Sam Bauman: Reno VA moving along nicely



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The Veterans Affairs issues continues to roil in Congress, but in Reno it’s rolling along just fine, with new touches here and there. I recently did my twice-a-year visit to the VA Hospital with the idea of having my hearing aids checked, the VA loans them to me, as well as some minor problems. Had to see my primary care doctor to arrange for an audio check, so I got to the VA at 8 a.m. had four vials of blood drawn then waited for my doctor’s nurse (10:30 a.m.) to do the vital signs check and give me a tetanus shot, then 11 a.m. to see my doctor.

The exam lasted perhaps half an hour as she read off the lab reports on my blood and urine analysis from her computer. She set me up for a blood pressure exam after two months of using a new medication and then said we should meet again in six months and handed me some forms she had completed.

One was something new, a Take Home Health Report. At home, I looked it over. It had sections dealing with everything the doctor had told me — blood pressure: high; liver: damaged; cholesterol: 148 (OK); good and bad; triglycerides: 134, good, below 161; blood sugar 103; HbgA1c: good.

I thought this was a good idea; how often after talking to a doctor did I remember all that he or she had said?

On the back of the report were some health suggestions, all of merit, including holding my alcohol intake to one a day — my long-standing habit.

I know nothing about the backlog of intake of new veterans at the Reno facility — after all 18,000 veterans in a few months is a considerable increase — but from a longtime user of the Reno VA things are moving along nicely. And at the little store next to the VA restaurant, I found a pair of reading glasses for less than $10.

Another movie for seniors!

The Galaxy is screening another film that will appeal to seniors, “Jersey Boys,” a filmography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This is a biopic from the 1960s and follows Valli career along with the other three of the quartet. Clint Eastwood directs; he has a history of musical films and in fact, wrote some of the background music for his films.

This is an adaptation of the still-running Broadway musical. John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie. No reuse of the original hit records by the Four Seasons, but the music, despite its dated style, sounds fresh and will rekindle lot of memories among the senior set.

I was working in Japan when Valli and Co. were big and by the time I returned to the U.S. Valli was fading, although he made the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1980.

The music is the key here and the others of the Four Seasons — Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi, and Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito — make major contributions. And Christopher Walken is a big crime boss who helps Valli when he gets into gambling trouble.

A great movie, no. But one with the ability to relight old times.


Summer is here and snow is gone from everywhere except Job’s Peak. Phlox is widespread at the top of Dead Man’s Creek, and the Carson River is still flowing moderately at Carson’s River Park. Lots of wildflowers around the hiking trails now, except at Prison Hill. We’ll go into Prison Hill next week … Among other bits of medical advice I received recently was to take Aleve for the earlier mentioned ankle swelling. I was also told that naproxen is the generic version of Aleve.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.


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