24 August 2012

Out of the Hospital - one issue resolved

Monday I had a total hip replacement at Oregon Health Sciences University, which thankfully was arranged just two weeks after I sought their opinion on another surgeon's diagnosis. Great care, great food. They even call their meal service "room service"...24/7.

Having several inches of my femur cut off and the opposing socket reamed out strikes me as a fairly invasive procedure, and it was. What's amazing, however, is the ability to walk the next day and the hope of walking pain-free in the near future. And I'm worth about $1940 more in the metal they put in!

As I still lay in bed Wednesday, tubes stuck everywhere I didn't want them, I noticed my jaw starting to swell and hurt. As soon as I was able to be transported in a wheelchair, I asked the ward volunteers to wheel me over to the Portland VA Hospital, separated from OSHU by only a sky bridge. I rolled up to the VA's dental clinic, explained my problem, and within 90 minutes they'd finished a root canal on me!

I had no appointment. The clinic was busy and I certainly presented a complicated medical package for them to care for...but they had their department chair and his assistant, plus an OSHU resident, work on me immediately because of the risk of infection and my new hip. I've described my previous encounters with the VA and their refusal to treat our C-123 Agent Orange veterans, but I cannot avoid thanking the Portland VAMC Dental Service for outstanding care of me. Thank you.

So, overall a miserable week. Weird to be laid up with a total hip replacement and while still hospitalized "blessed" with news that I needed a root canal before discharge!  How unlucky can a guy be? However, it was wonderful that care was there for me on both issues! Thank you. OHSU and Portland VAMC.

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