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Veteran calls his doctor visit 'a waste of time'

Posted at 10:22 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 11:32:15-05
An update on our KGUN9 investigation into the VA staffing shortage. 
Remember Vietnam-era veteran Gary Riggs who waited several months to see a doctor. He's in severe pain 90 percent of the time because of rods in his neck and back.
Riggs finally got to see a doctor this week with the help of veteran advocate Ed Wagner. But Riggs called the visit -- a waste of time. "I don't know why they can't get their stuff together. They're not organized," he said.
Garry Riggs finally got to see a Primary Care Doctor -- a new "temporary" doctor -- his third physician in 4 years. 
Riggs brought a list of 10 issues -- including pains in his neck. "It feels I have a point that's causing that and I wanted to see if the doctor could tell me why," said Riggs.
And pains in his shoulder. "It bothers me and wakes me up at night." said Riggs.
He suffers from chronic fatigue and he can't eat. "They already diagnosed me with carpel tunnel and it's gotten to the point it's waking me up at night. I can't sleep," he said.

He hoped for some answers -- some relief.

Cavazos asked, "So what did he do for you?" He answered, "Basically he didn't do anything for me. I mean I went there expecting -- check -- look at me."

Instead, Riggs said  the doctor "sat at his computer the whole time I was in there. He never got up." 
The doctor told him someone would call him to set up an appointment for his carpel tunnel surgery. But he doesn't know when. There's nothing written on his "next step of care" sheet, which he says is unusual.
Riggs feels the appointment clock has stopped once again and he's upset.  
Riggs: I needed some relief. 
Cavazos: And you didn't get it? 
Riggs: No.
Riggs said when he can't take the pain anymore he's thought about suicide. "My faith won't let me do that."
Cavazos: Your faith in God? 
Riggs: Yes. So I won't take my own life. So I just endure. Do the best I can.
Until he can get some relief.