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In the spring of 2015 I received nasal surgery at a Kansas VA hospital. My wife works in the medical field, and her mom is a neurosurgeon. So when she saw the ENTIRE surgery team walking out with their coats and lunch boxes before she’d been told I was awake she knew something was wrong.

The problem was that it was 1700, and VA employees don’t work late. So the anesthesiologist and the surgeon both left before I was awake. When my wife asked about me there was only one nurse left on the floor. I awoke painful, nauseous, and completely unable to breath through my nose. If I had vomited I could have aspirated on it and died. I say that because it took the nurse 45 minutes to find a Dr. that could give me medication.

Nothing actually happened to me, but that’s purely due to luck. If ANYTHING had gone wrong there was no one left to help me.

And to finish it off, since everyone had left for the day my wife had to push me out in a wheelchair without any help. She was given inaccurate directions out of the hospital and got lost. I knew my way around, but I was still in and out of the anesthetics.

When my wife finally found the correct for to exit from she had to leave me and get the car. Once again, she saw NO ONE that could help her. While she was gone the doors automatically locked. When she pulled up she was unable to open any of the doors. As I was bleeding through my bandages, and because I’m a stubborn grunt, I crawled out of the wheelchair and tried to open the doors myself. They were locked from the inside as well.

I didn’t have my phone and was unable to yell loud enough, due to being weak from surgery, for my wife to hear me through the door. She had to find another entrance that was unlocked, and navigate through a hospital she’d never been to before. I passed out in the wheelchair and woke up when she finally got back to me some 30 minutes later.

Finally, when I went back to have the packing removed from my nose there was one act left. The surgeon handled all of the tools without gloves, after he was on his hands and knees trying to get a piece of machinery working. Then he stuck said tools up my nose, which was still bleeding, to suck out blood clots.

By a stroke of luck I had no infections and no complications, I got lucky. But if they did that to me, how many others have they done it too as well?