I am trying to schedule an appointment with the local orthopedic folks at the Denver Children's Hospital.
We don't have a local ortho surgeon, because we go to Shriner's in Salt Lake.
I go to the website. There is a Limb Deformaties Team. Not one of my favorite words, but the page on the website says to call and ask for an appointment for the Tuesday Limb Clinic. I call the number.
The woman who answers has never heard of the Tuesday Limb Clinic. Eventually she says "Oh, ortho is what you need. Please hold."
Then I arrive on the extension of another woman. I repeat I want the Tuesday Limb Clinic.
"What's your referral?" She asks.
"Ah. . . my son has bilateral radial club hands. We go to Shriner's in Salt Lake for the surgeries, but I need someone to splint his hand before the surgery in January."
"No, but who is the orthopedic surgeon at Children's?"
"We don't have one. I just need a splint."
"Ok, well you can't come to the Limb Clinic. You have to get a full workup by the PA before a surgeon will see you to see if (garbled)"
"To see if what? I didn't hear what you said."
"To see if it's a true limb discrepancy."
"My son does not have thumbs and he is missing radius bones in both forearms."
"Is this with his arms or his legs?"
"Oh, well then you need the hand clinic."
"Ok. Do you have that number?"
"No. That's me too. Ummm. . . .we have an opening on November 7, at 1:30pm."
This phone call is exactly why I avoided contacting them. Honestly, people who say that socialized medicine is frustrating due to bureaucracy have never actually been truly ill with the current scheme.
On a positive note, we are may be participating in this study by the National Institute of Health, although I just called the number that the intake person said to call, and they hung up on me.
Hmmm . . . . . . .