Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back at Texas Children's ... again

As we've posted previously, Matthew's eating has been getting worse over the last couple of weeks, and his spleen is enlarged again. We've been concerned (and frustrated by the eating issues), but decided that we'd talk it over with the cardiologist at the previously-scheduled appointment next week.

Tuesday evening, I noticed that Matt's feet were a little more tan than usual, but chalked it up to the contrast between his flesh tone and the white pants he was wearing. On Wednesday, a couple of friends convinced us that we weren't overreacting, we were being Matthew's parents; take him to the doctor. After a late afternoon pediatrician appointment, Katie and Matt were off to Texas Children's for tests.

After-hours arrival at the hospital means being admitted through the emergency room, which means waiting hours to see a doctor. Matthew was finally seen around 2 a.m., seven hours after arriving. Which is good and bad. Good because that means the triage folks didn't think Matthew was that bad off; bad because it meant waiting seven hours while more critical folks were seen. Matthew was admitted after the ER doc agreed with the pediatrician that Matthew is retaining fluid and he appears jaundiced. Off to cardiology.

Katie has thoroughly documented our beefs with the cardiology department at Texas Children's and this interaction has not been any different. Cardiology doesn't think that his current issues have anything to do with his heart or circulation, despite the pediatrician and the emergency room being concerned enough to send Matt to the hospital and admit him. Now Katie is dealing with the same people who thought we could wait months to get an appointment before an outside cardiologist (Dr. Penn Laird, Jr) told them that Matt had a huge PDA that needed to be fixed quickly. This morning the cardio doc sent Matt for an abdominal ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. The technician asked Katie for the symptoms; she listed them. He digested the information, and Katie then asked if he thought they'd find anything. "Nope." The tech didn't think that they symptoms could be caused by an abdominal blood clot! Shockingly, there is no blood clot. Katie waits for the doctor's next guess, and her frustration grows.

Apparently, this is a lesson Katie and I have had to learn time and time again: the cardiology department at Texas Children's is worthless. They are overbooked. The administration staff and nurses are rude. The doctors are idiots. Or they think parents have no information, and they know everything. Or both.

On the other hand, our experience with cardiac surgery was great. I don't know if they are one department or separate, but we have complete confidence in the surgeons, and none in the medical doctors. Fun dichotomy, don't you think?

Meanwhile, I have contacted Dr. Laird's office, hoping that he can intervene and correctly diagnose Matthew given his symptoms. For future reference, we need to find out where Dr. Laird has privileges so if we have to cross this bridge again, we'll be better prepared ... to go somewhere other than Texas Children's Hospital Cardiology Department.

1 comment:

  1. There are apparently 3 Dr. Laird's in pediatric cardiology in the Dallas area: William Penn Sr., William Penn Jr., and Tracy. So, depending on which one you are looking for, at least one of them has primary hospital privileges at Texas Health Resources (Dallas = Presbyterian, Arlington = Arlington Memorial, Fort Worth = Harris Methodist). I wish you the best of luck with your ordeal.