• Brachial Girl

Private is the way to go!

Well after being stuffed around by the public health system I have switched to private. I have private health cover, but ongoing care and operations are still expensive.

My first visit to see my surgeon at Perth Royal Hospital in April was a mess. When I arrived at reception I was told they had never heard of me even though my file had been sent to them along with an appointment request. My surgeon had told me the day and time of the clinic so I knew I was right. They said they’d honour the appointment so I sat and waited.

The waiting room had 3 other people waiting with brachial plexus injuries. Male. 30s to 50s. All talking to each other very loudly. Every second word was either f@ck or c@nt. Charming.

3 hours later the room was full of people seeing other doctors and I was finally called in. By a doctor I didn’t know. Apparently Perth Royal is a teaching hospital. So other surgeons learning about brachial plexus have to see patients under the tutelage of my surgeon. So anyway I told him my story, as there were no notes in my file, and he ummed and aaaahd scratching his head. I felt very insecure and asked him if I would be seeing my surgeon. He left the room and returned with my surgeon. Now HE knew who I was and knew all about my injury. He checked me over to look for any progress and instructed the other guy to do a few things then left the room. So the doctor sat down. Said nothing to me and did none of the things he had been told to do - like catalogue my muscle movements - he just dictated some notes which were very abstract and he was very unsure of what he was saying. I left feeling very very scared. I was told to come back in 1 month.

1 month later (May) I showed up for my appointment and only waited 1.5 hours before being called in. By a different doctor, again. “So”, he said, “this is the first time we’ve seen you”. Aaaaah no. Turns out no notes had been typed up from my last visit.

Long story short, I burst into a cross between tears and fury, I ranted and raved and demanded to wait to see my actual surgeon who I had been referred to.

He arrived not long later and totally got where I was coming from. He couldn’t believe my notes hadn’t been typed up and that my experience had been so bad. He did his examination and then we had a great chat.He worked out plan so that my out of pocket expenses will be much smaller. So now I can see him at his private practice and have my operations at St John of God Subiaco and see his brachial specialist OT.

I went to see my new OT, Jaslyn Cullen, and she is AMAZING! She gave me so much information and understood everything! She’s ordered me a special brachial sling from America to help with my shoulder subluxation (my upper arm bone is falling out of the shoulder socket because the muscles are stretched and weak) and gave me some new exercises. She also hooked me up to a machine that sent electric pulses into my radial nerve to clear the pathway and help trigger my brain signals.

I’m just so happy and feel so much more confident with my medical care now!

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