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E.N.T. – The Return

January 13, 2010

So, today was Chipmunk’s follow-up appointment at the hospital.  This was to determine whether he needed to have the operation to improve his hearing, or whether it was stable and improving on its own.  You may remember the quandary I was in last time.

I was going to pick Chipmunk up from school half an hour early in order to get him to the hospital for 4p.m.  After it took me an hour to get him in to school this morning, due to the snow and the fact that the traffic was at a complete standstill, I decided to pick him up at lunchtime instead:  Good decision!

We ended up being at the hospital for almost four hours.  Yes, you did read that right.  FOUR hours.  If my blood pressure was high before, I dread to think what it’s doing this evening.  All shall be revealed, my friends.  Read on…

THE GOOD:

  • Chipmunk has not had any ear infections since the last time we saw the surgeons, in September;
  • Chipmunk’s hearing is back within normal range – in both ears.  This has not been the case ever since his hearing was first flagged up as being poor, and while it is far from perfect now, it is at least enabling him to hear adequately.

THE BAD:

  • When we got there, we found that Chipmunk’s notes had not been sent down, nor was he on the appointment screen.  Instead, they were all ready to see the other Chipmunk – the child with a similar name, similar date of birth and similar GP.  Now, the hospital has been mixing these two up for over six months now.  For six months, I have been requesting that a ‘similar name’ sticker be added to the front of the file.  This has still not been done;
  • It took the secretary from Medical Records an hour to bring down Chipmunk’s file, by which time all those who had arrived after us had been seen, and they were seeing emergencies, pushing us back even further;
  • They had no record of Chipmunk’s hearing being tested since May.  Nothing about his hearing test from September, and no record of the discussion we had about surgery.  Presumably, these notes are in the other child’s file;
  • It emerged that they had given Chipmunk a new hospital number, which meant he showed up as a completely new patient on all the electronic records;
  • It also emerged that Chipmunk has two sets of medical records floating around the hospital – one from CDC and one from ENT.  Goodness knows which records are in which place;
  • By the time that they established they were missing some vital records, all the staff from that department had gone home for the evening.  Yes, we had been there that long!

On the plus side, the surgeon has made it his mission to personally request all the records from both children, and go through them himself to ensure all is present and correct.  Also, I feel vindicated in my decision not to allow them to operate in September – please pray that his hearing continues in this vein!  I am so pleased that we have the possibility of being put in touch with a social worker.  Not because there are any problems with us as a family unit, but to offer support and co-ordinate all the different agencies and departments that are involved with Chipmunk.  At the moment, I feel I am constantly battling, banging my head against a brick wall and shouting at the top of my lungs to get anything done.  Some support would be really good right about now!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2010 19:38

    Hannah, you are such a tower of strength! Chipmunk is lucky to have you as his mum. Although you certainly faced a huge pile of institutional incompetence today, it looks like you’ve managed to get through the worst of it and with good news—I’ll definitely be keeping Chipmunk’s hearing in my thoughts and hoping it only gets better.

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