or that this person has never had a complaint against them (when we all know of another parent/spouse that has complained about them).

And I'm not saying that everyone is a problem - believe me. There were some wonderful nurses, doctors, and therapists. But let's be frank - the select few that are the 'bad ones' ruin it for the good ones. And if you happen to be one of the ones that we never had an issue with - then the whole message doesn't apply to you.

The solution needs to be that the supervisors listen to what people say instead of just defending their team member without looking into issues and then taking appropriate action. If that had happened, I probably wouldn't have had anything to say.

But instead, the same person that left your son alone when he wasn't allowed to be (with his bed as high as it could be off the floor) is there again in a few days. The same person that nastily told your son "Grow up and be the man that you are" when he was barely out of his vegetative state is still employed there (gee - I just realized those last two comments were the same person) and again - a neurosurgeon that inserts a shunt into your son's head and then doesn't know how to work the damn thing was never really dealt with. These things really just aren't acceptable to me.

So I guess my message to all of the people at the VA is this:

If these things happened to your son/daughter/mother/father/spouse etc - would you keep your mouth shut? Would you not try to fix it?

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

BRAVO !!!!!!

YOU have become a "voice" for those who cannot or will not speak for themselves.

Once again - BRAVO !!!

Denver said...

The answer is yes.
Anyone who thinks there are not serious shortcomings in the system is probably willfully ignorant.

Kevin is immensely fortunate to have you caring for him.

Anonymous said...

You go, girl.

People who spend time wanting to shut you up are the same people who didn't want to fix the problems in the first place.

Anonymous said...

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=64857&source=rss

Anonymous said...

http://www.fortmilltimes.com/124/story/762202.html

Anonymous said...

You should NOT have to defend yourself for expecting the best medical care possible for your son. It is his right as a soldier to be treated with concern and to be treated like a person! The VA employees who were rude & insensitive should be ashamed of themselves. The ones who were great at the VA should be soooo ashamed of those who were uncaring. Just imagine...unfortunately those "rude" ones are still there treating some other mother's son. How sad.

`Jen

Cathy said...

leslie,
If you had wanted to make trouble, I guess you would have been more honest with the world about each and every error and deficiency all along.
Of course the VA system needs to improve. Injuries like Kevin's are still relatively new and new policies and procedures can't be impolemented withouth people like you speaking out. Recognizing areas of need is important for every organization. That is where improvement comes from.
You are an amazing brave and caring women!
Love ya girl,

Anonymous said...

You know the more you bitch and make trouble with the VA the less care your son will receive. Sad but true

Anonymous said...

Amazing post!
Hang in there.
I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

First time anonymous poster, long time reader here.

Jess said...

Hey Leslie!!

Keep "bitching" by keeping your mouth shut these issues/problems will never be fixed! If anyone ever goes through these issues they would want the same care/respect for there loved one. So hats off to you for being the voice of so many that can not speak or commuicate!! Love you bunches!!

Jess

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Have you thought about sending a letter to the editor in a newspaper? Repeat what you just said here in your blog.
Keep this going with constructive, thoughtful comments. Express the good and the bad.

I think the reaction of some detractors is all part of the process. Don't get discouraged. You have a mission here and I am very proud of you.

Cathy M

Anonymous said...

How are people to know, especially the people who NEED to know if the "behind the scenes" events are not shared.

You have been there, lived this every day of your life since Kevin's accident.

No better person to speak for the people and let the problems be known.

For the person who said the sons care would be jeopardized, we will see. I am sure Kevin would want this all known to and to help the "next" injured vet not have happen what happened to him and his family.

Liz-Soldiers' Angels said...

Bravo! Well said, Leslie!

Sgt. Social Worker said...

my boss was at your conference and shes a very stoic lady. she said she cried the entire speech and was so incredibly moved she cried telling us about it at a meeting yesterday.

She said she was so impressed by you and your inner strength and hopes we can do something for Kevin and others like Kevin.

Anonymous said...

Les, I have found honey that when things are mentioned and people get offended or mad they are GUILTY. If the shoe fits them they sure as hell need to put it on. Good for you honey, we are behind you 200%. Love ya bunches. Pam

Catherine said...

Yes, I would speak - from the top of my lungs. There is no reason for you not to talk, you don't owe them ANYTHING!! The people that don't want you to talk are the ones that have someting to hide!

Here's the link to the On Scene Report from your speech:

http://www.usni.org/conferences/onscenereport.asp?id=33

Sounds like you rocked!

Anonymous said...

Well, we can't be too quick to say Leslie doesn't owe them anything. Every little bit of help she did get with Kevin got to where he is today. I agree that she needs to tell her story, not only for Kevin but for the others out there, but we can't forget without the hospital, doctors, etc. Kevin would have regressed. Every piece to this puzzle has its place; granted, a lot of mistakes were made and Leslie is sharing those as a "learning process" hopefully.

Anonymous said...

You will see how the staff will treat you when you are at the VA hospital and it won't be nice they are medical trained professionals they know what they are doing and what is best for your son they went to college to get a degree unlike you so i guess in the long run you will pay for your comments. You gotta deal with what life throws at you.

Anonymous said...

Nasty comment, Anonymous! (the one posting at 4:51 pm)
Some things are just not excusable, college degree or not...

Larry Arnone said...

Please continue to carry on this very important fight. You are helping so many others by voicing your concerns.

Thank you,

Larry AKA Bluestardad
Proud Dad of a Herd member

Anonymous said...

Leslie, more about you at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMOAAChannel

You were awesome and don't let anyone tell you differently! Rene'

Anonymous said...

WOW 4:51 that was a little harsh !

Long-time RN said...

I'm sorry to read there may be ramifications from your testimony. Yes, VA's may be short staffed and overworked, but it's no excuse for the lack or inadequate care Kevin has received. You've worked so hard at being Kevin's advocate and done an amazing job. You were right to testify. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be that anonymous poster 4:51pm must be one of those few "special" people that work in the healthcare system and neglect people like Kevin....Or maybe is it that you know someone that does that too. Needless to say you just outed yourself. SUPER glad to see the haters are admitting to something! Just becasuse Leslie chooses not to let Kevin be treated that way in NO WAY should be a sign to healthcare providers well since his mother said something we should neglect him! I agree college degree or not it's complete show of LAZY people not caring to take care of our wounded soilders and this is NOT AN EXCUSE