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Activating Plan B

Monday, June 03, 2019

It is one week since my surgery cancellation. There is still no answer about when the original orthopedic surgeon will be back in the office, after experiencing a death in his immediate family. Although my heart goes out to him and his family during this awful time, it has been a week since my surgery was cancelled. I called his office and left a message, first thing this morning. I've gotten no response. I'm not trying to be difficult, nor do I think I'm more important than anyone else.

This is the story of my treatment, which started on February 4, 2019. I went to orthopedic urgent care with crushing pain in my wrist. I was fitted with a hand brace. Then, I did PT for one month which made my hand worse. After that, I tried injections, which did nothing. Following that, I called and asked for an MRI, which I had on April 11, 2019. The doctor was very busy so he couldn't go over the results until April 22, 2019. I already had so much time invested that I decided to keep the appointment.

At my April 22nd appointment, I waited a long time to just get into an examining room. Once I was in the room, someone came in, went over my medications, pulled up the MRI on the computer screen, put a copy of the radiologist's report on the doctor's desk and left. Finally the doctor came in with his physician's assistant. The physician's assistant fed the doctor all of my information (which the PA had previewed), gave the doctor the radiologist's report and waited. The doctor scanned the report and pressed on my wrist in several places. Then the doctor had a 30 second discussion with his PA, said he'd do surgery on my wrist and left the room. The doctor wasn't in the room even 5 minutes. He left his PA by himself to tell me what was going on. It turned out that the doctor was seeing 90 patients that day. I wasn't too keen on hearing that little tidbit.

My surgery was scheduled 5 weeks out (from that doctor's appointment), on May 28th. That seemed like it was way too much wait time but I decided to go ahead with it. Then I got a call on the Saturday before my surgery, May 25th, they told me my surgery has been cancelled. On May 28th, the doctor's assistant called to discuss the situation or lack there of. She told me she was buried is work because of all of the doctor's cancellations. I happened to ask how many surgeries were scheduled the day of my surgery. She told me that there were 15! I expressed my surprise at such a large number. She laughed. Then she told me that they were all just little surgeries so 15 surgeries wasn't that many. Gahhhhh! Fifteen surgeries is a lot in my opinion, so is having 90 patients in one day! There were a number of small things in my wrist that need to be fixed. What if the surgery was more complex than anticipated? Would the doctor fix it or try to do multiple surgeries on my hand and wrist?

After thinking the whole situation over for a week, I've decided that my original doctor appeared to be running something akin to a surgery manufacturing plant. Hubby calls it a meat house. It appears that though the doctor many be a talented surgeon, hubby may be right. I made a last ditch effort to contact his administrative assistant this morning. When I got no response, I decided it was time for Plan B.

I called one of the two hand surgeons, previously screened and selected by me, in preparation for the creation of my Plan B. I have my first appointment this Wednesday, June 5th. The disk with my x-rays and MRI images on it, as well as the radiologist 's reports, are in an envelope in my purse. I'm ready to activate my Plan B!
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