I have always been my own advocate, as they say; if you want it done right, you do it yourself.
Since the infamous doc Smith up and took a leave of absence I have tried everything in my power to try to find another expert to follow the same game plan.
My phone calls and injuries have been plentiful, but it seems that no one has the expertise I am looking for other than doc Smith himself. I had even gotten one of the patient relations people at my medical establishment to make some calls to find out why they had been delaying my appointments to meet with other surgeons. It turns out that the chief of the orthopedic department said that they have good surgeons, but no one that can deal with my, and she used the term "complex situation". Their recommendation was that I go back to Harborview and be re-assessed by yet another surgeon. My answer was; I know longer feel comfortable with any of those other surgeons. I told her about my meeting with the chief of orthopedics at that hospital, and that he simply told tales of 3 faculty members leaving and that they were now short staffed and he would divide the patients amongst the remaining over worked stressed out doctors. He then said I would receive a call within 1-2 weeks. I found out that they simply dismissed my case and left it at that. So I called doc Smiths head nurse and made certain I was still on his list for when he returns.
Even though there is no time frame of his return, and speaking with the patient relations person at my medical center yesterday, she said it may take to April or May before I could see another surgeon for a consult. She also mentioned that once this new referral was in place, I will no longer be able to see doc Smith when he does return. She did confirm that doc Smith was on leave and would be eventually returning. I told her to go ahead with getting another referral in place, but not with Harborview, but with another outside provider. After I questioned her about my authorization to see doc Smith she told me that it would cancel that out.
After thinking about it for a while, I became panic stricken. I asked myself, but what if doc Smith returns before I get in to see someone else"¦I knew doc Smith and I were on the same page and he is the go to amp doc, and if anyone could do what needs to be done it was him. I cannot risk taking a chance that another surgeon would make matters worse.
So I got back on the phone and called the patient relations person back and asked her to cancel that new referral to another surgeon; and that I would wait patiently for doc Smith to return.
So in the meantime, my right hip is failing; the sharp pains are getting worse each day. I am realizing and paying attention to how I am standing while doing certain things like preparing a meal or folding laundry, etc... My hips are not equal and I am trying to raise my left hip to try to take some pressure off of it while doing things. But the damage is only progressing, the joint is becoming compromised. Even with my exercise and focus on my hips, it is too far gone. I don't know what to do, I am not ready to be wheelchair bound.
After another amputee read my journal, he suggested that I get new forearm crutches especially designed for amputees. They are called SideStix, I looked them up on the web and, OMG the price is almost as high as buying a new car. They are meant for amputees that need them on a full time basis; they have shock absorbers and are anatomically designed to be easier on your wrist and joints. So once again; I called the referral department at my medical establishment and made some injuries about how to go about getting them and having them pay their 80% of the cost. They told me that my primary care doctor has to write a prescription with a good explanation for why I would need them, and why the ones I have are not suitable for me anymore. Then he would need to submit it to the referral department. If they agree, they would buy them for me and bill me my percentage of my out-of-pocket expenses.
I do feel more at peace today knowing that doc Smith is the only surgeon qualified to my procedure. I know that I have reached out and made my best effort to do right by me, as I need not make matters worse. I look at poor Gertie and see all of the burst blood vessels, but there is nothing I can do to change that or stop that.
So now, I need to sit back and wait.
If you or someone you know could help with a donation to help me out of this very deep hole I am in, I would be Very Grateful!!