Thursday, October 27, 2011
Red Tape for $500 Alex
Medical drama for Maggie. She's fine, but she had to have a brain scan on Monday. It was clear.
I dealt with some of the best specialties available, anesthesia, post anesthesia care, neurosurgeons. But no one could help with with a HEALTH issue. Perphap medicine is a bit too specialized. No one can address the whole PATIENT. And when you have a Maggie, with multiple problems, I need someone to think about the whole person, not just their specific specialty.
Maggie had to be anesthetized for the scan because she cannot stay still. She was out for about 5 minutes, if that. Even though it was short, they had to send her to the recovery room. That was a first - generally they just let her wake up and I take her. Maybe they used different anesthesia. No one could explain the change - why would I want to know? I'm only the mother.
While in the recovery room she developed a separate, unrelated but acute and dramatic issue, one that required medical attention. Good thing I was already in the hospital, or so I thought. I quickly called the nurse who looked very alarmed and asked if this had happened before. I told her it had once before but she was already an inpatient at the time. The nurse looked through Maggie's paperwork and said "But that's not what she's here for." Right, this is a new problem. "Then I suggest you call your primary care doctor immediately."
I was dumbfounded. I'm sitting in a hospital, Maggie is bleeding from places she should not be and I can't get help.
My primary care doc is at a different location. We had an appointment with the neurosurgeons after the scan and I could deal with everything at this place. I said perhaps you should call someone who can help her now and the said I really don't know who to call. I gave her the name and department of the doctor who would handle this problem but it wasn't going to happen. I had to leave Maggie in the recovery room to go out into the hallway to call the other specialist's office to get the test ordered. (no cell reception in the recovery room). Even that office were reluctant to do it becasue they could not fit Maggiein that day and would have to charge for an office visit. I said, I have already collected the sample, I just need an order for it to go to the lab. Done - reluctantly, but done.
Now it's been 72 hours since that happened and I still haven't heard form ANYONE up there about this. I called my pediatrician (and good friend) less than 24 hours after the tests who got the results and started the antibiotic immediately. Maggie has now been on antibiotics for 48 hours, not that anyone at the hospital knows that. By the time the specialists deal with this Maggie will be an old woman. If they ever heard this story they would shrug and say , well it all worked out. Yeah - no thanks to you or anyone else up there.
I get that specialized medicine is necessary. In fact I know the specialists have saved Maggie's life on numerous occasions. But some common sense should be injected into the equation at some point. Should I have to machete my way through red tape to get Maggie what she needs?