Thursday, October 22, 2009

Turn of Events or is that Turn of the Screw!

Ok, for my own sake I need to document this disaster that may turn into a fiasco or may even finally manifest as a welcome change in plans.

I know, that was a bit all encompassing, but the facts indicate that no accident is really an accident. Usually there's a bit of intention sliding through the background of the scene, something that indicates that we all do know what is about to change our plans, even while insisting that we have absolutely no responsibility for those changes.

1. Tuesday, 13 October -The Aussie trips over the vacuum cleaner power cord and falls backward over the vacuum itself in a very small bathroom. As he hits the floor, pain rips through his right shoulder.

2. When the pain subsides, he discovers he cannot lift his right arm at the shoulder.

3. Wednesday, 14 October, we see the physician's assistant who in this corner of the prairie is the primary health care provider. Her office pushes Trinty Hospital to make a Friday appointment for an MRI.

4. Friday, 16 October, the Aussie gets his MRI, but no access to the results.

5. Tuesday, 20 October, seven days after the accident, the physican's assistant calls with the results of the MRI - two shoulder tendons implicated, one severed with 18 mm break between the rotator cuff and the end of the severed tendon.

6. Wednesday, 21 October, at the request of the the Aussie's Australian Insurance company, an appointment is made with an orthopedic surgeon in Minot for Tuesday, 27 October.

So, here we are:
- waiting for one American surgeon to tell an Australian surgeon that the severed tendon needs surgery in order to be re-attached,
- waiting to be given permission to return to Brisbane where the insurance company is willing to pay for that surgery.

Frustration reigns in the north american outback:
- with the speed at which insurance companies do NOT work,
- with their lack of regard for patients and their pain
- with their distrust of the claims of policy holders.

All that being said, both the Aussie and I are appreciative of the kindness and proficiency of the staff of the physician's assistant and those to whom we speak on the phone in Brisbane representing the Insurance company.

I guess that's it! We wait for the professionals to DO to us because in the American system we are not allowed to be part of the process; we are simply dummies on whom the professionals will/can/shall act. What kind of a new program does the Congress have in store for us..hopefully not more of the same!