Brave Little Thing

So, Little Girl Weed having broken both bones of her arm at the wrist a week ago, we spent the morning at the orthopedist getting her a proper cast. That has been an ordeal in itself, as once an emergency room puts on a splint, no pediatric orthopedist or hospital is in much of a hurry to look at you, apparently. I've spent the better part of two days on the phone with every orthopedist, hospital and clinic in our insurance network. The insurance company gives you a list of doctors you can see; in the case of pediatric orthopedists, all the doctors are associated with hospitals, and the phone number you're given is to the hospital clinic. Some hospitals don't call you back -- as our pediatrician warned would be the case. The ones who do call back put you on the line with the "scheduler" with no medical knowledge who tells you dutifully that the nearest appointment is 3 weeks from now. Yes, yes, you tell her, I understand that I can't get in to see a specialist for consultation about rare genetic ailments for 3 weeks. I am telling you my daughter has a fracture that needs a cast or else her bones will knit wrong. Fit her in (I had this job for a summer once; competent help knows when to fit the client in --there's a system for doing so). Cluck, cluck, that's terrible, but the first appointment we have available is March 24th. Stone wall, stone wall, stone wall.

I also discovered in the course of 20-30 phone calls that most adult orthopedists don't want to see patients under age 14. This is how one is treated in the HMO system --only semi-socialized medicine. I can't wait for the full monty. (Actually, it was my fault for entering the system in the wrong way. By going to the emergency room on my own initiative because I could tell something was wrong, informing the pediatrian after the fact instead of first, I fouled the works. The system is unaccustomed to having to speak face to face to patients rather than doctors.)

I finally found a sports medicine clinic that would see her right away, and perhaps it was the Lord's doing all the time since it's two minutes up the road, bright and friendly, with no surly "schedulers." It was good I pressed the issue, because in fact after a week's wait, her bones have begun to knit slightly askew, and would have grown much worse with additional delay. Because it won't affect mobility much, the doctor elected not to re-break the bones. But he did push them as much as possible back into alignment. He was as kind as he could be, and she didn't utter a peep, but you could see her eyes were smarting with tears as he pressed firmly for several minutes.

Brave little thing! I admire my 9-yr-old a great deal. Naturally I had to take her out for lunch as a reward. She wanted tacos. I told her I'd always known she was a little bit twisted.