Problems in the VA healthcare system have made national headlines and are also affecting local vets. A former Green Beret in Nebraska has to wait painful weeks to see a doctor.
64-Year-Old Vietnam veteran Gary Litton woke up four weeks ago and says the pain in his back felt like someone had hit him with an axe. He couldn’t move his legs for two days.
Litton has a cyst growing on the bottom on a spine, after a CT scan he found out he also ruptured a cyst.
“I have a pain threshold that is awfully high what would be a two to me probably a ten to you, I am about an eight on my scale,” said Litton.
Doctors informed he should get hospitalized within the week. Three weeks after the he was told he couldn’t see a doctor until June 17th.
He’s not sure if he is doing more damage to his back by moving around. He now spends most of his time on his recliner. Normally it takes him four hours to mow his 3-acre land, now it takes him two days.
The pain is one problem, but he can barely lift his right foot off the ground. He thinks one solution to solve the VA problems is to let veterans see any doctor they wanted instead of a designated hospital.
“If they would let us go see our doctors, doctors around here it could be a lot more cost effective,” said Litton.
He has made several calls to patient advocates several times and no one has been able to tell him why he has to wait such a long time for such a serious condition.
Litton is eligible for Medicare July 1st and will be the first one at the door to sign up.