So today, I am sitting in a hospital. The good news is that no, nothing is wrong with anyone per se. It’s just time for Little Miss to get her tubes out. Funny story, that.
She’s had her tubes in for over two years. When we got her three year checkup in August, the doctor mentioned that her tubes didn’t look like they were functioning anymore. In fact, one looked kind of like a lollipop with a wax top sitting on the tube. Yummy! He suggested we see our ENT and have him evaluate her tubes.
Our ENT is a great guy. He is great with the little ones, and he runs pretty much right on schedule. The downside is that he’s affiliated with a hospital that’s almost an hour from my house in non rush hour traffic. If I have to have the tubes removed, I don’t want to be driving there early in the morning and fighting traffic. Nice as he is, I want a new ENT.
I asked for a referral to an ENT a little closer to where we’re at, and the pediatrician wrote down the names of two that he liked. I tucked that note away and procrastinated on making an appointment.
When we went to Florida, we realized her tubes really weren’t working. Oh and that maybe I should have gone to the ENT earlier. Too late though to keep her from bleeding from her ear, but I flipped a coin and called one of the ENTs whose office was about 15 minutes from my house.
He was available the Monday after we got back, and we headed on over there. He agreed that her tubes were non functional and that they needed to be removed. Further, he recommended putting in new tubes since we have a family history of longstanding ear infections. He asked which hospital I wanted to have them done at.
Good Shepherd, I replied.
Umm, I meant Lake Forest or Highland Park. My brain screeched to a halt. For those of you not familiar with Chicago geography, let me clarify. Good Shepherd = very close. Lake Forest and Highland Park = further than my work and likely an hour and a half to two hours to get there. That’s further than the first hospital I was trying to avoid.
As I tried to wrap my mind around how my pediatrician thought that closer meant only the doctor’s office and not the hospital he was affiliated, I was relieved to hear that the nurse would be calling me to make an appointment for the surgery and I didn’t have to choose right then what I’d do.
By the time the nurse called me two days later, I had made up my mind. In fact, I’d made an appointment with the other referral from my pediatrician — after verifying that yes, he was affiliated with the hospital close to my house. I explained the situation, and the nurse completely understood.
Now I just have to explain to my insurance company why I had to see two different ENTs within three days of each other in a non-emergency situation. But I figure that I have a good two hours of waiting for Little Miss here to figure that one out.
Me, I’ve learned my lesson. First, don’t procrastinate when it comes to bodily orifices. Second, don’t assume that a doctor is affiliated with the hospital that makes sense geographically.
PS The surgery went well. Little Miss has successfully had her tubes removed and a paper patch placed in them to help the eardrum heal. She came out of the anesthesia just fine and enjoyed watching Peter Pan while in the recovery room. While I’ve been cautioned that we may be back for new tubes in a few months, we have our fingers crossed that this is it!