Monday, May 15, 2006

Heart+Kidneys+Body = Person

One of the many thousands of things I've learned through All Of This:

Departmental politics is the same, whether you're a marketing manager, an IT guy, or a doctor.

I know, "duh." But it's one of those things you don't really stop and think about until you're in the big middle of Something Big and trusting everything The Big Doctor tells you, and getting mighty confused because what the Big Oncologist and the Big Surgeon and the Big Cardiologist say ... disagree.

Tomorrow we have the appointment with the Big Cardiologist. Back before her surgery, the oncologist considered putting her on a third type of chemo, doxorubicin, which can be weeeely bad for the heart. So, off for an echo to make sure her heart was up for it.

In that meeting, with the cardiologist, we learned that not only was her heart not up for it, but that she had a Serious Heart Condition, which he claimed had nothing to do with the kidney cancer. Because, you know, we didn't have enough to deal with.

All that may be true, except ... while in the hospital, no cardiologists came around til we threw a fit and demanded them. (The surgery team had notified them of her surgery and asked for their input.) Then, she wasn't scheduled for a post-surgery echocardiogram to see if maybe having a grapefruit and an orange on her kidneys had affected her heart. THEN, I got a call a couple of weeks ago saying that her scheduled appointment in June wouldn't work, so howsabout July?

Does Not Compute.

Well, I managed to get an appointment for May (tomorrow) with the cardiologist, rather than July. She's also getting an echo tomorrow. And our big question will be: okay, does she really have a Serious Heart Condition, or were you overplaying that to make sure the Big Oncologist didn't give her doxorubicin?

Big lesson in all of this ... oncologist only sees cancer. Cardiologist only sees heart. Surgeon only sees stuff to cut out. Apparently some hospitals are now looking to have "Principle Doctors" who will take the role of conductor. Sounds good to me.

Tune in tomorrow for As the Heart Turns ...

1 comment:

Anne said...

That sounds like a mess. I am glad that my Big Doctors all communicate pretty well. I feel pretty lucky.