Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tears of Frustration

Brayden is still in his splint.  We have yet to see an orthopedist.

Starting back on Sunday, I found out that Brayden's orthopedist was out of town for a few weeks.  I spoke directly to the doctor covering for her.  I asked him if we could still get an appointment early in the week.  He told me that the office was double booked.  I asked him if we could come first thing and wait for an opening.  He told me that if we showed up, he would send us to the emergency room because there was no way he could see Brayden.

Sunday at the ER, the orthopedist who was at the hospital, did not come to see Brayden because he was in surgery.  He sent another orthopedist (whom I am not sure handles pediatrics or office hours).

Brayden was discharged with a VERY temporary splint because his leg was not straight, in fact bent all the way up...we were told was not the proper placement for the bone to heal and needed an appointment to get better x-rays and placement.  We waited in the ER for an additional 1.5 hours for the x-ray film...knowing that we did not know which orthopedist Brayden would be seeing and if they had access into that hospital's system.  Well the hospital's system was down and ten minutes turned into almost 1.5 extra hours of waiting and we still did not get the film.  We were told the film would arrive by Fedex overnight.

Monday morning, the pediatrician and her nurse started calling around for an orthopedist who could handle Brayden.  After many, many attempts by them, any available appointments through doctors at Childrens or Fairfax were at least 2 weeks or even one month out.   We settled on the idea that we could take Brayden to a local orthopedist (an office that Jeremy has been to for his arm and leg in the past).  The local orthopedist could handle the immediate concerns...like the pain of a broken leg, and then we could follow up with more the specialized orthopedist if needed.

This morning, the films did not arrive yet.  But we still headed to the local orthopedist appointment.  Brayden was NOT happy to be leaving the comfort and support of his own bed.  We arrive at the office, I sign in.  A nurse comes up to me and says that they cannot see Brayden.  WHAT?!  Brayden is screaming in pain in the waiting room.  We dragged him out and they cannot see him.  Why?

I was told that this office could not handle this kind of case and they would refer us to someone at Fairfax (um, the doctor offices that we have already been trying to see).  Why is there something about Brayden and his leg that they could not handle? (I am glad they did not try something on Brayden if they could not handle it)

Jeremy immediately went out into the hall and started calling other doctors to find another appointment.  He got in contact with Brayden's original orthopedist...who, guess what...is in town!  I have no idea why the doctor on call told me she was out of town.  At first their office told him that Brayden could not be seen until the end of next week.  Unacceptable.  Jeremy pushed and Brayden kinda, sorta has an appointment tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.  We will be showing up and waiting around as an add on.

Meanwhile the x-rays film had still not shown up so Jeremy decided to drive to the hospital (an hour away) to pick up another copy.

I feel terrible for Brayden.  He is uncomfortable.  His leg is a mess.

The orthopedist ordeal has been an ongoing issue for us since the fall.  We have not been terribly happy with Brayden's current orthopedist's plan of action for his care (prior to the leg breaking).  We had been scheduled to see the creme-de-la-creme doctor but canceled once because we waited in the office for over 2 hours.  Then the second chance with him ended up being when Brayden was in the hospital for his feeding tubes.  We asked for an orthopedic consult during that hospital stay but never got one.

Then in an emergency situation...like a broken femur...we still have problems getting an appointment, not just with that doctor but seemingly any specialized orthopedist.

Over the past four years, I have probably scheduled over a hundred appointments for Brayden.  Never have we had such difficultly.  Is it something about the orthopedic world?

I have a headache and am incredibly grouchy.  Thankfully Brayden is sleeping peacefully and I am going to fix myself a cup of hot tea on a gloomy day.


Shannon said...

Oh Carrie. While our situation is much less urgent, I echo everything you wrote about orthopedic appointments in NoVA. We have had a TERRIBLE time getting in. I hope the tentative appointment gets you seen tomorrow. This is ridiculous and that department should be ashamed of the way they treat patients.

Junior said...

oh how horrible, does there happen to be a Shriner's hospital anywhere nearby. We have been really impressed with their orthopedic docs and if something is urgent they will see us same day.

April said...

I am so sorry you are going through this- I can't believe they are not being more compassionate and helpful :(

S.A. said...

I cannot believe that they can't fit in a little boy with a BROKEN LEG. This is maddening beyond belief. My heart rate is all elevated just reading about it. I dearly hope your appointment at 9 tomorrow works out and Brayden gets taken care of. I know you do medical stuff constantly, but seriously- just be a nuisance and make noise and refuse to leave until your baby boy is taken care of. This is absurd.

Anonymous said...

That is ridiculous..not sure where you are in Virginia, but Cleveland Clinic is great.. our daughter has the opposite problem..extremely loose joints.. no drs locally knew what to do.. Cleveland got it figured out in one visit.. if the first dr didn't know he would get us into a specialist that day..

The VW's said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Brayden's broken femur! Poor boy! You guys definitely need a break.....but a good one!

I can't believe that doctors aren't doing something about it! And, that you are having to wait so long! This isn't just a typical need for an ortho.....they know that his bone is broken, so why aren't they fixing it? You must feel so sad knowing he is in pain!

Thinking of you all....and praying!