I guess every trip has at least one day where things just don’t go the way one plans them to go. When we left Watertown, stopped at the VA Medical Center to make sure that Jim had enough of all his medications. Some of them couldn’t be dispensed in large enough numbers to get us all the way through the trip so I specifically asked whether he could just stop at any VAMC to get refills along the way. I was assured that all we had to do was go to the pharmacy at any VA hospital and that they could pull up his records and see what needed to be refilled. We stayed in Medford, Oregon with the express intention to visit the Roseburg VA on the way up to the Portland, Oregon area.
It was not as easy as the VA in Syracuse said it would be. After going to the pharmacy, we were told that the VA system wasn’t even interconnected. We stopped to see a patient advocate that said Jim would have to be seen by the emergency room to get refills. The triage nurse lectured him about not getting enough meds to last the whole trip which, of course, started one of those long, drawn out, circular arguments. You have to get enough to cover your 6 week trip, but you can only have enough to cover 4 weeks. I took this with a whole lot more of a sense of humor than Jim did being that this is the kind of snafu the VA usually pulls. He got pretty irritated. In the end, they gave him his meds and another stern lecture, then sent him on his way. All in all we spent about 5 hours there…a pretty much wasted day since we still had to drive to Portland.