Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trickle Down Effect

I have tried numerous times over a year to have Matthew's Nerve Conduction Test (done here in Calgary) sent to Dr. Dobbs in St. Louis. The last time, I was sure it had been sent, but when we were there in October, I found out it still was not there.

So I sent an email to Kristina, Dr. Dobbs nurse practitioner, right hand man, overall wonderful person. Asking her to personally request the test results so I can get a copy to compare with another mom.

I was shocked to get an email back NOT from Kristina, even though I sent it to Kristina's account, but from some one else who did not sign the email. So, mysterious, unnamed person responded

I called and requested it today. I will let you know if I get it. . FYI.... After the death of Dr Ponseti and due to our high patient volume here at Shriner's as of January 1,2010. Dr Dobbs is seeing less patients. He usually sees initials, serial casts and pre-op surgical patients between going in and out of surgery. Most of our clubfoot patients are seen by the Nurse practioner and myself.

So if you are coming to Shriner's you may not see him. He does see all his patients at St Louis Children's. I will have him review the nerve conduction and email you, but I don't think there is time on a Monday at Shriner's to discuss this. He prefers involved and out of state patients see him at Children's where he can spend time with them. I just didn't want you to get your hopes up that you will see him. If Matthew is doing well with no signs of reoccurance our protocol is for him to see the nurse practioner at Shriner's.


I know.

Dr. Ponseti's death had a huge impact on the clubfoot community. After all, he was THE man himself. The father of clubfoot correction, for the world. I myself am honored that he himself responded to an email I sent him back in early 2003. But I never expected this. I never thought it would be possible that we would not be able to see Dr. Dobbs.

If things were different. If Matthew's foot looked fine. If we were just getting a check up, I would be fine with this. But this is one of those involved patients. And for us to see him at the Children's means we would have to either have to pay out of pocket or get funding from our health care. Which means Matthew's old surgeon would need to write a letter saying that he has done all he can and that Dr. Dobbs is THE doctor for Matthew. And after that infamous phone call there is no way that is happening.

I sent an email back saying that we are from Canada and with the differences in health care, it would be very difficult to see him at the Children's and that Matthew usually ends up casted, does that mean we would see Dobbs?

Mysterious person answering Kristina's emails has not emailed me back...

So. I am at a loss. Not sure what to think or to do. If we are not going to see Dr. Dobbs, this is a very long trip to see mystery person.

I just want to be able to ask Kristina what's up. But with mystery person answering her emails, I may have to email Dr. Dobbs himself to see if he can shed some more light on this.

Feeling very unsettled.


Anonymous said...

Jo-Ann, I got your email and sent you one back. Jamie

Jennifer said...

Try not to panic, although I can understand why this would be unsettling. Maybe an email to Dr. Dobbs is in order. Do you have a ohone number? Maybe you can find out whether or not this is someone just responding cause Kristina is away?
Hope you are able to sort this out.
Miss you, hope everything is ok!

Allie said...

Urgh! Jo-Ann, how frustrating! I reall hope he can get into see Dr. Dobbs! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

Sue said...

Oh my gosh!!! I was seriously stunned when I read this. I mean ... OK, it does make sense, in a way. Dr.P passes away and there are only a handful of doctors who we know are truly gifted with this kind of treatment. I mean, think about it -- on our clubfoot group, how many times have you read a post: "See either Dr. M or Dr. Dobbs ..." They're getting patients left and right -- it has to be tough on them.

I know for a fact that our doctor is also getting completely swamped from the east coast crush. So, so many folks -- like us -- can't travel all the way to Iowa or st. Louis, so we try to stick closer to home. That means so many ending up seeing him. When we first saw him last fall, he was a vibrant, energetic, good-looking man on top of his game. When we went back to see him at at our last visit, a few months ago, I was rather shocked -- he looked exhausted, haggard, and while he was still cheerful and took his time with us, you could see he was under a strain. Someone in the waiting room said he's just absolutely swamped.

In a way, this kind of thing gets me angry ... makes me wonder why, in a country so full of doctors (or throw Canada in there as well), are there only a very few whom we feel we can absolutely trust? What's wrong with this picture? It's not a terribly difficult treatment -- I know, I know, "the money's not in it" but still ... we shouldn't have to feel that there are really only a few places we can travel for good care, if the doctors just got their acts together! I just don't get it...

Wow, well, I sure don't know what to tell you. I am just really, really stunned. You've been through so much with Matthew, and after all these years you've finally felt like you were able to place him in the right hands. I think I would try to get in touch with Dr. Dobbs personally to talk this out, and then take your next steps from there. Try to break it down and handle little bits of it at a time -- otherwise it will be far too overwhelming.

Did you consider posting this to the group too? Others might benefit from this information, or help you in some way try to figure out some kind of a game plan. Just a thought.

Sorry this was long -- kind of struck a nerve. :) You'll find your way ... Lots of prayer for you, my friend! Keep us posted ...

Mama J. said...

WTH? Seriously?

So, it SOUNDS like he is doing more work at the hospital that pays I off-base in saying this?

Is this because Dr. Poinseti has left a void that needed to be filled?


Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Michelle said...

Wow, what a bunch of craziness to deal with. I know in Iowa, they have a foundation that helps with costs that Insurance won't cover; I wonder if Children's at St. Louis has something similar... Please keep us updated.

Michelle said...

Wow, what a bunch of craziness to deal with. I know in Iowa, they have a foundation that helps with costs that Insurance won't cover; I wonder if Children's at St. Louis has something similar... Please keep us updated.