It Wasn’t All Good

Because nothing is perfect this side of heaven, and because everyone is human and makes mistakes, there were things about Ronnie’s stay at the VA that could have and should have been better. There were questions I should not have had to ask, and things he should not have had to endure.

When Ronnie’s lymphedema became so severe that the swelling in his feet broke into wounds, he contracted MRSA, which is a difficult to treat infection that is highly contagious and easily transmitted. Once he was infected, he had to endure excruciatingly painful treatments several times a day. He then couldn’t leave his room, and saw only medical staff when they came to care for him. I had to wear a mask, gloves, shoe covers, and gown when I came for a visit. It was difficult, and it never went away. Ronnie kept the MRSA infection till the day he died.

The thing I began to notice was that there were  isolation signs on several doors up and down the hall.  A new patient would come and a couple of weeks or a month later, a sign would be on his door as well.

I believe that MRSA is embedded on that floor. I know the staff took precautions. I saw them. I don’t think the cleaning staff did as good a job as they could have. That is just my opinion. All I know for sure is that Ronnie did not have MRSA when he arrived on that floor, and a few months later he did.

 

Here He Comes!

Some moments you never forget. The image of the elevator doors opening and my Uncle Ronnie just “appearing” there, lying on a gurney wearing his signature plaid shirt, his worn out cowboy hat and boots, will be forever a clear memory in my mind and heart.

it took about a week for all the paperwork to be completed, but the VA expedited my request to have Ronnie transferred to a VA near me.  They arranged for him to be flown via small military jet to my location. Ronnie had been through a lot, physically and emotionally, but that flight was an exciting moment for him. I was impressed with all the VA had done.

When he arrived on the VA floor that would be his home for the rest of his days, I was the first person he saw. All the emotions of the last two weeks came flooding over Ronnie, and he began to cry once again.

A new journey down the now familiar cancer path had begun once again.