One month came to a close with no answers. Pain persisted despite soft/liquid diet. Medicated for pain and nausea, but no further investigation for a cause. Dr. X told Sean, "you're getting better, wait and see."
Ms. S, Sean's case manager, talked to LT D, hospital director, and arranged at appointment with a civilian GI specialist in a city an hour away.
COL S, the hospital commander, responded to the congressional inquiries with a letter that basically said she was satisfied with the care her facility was providing for Sean. That's a relief! As long as she was satisfied with his care. . .
Sean's mental health evaluation was unremarkable. The psychologist said, "you should be agitated due to the lack of care you are receiving."
I received a phone call from LT. D. She wanted to know exactly what our concerns were for Sean and what they could do to improve their care. Finally! Someone who would listen, who wanted to help! I reviewed the past month with her and expressed our concerns about Dr. X who continually said, "just take your meds," the meeting where Sean was attacked, threats to withhold treatment if congresssional complaints continued, the whole kit and kaboodle. Little did I know that she was the right-hand-woman to COL S.
LT. D contacted me the following day and informed me that Dr. X would no longer be seeing patients due to administrative restructuring, not due to any concerns regarding quality of care. She said that a second opinion by an outside GI doctor was warranted and had been arranged.
She also told me how lucky Sean was to be at their facility where he could receive personal care (huh?) and not at a large facility like WRAMC where patients stay in hotels and shuttle back and forth to the hospital. A large hospital like that could not possibly give Sean any individual attention.
Although I was not convinced he was lucky to be where he was, I celebrated the victory that Dr. X was gone and a second opinion outside of the military would be arranged. It was a day for dancing and singing!
And then I heard that LT. D.talked to Sean and told him that he needed to quit whining. He had gotten his way, so now he needed to be quiet.
I should have known better.