Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr Frankenstein, perhaps?

Ok, I have been mulling over the events of the past two days and I am blessed that I have this blog as an outlet for my personal emotions, thoughts, and feelings. And so, I am about to get really nasty about the 'process' and health care system. Strap on your seat belts, put on your helmet, the ride is going to be bumpy....this post is not for the faint of heart.....

This morning at 4 am, I received a phone call from the big kid who could not sleep, was anxious, had a test at 11 am, and had to drive home. He sounded completely stressed out and nothing that I could say would allay his anxiety. The culmination of the past four months finally got to him and he was beginning to panic. What's a mom to do besides listen and console. I had no words that would help him. All I could do was listen and I don't think that helped much.

How does a kid get to this point in his life? He's at an age where he should be sitting back and enjoying his college years. It's true that I lost sleep in college when I had tests and exams, but I did not have the additional stressors that he has at this point.

Let's start at the beginning when he complained of shoulder pain and his esteemed team doctor treated him as if he had tendonitis. Remember, this is the guy who watched him be knocked down with a line drive that could have killed him and said that he did not have a concussion. That diagnosis took a few seconds. I clearly remember the actress who just fell while skiing who died that night after her fall. This guy was slammed in the head with a sharply hit ball. he could not recall his name, walked crooked, and had ringing in his ear. Diagnosis: no concussion. Treatment: Advil.

The shoulder continued to give him problems and he finally had a MRI. The radiologist and specialist read the x-ray and stated that there were no problems. Just continue to treat for tendonitis. Diagnosis: Tendonitis. Treatment: Advil, physical therapy, stim therapy.

Two days before the Florida trip, his arm was in agony. He could no longer throw. He was literally 'shut down' by the coach. No Florida trip. No pitching. Continue to treat tendonitis. What does BP mom say? " way...more to this than an inflammation."

A call to one of the best shoulder specialists in the region as suggested by Dr G. He was able to see the big kid in a few days. He was a little guy with little reader glasses on his nose. he walked into the room alone, performed an assessment, read the MRI, and said he needed surgery that would be 99.9999% effective. He performed surgery on top pitchers all over the country. No pitching in September. Cool...the only problem was the he could not do the surgery until mid March and the kid has school. Also, the school doctors said that the shoulder was we need another opinion. By the way, when Buddy called the trainer, his first words were:"You're out of the system, the university will not pay for this." Like I give a *&$### or two......

On to the surgeon that is well known in the region and came with many accolades. Trying to get through to him proved to be challenging, but I was up to it. Somehow I got the leftie into the door and shazzammm...his life shattered in a matter of seconds. Dr. Frankenstein followed his entourage into the room, could not download the MRI on his computer, read it, and proclaimed that the rotator cuff was hanging on by a thread....need major reconstructive surgery....will never have made it to the majors anyway...and by the way: "You have a better chance of being struck by lightening." How therapeutic! Terrific....thank pal....great bedside you also snap the heads off little butterflies for fun?

Whereas, it is true, the kid's chance of making it to the majors is filled with many obstacles, but do not kill off a dream before he is done with college. That's why he is in college, to earn a degree to do something besides baseball...get it? let him have his division 1 dreams and experiences, then if he is good enough for the majors, then it will happen whether Dr Frankenstein predicts it or not. Diagnosis: Rotator cuff tear Treatment: Major reconstructive surgery Prognosis: Grim....Advice: start playing gin rummy.

Once Dr F saw the emotional turmoil that he inflicted, he called a good friend in Florida who is considered the top sports medicine physician in the world.On to our new friend in Florida. He could not have been nicer for a guy who treated Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter. With a quick hello, we are scheduled for an appointment on Monday morning at 9 am and possible surgery on Tuesday. We will be home on Wednesday. Too fast? Perhaps, but remember, we have been going through this process since October and I now know more than ever that the health care system is full of people who don't get it.

Not all doctors and nurses are inept. In fact, I am a proud member of this community, BUT I have never been so disappointed by my peers than these past 6 months. What the heck?! Are you kidding me? If I had acted so ineptly, I would have lost my job. These people are dealing with individuals...a whole person...body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Are you telling me that a shoulder is attached to a doll or a dummy? There is someone there who needs full explanation in kind, compassionate ways...and honestly as possible. But please, make it humane....Should they say: "Hey, BP mom, you have three months to live, drop everything and sit in your chair and write your will?" or would it be better to approach bad news with "Hey BP mom, perhaps there are a few things that you would like to accomplish, because we see some issues with you tests. It seems that there are some irregularities that need to be addressed. let's talk about how the treatment will affect you." Better? yah, much better.

Now we head to Pensacola on Sunday. I reserved a room on the beach with a view. I can look at it while Buddy sleeps after his surgery. We are now at the point where the rubber hits the road. It's time for action. As I said to Buddy this morning, we are going on an adventure. It reminds me of the old days in Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Fort Meyers, North Carolina, and West Virginia. We have traveled together as he played baseball and I sat in the stands waiting for him to run to the mound to save the game. Now it is time for me to run to the mound, take a deep breath, and save him. One way or another, don't mess with me, 'cause when it comes to one of my cubs, I lose the sweetness and can take on the Frankensteins, Werewolfs, and bitter tiny health care professionals of this world.

Time to go...I gotta train...mentally prepare....stretch...deep breathe....visualize....pray....

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