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Old 07-23-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Concord, AL
6 posts, read 6,241 times
Reputation: 11

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Okay, so here's the deal... normally, for *most* folks, finding a new primary care physician isn't usually all that difficult. However, as an individual with a spinal cord injury who uses a wheelchair, finding, for example, a doctor that has roll-on scales in their office for weighing individuals in wheelchairs is apparently akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Does anyone out there know of ANY doctors anywhere in the Greater Birmingham area that, at the very least, has scales for weighing folks in wheelchairs? Anything beyond that, such as having exam tables that are low enough for transferring and actual experience in working with individuals with SCI would simply be gravy.

I've already called Lakeshore Hospital and asked if they could give me any names, but when I called the doctor that they gave me, it was a no-go... they had no such accessible equipment in their offices. <SIGH>
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:14 PM
 
5,814 posts, read 7,939,918 times
Reputation: 5757
Have you spoken with your last physician or gone through patient assistance with your insurance? There are specific forums and support groups you can reach out to. Pls keep me posted.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Concord, AL
6 posts, read 6,241 times
Reputation: 11
I have spoken with my current physician's office about it, but they were pretty much clueless. Haven't thought about contacting my insurance provider, though... I'll look into that.

I have also posted a similar message on the CareCure forums which are a group of forums specifically related to various aspects of spinal cord injury, but it's a nationwide forum so the chances of a Birmingham-centric response are a bit slimmer.

I'll check into the insurance, though... thanks for the idea!
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:03 PM
 
253 posts, read 415,496 times
Reputation: 112
We had good luck finding a doctor who could help with a different special needs situation through UAB's Kirklin Clinic. You might try calling the neurology dept. of Kirklin Clinic to ask the nurses there for suggestions. I think their switchboard ph# is (205) 934-9999.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:56 PM
 
5,463 posts, read 6,547,178 times
Reputation: 6579
I don't live in your area, so I don't have any suggestions. But I have been through the same thing. I don't use a wheelchair, but I have mobility issues, due to rheumatoid arthritis. I've found there's no way to pre-screen. You can describe your situation until you're blue in the face, and they just don't get it. I've explained over and over I can't get up on scales, I can't get up on a table, all I get is sure, we can work with you. Then, you go in and they tell you, well, get up on the table. How? At times I have been in a wheelchair, they just somehow think you will "accomodate" yourself! Its only when you get right to the obstacle, such as the scales, table, etc, and they give you a blank stare do they even begin to think the situation through--lol!

I get around such by taking my dh in to help, but he can't always take off work, etc.

Ok, you don't want to hear my vent (but there it is, in case you do!). Here's how I've screened--

Be careful who you talk to. Don't just talk to the little gal who answers the phone. Insist on speaking with the office manager, or doctor's specific nurse. And make sure you're talking to someone in the same building! Many times the person who answers the phone is physically in a different location and has no idea what the facilities are like!

go to a modern building, the bigger the better, they usually are equipped with handicapped devices.

Try a teaching/university hospital

Go drive around the building before the first visit, see how modern it looks.



Be prepared for a lot of frustration until you find someone. You might want to schedule multiple visits with different doctors so if one doesn't work out, you won't be waiting forever for another. Good Luck
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:22 PM
 
5,463 posts, read 6,547,178 times
Reputation: 6579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazergrad View Post
Okay, so here's the deal... normally, for *most* folks, finding a new primary care physician isn't usually all that difficult. However, as an individual with a spinal cord injury who uses a wheelchair, finding, for example, a doctor that has roll-on scales in their office for weighing individuals in wheelchairs is apparently akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Does anyone out there know of ANY doctors anywhere in the Greater Birmingham area that, at the very least, has scales for weighing folks in wheelchairs? Anything beyond that, such as having exam tables that are low enough for transferring and actual experience in working with individuals with SCI would simply be gravy.

I've already called Lakeshore Hospital and asked if they could give me any names, but when I called the doctor that they gave me, it was a no-go... they had no such accessible equipment in their offices. <SIGH>
Perhaps you could get your own scale to weigh at home? something you could use, they would just have to believe you!
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Concord, AL
6 posts, read 6,241 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHaus View Post
We had good luck finding a doctor who could help with a different special needs situation through UAB's Kirklin Clinic. You might try calling the neurology dept. of Kirklin Clinic to ask the nurses there for suggestions. I think their switchboard ph# is (205) 934-9999.
Interestingly enough, my current primary care physician is affiliated with UAB, so when I talked with them about what I was looking for, his nurse said she would send my information to Kirklin and someone there would be in touch.... I'm at 2 weeks and waiting, thus the reason I'm starting the process of trying to look elsewhere. I'll follow back up with them, though... after my frustration has subsided a bit more.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Concord, AL
6 posts, read 6,241 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the tips and advice Marylee. I would love to have my own scales for weighing at home and I've looked at them online, but they're a minimum of $1,200!! Ridiculous.... but, you just gave me an idea to try and see if I can find a used one.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
1,976 posts, read 1,912,090 times
Reputation: 1139
I'm not sure about the scales, but I can HIGHLY recommend Dr. Gerald Norris at Southview Medical Group. They're up at St. Vincent's. Dr. Norris has been taking care of my family for some time, and he's a great man and a knowledgeable doc who won't put you through unnecessary testing or put you on unnecessary medications. Just putting that out there. Give them a call; he might have those scales; I'm not sure.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Concord, AL
6 posts, read 6,241 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks Ship! I'll give 'em a call!
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