Up until last week a giant question haunting both of us was: how difficult will it be to transition from Kaiser SoCal to Kaiser NorCal?? We were nervous because, unlike what we’d imagined, the two Kaiser systems are actually not connected for practical purposes – even though it’s the same state! So, in layman’s terms that means we had to start over with a new primary doctor, new prescriptions, new therapy referrals, and (crucial in my case) new specialist referrals. And anyone who’s participated in a large healthcare entity (definitely including ourselves) can attest to how easy it is to get lost in the bureaucratic side of things. So basically – we were nervous.
But I love happy endings…hopefully y’all do too! Contrary to our expectations, I got assigned a new doctor – and saw her! – by the third day after we arrived. She was incredibly understanding and proactive, started all my referrals, and agreed to finish up some paperwork pending from Riverside. And guess what? We got into neurology the morning after her referral! (In case y’all don’t remember, I couldn’t even get a neurology appointment in SoCal after I was hospitalized for the TIA at the beginning of May. So giant difference in service there!)
And it gets even better…our new neurologist was also super proactive, and ordered an additional CT angiogram for my carotid artery, since he felt like the previous scans were not as comprehensive as possible, and didn’t rule out the possibility of an additional new clot. This artery has been dissected since the accident, which was what caused my two strokes and possibly the TIA. We’ve learned that this type of dissection isn’t surgically reparable, so now the important goal is to monitor it regularly and find a medication plan that’s consistently effective. But I’m super thankful for a new doctor who wanted to go above and beyond the standard scans just to be safe!
And so, yesterday morning, we got up bright snd early and headed over to Kaiser to prep for the CT angiogram. Besides the fact that no one really wants to start their Monday with an IV of iodine (doesn’t really hurt, but makes all your veins feel weirdly hot), the scan went well, took less time than we expected, and we even got the results from the doctor by yesterday afternoon! Praise God, there were no new blockages in the artery. Although it’s still dissected (it’s been at functioning at 50% since December), we can keep my current medication plan and move forward with a follow up in a couple of months.
Tomorrow we get to meet my new physical and occupational therapists, but after all the excellent treatment we’ve gotten in the past week, I’m not nervous at all – just excited. We’ve seen the hand of God in so many dimensions of our move to San Jose, and our new Kaiser experiences have been no exception. Thank you to everyone who’s been praying for this aspect of our new start. God truly answers prayers for all the details of life – big and small – and we’re so thankful for another burden that He’s chosen to remove by His amazing grace.