Free Care Is Expensive

Hospitals are not a healthy atmosphere.

Yesterday was another VA appointment. I didn’t learn what I wanted to know, but I did learn something. Through the stumbling bureaucratic confusion, I managed to get an echo cardiogram. The technician said she saw nothing to indicate a problem with valve function anywhere. However, the cardiologist said it isn’t Wolf-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, so now I’m left wondering if anyone knows what to call this thing. Apparently the graphing of my heart activity doesn’t match the subtle shapes for WPW.

But I had only a brief visit because my appointment was later in the day, by which time this highly overburdened division of the hospital is way behind schedule. I’m hoping the cardiologist is the kind of doctor who finishes the task and lets me know what she can tell me. At least she had time to tell me that there is no risk from resuming my previous level of physical activity.

Meanwhile, every time I go up to the VA Hospital, it wears me out. It’s not the kind of good exhaustion from physical activity, though I do prefer taking the stairs instead of the elevator for all the chasing between the ten floors in that place. It’s something more subtle and draining just from being there. It’s a heart-attack of the other kind, the kind where your heart-mind is taxed.

Still, I sensed God’s favor in a powerful tingling way. All day long it was surging and never faded. Thus, I concluded that, whatever the cost, I was doing the right thing for someone somewhere. That’s enough for me. I had an engaging conversation with a bored old Zoomie (Air Force veteran) who evinced a solid mental acuity. We chatted about politics and he was entertained by my cynicism and lack of partisanship. He took the time to share some interesting historical tidbits from his experiences. He was careful, but it was obvious he spent time working under Air Force Intel operations by what he knew.

Encounters like that often don’t result in strong intellectual influence, but for me they often open the doorways in my mind to things my heart already knows. So it wasn’t what he told me that matters about that encounter; what matters was how he triggered recognition of things I already knew. He even went so far as to say he got the same effect from me. It’s unlikely I’ll ever see him again, but it was a blessing in the midst of a burdensome atmosphere.

That atmosphere hit me hard. I still had stuff to do when I got home, and by the time my head hit the pillow I had forgotten several parts of my daily routine. Nothing dangerous, but it’s annoying to see it affect me that way. I’m hoping to take it slow today and recover my faculties, because I still feel that sense of fatigue.

Here’s hoping I don’t have to go back to the VA unless it’s really important, because the personal price is high.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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