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Enjoying the Comforts of VA Lounges
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I'm not sure "lounges" is the right word. Waiting rooms? Lobbies? Anterooms? Foyers? Anyway, it's where significant others wait while their partners are poked, prodded, peered at, and questioned. It's astonishing sometimes how long one has to wait for a 15 minute procedure. We got there at 7:30 by appointment and he walked out, looking dazed and concerned, at 11, headed straight for the VA lunch counter.

I tried to read while I waited, but concentration is difficult when the TV is blaring forth its idiotic stuff. My goodness, people will watch anything rather than read or converse or just contemplate the whichness of what, won't they?

He has a blockage in the colon, so down into the bowels of the building we went to schedule a CT scan and a blood test. Always a blood test. I wonder what the VA does with all the leftover blood--no, wait, I don't want to know, thankyouverymuch.

Poor guy was exhausted when we got home. That was a lot of activity for someone whose main exercise of the day is walking to and from the bathroom; walking to and from the refrigerator; and taking naps to rest up in between.

The medical people don't know what the problem is yet. They've advised him to drink more water, eat more bran (and other like foods), get more exercise. Stuff that I've been telling him for years--with the sole result that I have been following my own advice, but he has not. Over the years I can see the result, as he gradually declines and my health improves.

I am constantly torn between the desire to tell him what to do (the healthy stuff) and the need to respect his decisions to do (or not do) as he sees fit. He hates being told what to do, yet he makes such poor decisions, I can't help but try to intervene. This dissonance makes for a lot of stress and no resolution. Even when an expert (i.e., a doctor or dietician or physical therapist) tells him what to do, he finds some excuse, some rationalization, and continues doing what he has always done.

And it's killing him, little by little.

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