After my week of utter frustration with no replies from my doctor, and getting absolutely nowhere with the disability website, or my supervisor, I woke up Thursday morning and decided to take the bull by the horns, (one horn anyway).
I called an advice nurse (30 min. wait) and told her that my doctor had not replied to my e-mails and that I wanted to see an orthopedist. She promised to get my not unreasonable request through to my doctor, as my e-mails hadn't worked. I then called the medical secretaries' office - I had left three days of voice messages asking her to call me about the disability forms. This time I spoke to a receptionist. She was actually nice and helpful. She said it would be best to come into Kaiser office, explain that I cannot get on online and request a packet.
My neighbour drove me to Kaiser - a route she now knows well. I picked up the packet. On the way home I requested that she stop outside one of my newest and youngest patient's apartment, I wanted to check on the little girl.
I had only just begun to see the six-month old girl whose mother had had gestational diabetes. The little girl had a seizure at birth and had been without oxygen. She seems to have some neurological damage, as her tone is uneven and her left hand is tightly fisted with an indwelling thumb. She is young enough that she can benefit, in fact probably recover completely, from intervention. I had only seen her twice and even in that time frame she had improved, (with grandmother's help of course.)
I walked up the wooden stairs and her abuela came to the door. She let me in and I spoke to her and held the 6-month old girl's tightly fisted hand. Of course no arrangements had been made for her to be seen in my absence. I told her abuela to put her on her stomach (about 24" of floor space) so she can roll and bear weight on her hands. I showed her how to massage her hand and I left, furious. This little baby needs to be seen!
I came downstairs to find my neighbour with tears in her eyes. She was born and raised in Richmond and can't believe I work in these areas. She asked how many people live with the child in the rickety one bedroom apartment. I told her five that I know of.
She filled in my disability forms and while she was doing this my doctor called. She wanted to know why I had not seen an orthopedist!!!! That afternoon I took BART and a shuttle to Kaiser in Oakland. My cast was removed, my wrist and hand x-rayed. A delightful young hand specialist had my hand reset - in a purple cast this time, to match my purple thumb, and told me I cannot work for another five weeks.
So I am relieved that things have more or less been taken care of - I have also let my supervisor know I will be out for a longer time and my wee ones must be seen!