I chose the VA Medical Center as my primary health-care provider in 1966. I receive free medical care and prescriptioned drugs. I attribute the VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas, with saving my life on two occassions. Twice in 10 years, I collapsed on the ER floor and was admitted and underwent surgery. Tumors in organs of my body required surgery 5 times in 10 years. Medical operations over 20 years would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if I had no, free medical insurance.
Fortunely for me, the VA Hospital in Houston, Texas, is staffed with local, medical-school doctors and surgeons of Baylor College of Medicine. The VA Hospital is named for Dr. Michael Debakey, the famous heart surgeon.
Some of our 25,000 inherited genes express instructions for tumors that can take a decade to strike you. I await a report from Molecular Genetists at Baylor in 2017 who are testing veterans' DNA to determine who will be stricken with tumors and other diseases. Presently, my body is free of cancers.
Today, 9 December, I visited the VA for my annual, check-up, and left blood and urine samples. I shall revisit with my assigned physician in 10 days for results of my today's visit. The doors at the Houston VA Hospital open at 5:30 AM. Even at this early hour, there is a waiting line that can last for an hour's wait.
I report to the Houston VA Center in Houston twice a year for blood analysis and visits with doctors. I have been assigned the same physician for 12 years who knows my medical history. My VA Card has a magnetic strip with my past, 20-year medical history. Data on me is pulled-up in seconds.
I am learning to dress-down when I visit the VA. Twice last month, I was casually dressed and the physician remarked I was dressed better than he. I wore shirt and tie for 45 years, and it is hard to blend-in with most, fat veterans who wear jeans, flip-fops, unshavened and dirty. The philosphy is that most veterans know they receive free, medical care, so why dress for appointments. I always dressed causally and shaved out of repect of the physicians. My next visit to the VA in 10 days, I shall have a 4-day beard, jeans and simple, white shirt. The most, noticeable observation is that only 10 % of veterans are female. Very few combat veterans visit the VA in Houston. I, like most other veterans, wait to visit with our physician while we sit and watch the passing traffic. Good or bad, I have been a face-person since childhood, and notice features of people's faces and whether their hair is combed the same way. This feature got me in trouble as a child when I would notice the shade of a woman's lipstick and whether the same clothes are worn everyday. This near-evil action makes me recognize the same veterans over and over during future visits. No wonder women and pets won't have me!