Saturday, December 17, 2016

In Praise of the Portland VA

On Nov 23, sitting at home after minor surgery on my nose at the Portland, Oregon VA Hospital, I began feeling pressure and pains in my chest. Dialing 911 saw a quick response by our Fire Department EMT’s and ambulance crew that transported me to the ER where it was confirmed by the level of traponin in my blood that I had indeed suffered a heart attack.

Contrary to horror stories heard, I was not left lying in a hallway or placed at the bottom of some long list, but was immediately admitted where treatment began to stabilize me.

Thanksgiving Day saw no less concern as I was constantly monitored, medications given and my needs tended to.

By Monday I was stable enough for an angiogram where a blocked artery was stented and I was placed in ICU overnight, then sent home Tuesday with a written regimen I needed to follow along with new prescriptions.

Wednesday saw me receive a phone call from my Primary Care Team at the Vancouver Clinic to check up how I was doing and offer assistance if needed as I recuperate.

I cannot say other regions have not experienced problems, but we are very fortunate to have such a first class Veteran’s Hospital and staff in the Pacific Northwest.