Tuesday, February 17, 2015

VA Approval For Surgery - Part 1 - Onocologst Consult

Now the tricky part begins.

Chad's only medical coverage is through the VA and we were told, by anyone who opened their mouth, that it would be very hard if not - completely unlikely, that the VA would approve surgery for a specialist or someone not within their network.

I had already scheduled a Consult with the VA oncologist prior to going to Baltimore. We got back to Kentucky Wednesday night, prepared for the consult on Thursday and then headed to Marion, IL Friday. The meeting with "Dr. V" was, by far, the most frustrating thing I have had to encounter for a long time. I am not going to waste too much time getting into specifics but to say the least, he was less than helpful. I had documentation, referral letters, recommendation from Dr Sardi, studies - everything you could image to help inform (and persuay) Dr. V to support us seeing a specialist. Once he seen the word "HIPEC" he all but shut down. He got obsessed with the fact that Chad had diarrhea, consider it may be linked to any number of other cancers and completely disregarded the fact that his diarrhea began once his gallbladder was removed. Dr. V would not look me in the eye. Every time I spoke, he looked at Chad. It was beyond frustrating.

He did conceed that Chad required surgery but he said he needed the hemi colectomy, not HIPEC. I tried to tell him, once again, if he had read Dr. Sardi's recommendations, he would see that Dr. Sardi agrees. He tried to tell me he did read them and I straight up said "No, you didn't. You skimmed the first page, Dr. Sardi's recommendations are on the sixth." I opened up the document, again, and pointed specifically to the area of note.

I told him, AGAIN, these packet of documentation was for him and he could keep it but he didn't want it. Absolutely, beyond frustrated we left the appointment and went to the reception desk. After explaining that we had no idea why Dr. V told us to go there, we decided to outline our frustration and see if the receptionist had any idea of who we would need to speak to next (Because Dr. V would not give us any direction what so ever) The receptionist suggested we go visit the advocacy office and see if they could assist. 

Just prior to turning and leaving, the lovely Dr. V came back out and then decided to take our information packet. I am not sure if he over-heard the conversation or not, but I am glad he decided to put his ego aside and educate himself.

There was absolutely no mistaking it. I was far more educated on appendix cancer than he was.

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