A few weeks ago I wrote about a friend with osteogenesis imperfecta — or brittle bone disease — who went to the ER after breaking her arm at work. She’s had hundreds of fractures over the years, and this latest was a bone that had been broken and repaired surgically several years ago. She knows the complications of OI separate her from the average Joe who shows up in the ER with a broken arm, but she was shocked when the orthopedic surgeon on call refused to see her. Instead, she was sent home with an untreated fracture and a prescription for pain medication. She lived in limbo for seven weeks.
Here’s the update on her medical saga: She spent the first few weeks dealing with insurance companies and piles of paperwork trying to get permission to consult with the out-of-network surgeon who had operated on her arm before. An appointment was scheduled, but she was turned away by office staff because the wrong forms had been filed.
She spent another week — still with a painful, broken arm — arranging for the correct paperwork and consulting the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation about new surgical techniques that might be used to repair her arm. In a phone conversation before he’d even seen her, her local surgeon had expressed doubt that her bone could be repaired. But she refused to accept hi