Many, many, years ago, I injured my knee while serving in the Marine Corps. Coupled with a shoulder injury also from active duty, I qualify for medical care at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. I am very proud of my service and very grateful for the care I get at the Twin Cities VA.
Too many times, the VA is in the news over administrative issues and delayed care of veterans. I have seen improvements implemented over the years and I hope some of those issues have been addressed. I am writing to give my perspective on the VA.
On Friday, March 8 I went in for total knee replacement surgery on my right knee. My wife and I were up early and checking in before many of the lights were on. Nevertheless, from the time I checked in with the gentleman at the front desk until my discharge on Sunday, everything was done with care and professionalism. I cannot say enough about the wonderful care I was given.
I know my wife didn’t get everyone’s name, but I would like to make a shout out to some of the great people we encountered: In pre-op, there were the Lauras (one with a blond braid, the other with black hair), Sandra, Alex, the pain block duo of Eric (the Red) and Hip Hip Jorge (his joke, not mine), and anyone else I’m missing (wife’s fault!). The surgical team included surgeon Dr. Sechriest, the anesthesiologist whose name we missed, Jen and John, and others. I don’t remember anyone from post-op… sorry. I had great care once delivered to my room too – Shannon, Rachel, Jessica and others, and Matt was my first physical therapist on Saturday. And Eric Fritz, who had weekend duty, checking up on me and my knee.
My recovery has been without complications, and I am looking forward to seeing my surgeon in a few days for my six-week post-op exam and x-ray. I know my running days are over, but I’m looking forward to biking and walking without the pain that was the price of my military service. My thanks to the VA and their dedicated staff. Those that I encountered truly have a passion for caring for veterans.