Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Are Some Things So Difficult?

Get a cast in the US, have it removed in your home town.

Easy task, right?


I am so frustrated. For the past two days I have been on the phone, leaving messages, calling new places, talking to numerous people to try and have this kid's cast removed.

Yes. We did this in October. I called our GP. Her office directed us to a walk in clinic (like an urgent care facility in the states) where I was able to book an appointment to have his cast removed. But the doctor that removed the cast was not very skilled. Even after instruction from me (I have some prior knowledge of cast removal...last year alone Matthew had something like 7 casts) he decided to remove his cast is small, hand sized chunks, over heating the saw and even pushing through and giving Matthew a small burn on his leg.

I was not pleased, neither was Matthew. We decided NOT to go back there again. Saddly, I did not get the doctor's name. HUGE mistake on my part.

So, back in Canada, I get on the phone. I called our Health Link (a service where you can talk to a registered nurse for advice). They had no idea where I could go. Told me to call some of the urgent care facilities.

I called the Children's Hospital. The main line suggested I talk to emerg. Emerg said I could go there but because it was not a priority, he would most likely wait for hours and hours. And not to come until AFTER 1 pm when an orthopedic specialist would be there.

I dug through some papers and found the orthopedic clinic number at the children's hospital and called them. They will only remove a cast with a referral from a doctor.

I called our doctor's office. I was told that a referral would take weeks. They suggested a walk in clinic...the same one we had visited in October.

I dug some more through old papers and found the card of the 'cast lady' who did most of Matthew's casts in the past. (Here, the doctor's don't do the castings...yes, that should have sent red flags to me years ago...but that is all behind us now) I thought maybe if I could talk to the cast lady, she would take pity on us and remove his cast. She did not answer her phone and I had to leave a message with some one.

I called numerous urgent care facilities and hospital emergency departments. All had the same message, this would not be an emergency, he would need to wait hours and hours. And some said they would not remove the cast without a letter from the doctor who applied it stating what the cast was, the reason for it being on, and when it was to be removed.

I started calling surrounding area hospitals in hopes of a shorter wait time. No luck.

I called other walk in clinics. No luck. Few have cast removal tools.

I called the cast lady again. Got some one else again. Was very rudely told that a cast put on by another doctor would NOT be removed by their facility EVER due to liability. I get that. I don't get the rude tone. Unless our name is written down somewhere for all the black listed patients. Ok, that was rude on my part...maybe I am just mad.

So, it looks like we are at the mercy of the walk in clinic that removed the cast last time. This time, I will have a louder voice. This time, I will walk out if he starts to cut like last time. This time, we may end up waiting 6+ hours in the ER.

I am so frustrated.


Jennifer said...

Oh no! What a run around. You would think this wouldn't be so hard a task. {hugs} Hope it is a different person at the clinic.

Michelle said...

What a nightmare... I don't get it. Not at all. For us, we emailed our doctor's assistant (we go to Iowa) and they were able to mail us a letter the next day. Do you have the contact info for Dr.
Dobbs' office assistants? Maybe they could take care of this so you can bring it with you once you get an appt (with the promise of a letter). We contacted an Ortho/Neuro office (my husband had shoulder surgery by one of the docs a few years ago.
Sorry to hear that your son needed another cast, but I'm glad to hear that they aren't considering surgery at this time.
Best wishes!

Sue said...

Ugh ... While I'm not all that surprised, it doesn't make it less frustrating!!

I've never done this myself, but often on the clubfoot board we read about parents soaking off the casts before they go for their next one. Can you try that route and see what happens? Again, I've never done it so perhaps I'm way off ... but it sure beats a saw burn! (YIKES!!!)

Wish I could help you out in some way ... Hey, might Steve have an idea for you?

Allie said...

Urgh! How frustrating! Sue had a great idea with asking Steve! Or can Dr. Dobbs fax you a note saying it needs to be removed on a specific date? Is there a sports medicine place? I bet they have cast removal tools. Good luck! I hope you find someone to help you guys out!

Christine said...

I can't imagine. Is there any way that you can take it off yourself? What is it made of?

Anonymous said...

If Steve has a cast saw he may be able to do it. If not, how close are you to Seattle Shriner's (isn't that your home shrine that sent you to STL), maybe that would be an option, I realize it's still the US and not Canada, hang in there! Jamie

"The Leengrams" said...

Wow. That is absolutely crazy! But hang in there - and we will be hoping (right along with you!) that you won't get the same "hack" at the clinic!

neaseyl2 said...

Oh Boo those rude people!! I hate that. I am so sorry you have to go to that bad place again. I really hope this time they treat you both better. Bless his little heart, and yours as well. Kolter gets plaster casts, and we used to soak them off in vinegar and water. Now we just use strong cutters, and do it ourselves. It only takes like 5 min. What type of cast does Matthew have?