Trip to the VA Clinic

This morning my mother mentioned to my son we were going to the VA Clinic. “That is where they take care of the soldiers and veterans of the war like your Grandfather.”

“I want to go! Please Mom can I go? Is that where the people from the Army Wars are at?” asked my son.

It took me some time to convince him that he would have more fun at school than a doctor’s waiting room.

He usually wants to do anything that his mom and dad are doing. He just knows he missing out on some fun adventure. And add the part about the “army wars” and forget it. He has been saying that he wants to be in the army for the last few weeks. I really hope this and his wish to be a wrestler with the WWF (don’t ask me when he saw that!) will pass.

So after getting the little army guy to school, my parents and I were off on our “fun adventure” to the VA Clinic. When taking my Dad out I brace myself for anything happening. The clouds were a dark grey and the rain was constant, yet not heavy.

Despite stereotypes and other past experiences at other VA Clinics, everyone at this clinic is very nice and helpful. The doctor seemed to be overwhelmed with my Father’s situation. Flipping through his large stack of medical records, she took notes and made comments. “Why hasn’t any of the other doctors given him something for his dementia and memory loss?” she asks.

Good question. It is like the other doctors acknowledged that he was having problems and that he was confused, but didn’t say what could help. More like a rhetorical statement, thrown out there that doesn’t need a response. Now, I’m really not sure what this doctor can do either, but is what is refreshing that she was at least thinking that way. She said that any medication they give him at this point may slow the memory loss, but won’t help recover what he has already lost.

Today, more than any other day, I realized how much my dad’s mind has deterated. He was so confused and at times looked very scared. Minutes after giving blood he asked if we had checked in already. He said, “I haven’t given any blood yet.”

I wonder if I’m strong enough for this situation. I’m sure everyone asks that, but keeps on going whether it is caring for a sick child or a confused parent.

In the car on the ride home he sang one of his favorites, “I love that hillbilly music…” and we stopped for the usual fast food.

Yes indeed, we did have an adventure today.

2 thoughts on “Trip to the VA Clinic

  1. We are only going to a Health Clinic on a Military post. So everytime I take the kids for a check-up, immunizations or all their little Boo-Boos, they see Veterans. Specially the ones that are right now fighting. And with their father being deployed right now, I wish I could go somewhere else, not exposing them allthe time what could be happening to us too…….

  2. I think that’s a very realistic way of looking at it, that most people wonder where they’ll get the strength they need, and each day they find it somehow. (And if one day maybe you can’t, it’s not the end of the world, I promise.)

    I remember not wanting to miss anything the big people did. And I knew how boring a lot of it was. It was why I would lie awake in bed making up stories, at least till all the lights were out and I could hear their snoring. . .

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