Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks, Doctor

So today, I am sitting in a hospital. The good news is that no, nothing is wrong with anyone per se. It's just time for Little Miss to get her tubes out. Funny story, that.

She's had her tubes in for over two years. When we got her three year checkup in August, the doctor mentioned that her tubes didn't look like they were functioning anymore. In fact, one looked kind of like a lollipop with a wax top sitting on the tube. Yummy! He suggested we see our ENT and have him evaluate her tubes.

Our ENT is a great guy. He is great with the little ones, and he runs pretty much right on schedule. The downside is that he's affiliated with a hospital that's almost an hour from my house in non rush hour traffic. If I have to have the tubes removed, I don't want to be driving there early in the morning and fighting traffic. Nice as he is, I want a new ENT.

I asked for a referral to an ENT a little closer to where we're at, and the pediatrician wrote down the names of two that he liked. I tucked that note away and procrastinated on making an appointment.

When we went to Florida, we realized her tubes really weren't working. Oh and that maybe I should have gone to the ENT earlier. Too late though to keep her from bleeding from her ear, but I flipped a coin and called one of the ENTs whose office was about 15 minutes from my house.

He was available the Monday after we got back, and we headed on over there. He agreed that her tubes were non functional and that they needed to be removed. Further, he recommended putting in new tubes since we have a family history of longstanding ear infections. He asked which hospital I wanted to have them done at.

Good Shepherd, I replied.

Umm, I meant Lake Forest or Highland Park. My brain screeched to a halt. For those of you not familiar with Chicago geography, let me clarify. Good Shepherd = very close. Lake Forest and Highland Park = further than my work and likely an hour and a half to two hours to get there. That's further than the first hospital I was trying to avoid.

As I tried to wrap my mind around how my pediatrician thought that closer meant only the doctor's office and not the hospital he was affiliated, I was relieved to hear that the nurse would be calling me to make an appointment for the surgery and I didn't have to choose right then what I'd do.

By the time the nurse called me two days later, I had made up my mind. In fact, I'd made an appointment with the other referral from my pediatrician -- after verifying that yes, he was affiliated with the hospital close to my house. I explained the situation, and the nurse completely understood.

Now I just have to explain to my insurance company why I had to see two different ENTs within three days of each other in a non-emergency situation. But I figure that I have a good two hours of waiting for Little Miss here to figure that one out.

Me, I've learned my lesson. First, don't procrastinate when it comes to bodily orifices. Second, don't assume that a doctor is affiliated with the hospital that makes sense geographically.



PS The surgery went well. Little Miss has successfully had her tubes removed and a paper patch placed in them to help the eardrum heal. She came out of the anesthesia just fine and enjoyed watching Peter Pan while in the recovery room. While I've been cautioned that we may be back for new tubes in a few months, we have our fingers crossed that this is it!

7 comments:

Cookie November 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM  

Yikes! I hate dealing with doctor offices and insurance! Good luck!

MaBunny November 25, 2008 at 11:20 AM  

Wow, good luck with the tubes! i messed half of kindergarten I had ear infections so bad... and had tubes twice... thankfully I grew out of needing them:)

Nina November 25, 2008 at 11:44 AM  

I hate dealing with the doctors and all the stuff they put you through. I hope all goes well with the new tubes. I have a very ear infection prone baby and I hope he will out grow it in the next year just like his brother did.

Michelle November 25, 2008 at 3:08 PM  

Cookie - Thanks. I have a feeling I may need your good luck wishes.

MaBunny - Thanks :) We're hoping that taking these tubes out will be the end of it. She's had them in for more than two years, so it was time. I've been given the warning that we may be back in three months for new tubes though!

Nina - Ohhh so do I. I really really do. Good luck outgrowing the ear infections. Our issue with Little Miss (she got her tubes at 13 months after fighting infections for 7 months straight) was that the infections were impacting her hearing and thus delaying her speech, which has larger implications. Here's hoping you don't have to go down that path!

Melissa November 25, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

I have so been there.

My ortho is on staff at St. Alexius but only does surgeries at Alexian Brothers...which is an hour and 10 minute drive from me.

And believe me, at 4 o'clock in the morning you will come up with new and inventive swear words as you drive the 8 million miles to the hospital before your surgery at 6:30am....or is that just me? ;)

I'm glad that Little Miss did well...

Weaselmomma November 26, 2008 at 8:10 AM  

I know a great ENT in Wheaton, affiliated with Loyola. I'm guessing he was your 1st one.

Michelle November 26, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

Melissa - Ummm yeah. See, call me selfish, but I refuse to drive that far :) That way I can avoid the swear words entirely.

Weaselmomma - Thankfully no... but only because Wheaton is a little too far for me to drive ;) The new ENT? Less than a mile from my house! Whoo! Hospital? A mile further down the same road. YAY!

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