I am thankful for Veteran’s Affairs, but at the same time I can’t stand them. I have dealt with Veteran’s Affairs almost my whole life. My grandfather was World War II Veteran. Now it my turn with my partner. Now before I start naming names I want to say that I have dealt with 3 different VAs in the past 2 years. Not all VAs are the same. Even the the VA I am going to mention does have some good stuff about it. My partner’s point of service is at the Micheal E. Debakey VA medical center in Houston.
Here are my two issues with Houston VA.
Issue 1- Parking
Parking is ridiculous at this particular VA. There have been times I have spent over 30 minutes circling the complex looking for a spot. I have also driven through traffic to get there and be directed away from a parking lot by a lazy VA police officer. The lot was open he just didn’t want to direct anyone in that direction.
I refuse to use the free valet. They drive like crazy people. I have seen them almost hit Vets with vehicles on several occasions. They switched valet drive through side at the spinal entrance so it blocks up traffic. I also got into with one of the valet staff and now he swear he gives me the stink eye every time I pass him.
There is also a rumor that people from other hospitals are using lots for the free parking.
Issue 2- The ER
On three specific occasions my partner should have been taken in-patient. I remember have a conversation with a PA where he blew off my partner symptoms and then sent him home. Over the next two months the issue got worse and worse until they were forced to take him in-patient. This was a life or death situation and I have people shrugging this off as something minor. What if he had died. Then what? Another Veteran dead?! Once he was checked into the hospital the staff was super nice. I just feel as though I shouldn’t have to plead with people that something is wrong. I shouldn’t have to read up on my partners diagnosis and not have him diagnosed for a year.
My last issue- The smell
I know that really there isn’t much anyone can do about it. The running joke between my partner is that after 6pm the 1st floor smells like urine. This isn’t an every day occurrence but it is something that happens too often for comfort. My partner has mentioned that some of the older veterans get lost and can’t find bathrooms. There have also been rumors that disgruntled veterans urinate on stuff. I also think one of the 1st floor bathrooms has a pipe issue.
Again there are a lot of great things about this VA. These are just some of the issue my partner and I have had.