Monday, October 4, 2010

The Neurologist

Thursday, September 23, 2010 ~

     Our instructions in the ER the night before were to make sure that Heath saw a neurologist the next day.  We were referred to a particular clinic, so just as soon as I thought that clinic would be open, I started trying to get ahold of them.  Jenny offered to take Heath to school, which was a tremendous blessing.  We knew that Heath would be available anytime after 1 p.m. and that he could come home earlier if absolutely necessary. 

     When I finally got ahold of the clinic, they told me that they couldn't see Heath until the following Monday!  The ER instructions didn't seem to matter to them at all, so frustration started setting in for me.  They also told me that even if they could squeeze him in the next day, I would have to wait until noon to call back, and at that time they would see if they had any appointments left, which just seemed ridiculous to me.  This mama bear was not liking what all she was being told, but nothing I said or did from that point on seemed to matter.  Another challenge I ran into was the fact that because Heath is 20, certain healthcare professionals wouldn't talk to me as his mother.  They wanted to talk with Heath himself.  In the midst of this, Heath was texting me from school and was telling me that he wasn't feeling well, which didn't help my state of desperation. 

     Before I knew it, the noon deadline had come upon us, so I called that office back and was ready to see if they had one of their two available appointments left.  It wasn't until that time that they started looking at my insurance information which had been faxed to them earlier in the day and they realized that their clinic was not "in our network," which basically meant that if we went to them, we'd be forced to pay another $5400 deductible on top of the $5400 we're already paying for Haley's ER visit she had earlier in the year.  There was no way I could let that happen!  Why they couldn't have figured that out earlier in the morning was beyond me, but I was forced to start over with my quest of getting Heath to a neurologist. 

     The next couple of phone calls were made to our insurance company so that I could figure out just who we could go to.  I was given a list of only five neurologists in the QC that were in our network.  Playing neurologist lotto was not a very comfortable option for me, so I called our regular doctor to see if he could give me any hints on which one we should pick.  He gave me his top three choices.  When I called the first two, they both informed me that it would be a couple of weeks before Heath could have an appointment.  Not an option.  The third one surprised me.  They could see Heath yet that afternoon in about an hour!!  For some reason, by this time, that made me really nervous!  If neurology offices were so hard to get into, why was it all of a sudden so possible to get into this one so easily?  I made a quick phone call back to our family doctor, and he assured me that he had sent patients there before, so he thought it would be okay. 

     Heath and I made the trek there and proceeded to have his initial appointment.  There were several things about the doctor's bedside manner that we didn't appreciate, but the most troubling thing was that he immediately wanted to prescribe Dilantin.  We had already been told by two doctors that a prescription wouldn't be given, so the fact that he was so quick to prescribe something made us a little leary.  When we quizzed him on it, he told us that that's a big debate in the medical profession, and it was obvious that he felt it would be okay.  We took the slip, but we opted to give ourselves a little time to think about it and ended up not filling it.   

     His instructions for us were to get a sleep-deprived EEG and an MRI done, so we spent the next little while with the receptionists getting those scheduled for the next week.  We had to brace ourselves for the next set of results because we knew we were in for a long wait. 

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