Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Doctor Doctor

I have had a really difficult time finding doctor for Christine. I was told that First Steps wouldn't come out for her evaluation until I get a doc's referral code. I've been on the phone with about a dozen doc's offices today and none of them are taking HHW patients right now. The office that she is assigned to now I would rather not go to because its on the east side of Indy and I've not had the best experiences with the staff already. I've gotten different answers from different people. I finally got ahold of someone who could set an appointment for us and was harassed by her because we haven't been taking Christine in for "well baby" visits. She went on and on about how she needs to be seen by a doc to be weighed, measured and if she'd been seen they'd have caught the delays earlier and I wouldn't be in this mess now... blah blah blah.
Eventually I ended up calling our HHW provider directly and asked them to let me know what docs in our county ARE accepting new patients at this time. There is one. One doc in our county taking new HHW patients right now. So I had them assign Christine to that doc (who happens to be near us thankfully). They said that it'd take up to 30 days for the transition in the system to be complete but that the doc can call them to verify her status and they should be able to see her before the 30 days are up.
Well when I called the doc's office they said they cannot see Christine because in the system she is still showing assigned to another doc. So I call that doc and they don't have any appointments available until MAY! Their waitlist is 10+ people long and some of those people have been on said waitlist since November. Not helpful.
One highlight in all this is First Steps was able to come out and do the evaluation with an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Therapist sans doctor's note. They did their thing: asked us questions about what Christine does and does not do, they played with her and tested her responses, etc. The OT confirmed that Christine will qualify for physical therapy and occupational therapy. So the FS coordinator will be calling me soon to set a date for the IFSP where we basically set goals and sign a bunch of paperwork. But therapy cannot start until after we get a doc's medical code submitted.
Rather than delay things any more we decided to go ahead and pay out of pocket to take Christine to our old family doc (who does not take HHW at all) just to get things moving.
So I had the IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) meeting with our First Steps Coordinator today. We read over the evaluation and she explained the services that Christine qualifies for and we went through all the necessary paperwork. Apparently there have been a lot of policy and procedural changes happening at First Steps and while we are going to be able to have the same PT that Joe had we will not be able to have the same OT. It will be another two weeks or so before PT will start, and OT is unsure because First Steps is waiting to get the OT's credentials or something. sigh... so much for things getting going quickly. But regardless at least things are in motion.
This has been a terribly stressful time for me. Disappointing phone call after phone call, getting different answers from different people, not understanding the system... I have been mentally, physically and emotionally drained. But I feel like I am on the upswing of what I admit has been a very low time for me. I am not feeling quite as overwhelmed and disgruntled as I was a couple of weeks ago (when half of this post was written). I am trying to turn my focus upward to Him and not allow the devil to poison my thoughts as he has in the past. I have to remind myself as always that God is in control.

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