My daughter, Casey, had many diagnoses, including cerebral palsy. She was not mobile and could not bear weight on her legs and feet. Due to this, her bones grew more brittle each year. We were so careful with her and did everything we could to avoid fractures.
However, shortly before she turned 7, while loading Casey into our car one day, her foot got caught. It was a split second before she started to yell and cry. Luckily, we were headed to the hospital for her weekly physical therapy appointment.
Instead of going to the ER, where I knew we would wait for most of the day for them to check her out, I decided to call her physical therapist. I explained what had happened. She told me to come on up to the outpatient area and they would take care of everything. As soon as I hung up the phone, the physical therapist called Casey’s orthopedics’ office.
Our doctor was not at the hospital, but his nurse was there and took the call. The nurse contacted the doctor right away. She had him write orders to get an X-Ray and said that she would call him when the image was ready. The nurse also got Casey processed for the specialty clinic they were doing that day so that she could get more than just physical therapy services.
When we arrived, everything was ready.
Casey went with her physical therapist and did some stretches while I gave them updated copies of all of our insurance cards.
When I finished the paper work, the nurse had X-Ray ready and waiting. We got our images and went back to stretching while we waited for the results. The paperwork, X-Rays, and walking to and from the lab took up about 35-40 minutes of our 50-minute therapy session. We had about 10 minutes left to stretch, and as soon as we were done, the nurse came back to get us. We walked over to the clinic area and she pulled up the images.
Casey’s doctor was waiting for his nurse’s call.
My daughter had a fracture and so he wrote a prescription for her to get a cast. The other clinic nurse joined us with the casting tech to get Casey’s foot set. We were only there maybe an extra 30 minutes beyond our regularly scheduled appointment time. If we had gone to the ER, there is no way we would have been out in less than 4 hours.
I was worried about Casey’s foot swelling in the cast. That evening while we were sitting at home, the nurse called. She was worried about swelling as well and just wanted to make sure Casey was okay.
The next week, when we went back for physical therapy, I joked about Casey having a VIP pass. The therapist said even she was impressed with how well everything lined up. The fact that a doctor waited by the phone is unheard of, but people seem to do this type of thing often for Casey.
We are really lucky to have such a caring medical team. I think this story is a great example of the right way to treat patients.
Check out the Diagnosis and Healthcare section of this web site for or information.
As a parent to a child with special health care needs, we often must learn little tricks to get things done. Each month Marty shares some of the tips and tricks she has learned along the way.