I began today's activities by getting insurance for The Boy. In the state of Pennsylvania, a child with cancer is considered disabled and is eligible for medical assistance. One of our major concerns about the move--taken care of like THAT. We got a number, we'll be getting a card in the mail, and we gave the number to the person at the new hospital.
Yes, it meant spending some time at the welfare office. Oh well. That's what it's for.
As for The Boy's first appointment, we couldn't have asked for a better experience. Not entirely true--we did wait a bit longer than I would have liked once we were in the office, and it wasn't the same as the previous hospital where you'd check in and go play, get accessed and go play, see the doctor and go play...the only playing really happened in the waiting room. The Boy hadn't had a nap, so he spent most of the time snuggling with Grandma. We may need books/toys; we definitely need EMLA cream. Likely less waiting.
The nurses seem to be the same types of nurses that we've seen at our other hospital. Same sweet manner with the kids, some with the same slightly cheeky attitudes that we love in our favorite nurses.
There are more doctors. Quite a few more. Also, there are generally several residents/med students/interns involved. The Boy has a doctor whom he will see most of the time. We really liked him! He asked all of the right questions and was interested in caring for The Boy as a person and us as a family. Also, he has an iPhone.
We clicked pretty well with The Boy's primary oncologist in NJ. It seems as though we will have a great relationship with this doctor as well.
Added bonus? Meatball IS allowed to be there. This makes it easier for simple stuff like count checks.
Speaking of count checks, they do have a lab right there. CBC comes back in a matter of minutes.
The oncology unit is self-contained, with both inpatient and outpatient areas in the same place. Nice thing about that is, no matter what he is coming in to do (definitely if it is scheduled, not sure about the 3:30 AM fever stuff), he goes to the same check-in area and has his port accessed by the same people each time. Also, with there being a dedicated oncology floor, they have a lot of little things that we always wished for in our old hospital.
It is likely that chemo will be starting on Wednesday. The Boy's counts were fine for chemo, and they really want to get him back on track.
As far as distance from the hospital, it is 15 minutes in rush hour from the hospital to the house. Likely less in the middle of the day or late at night. Parking is also less of a production than at the old hospital and DEFINITELY less of a problem than in Philadelphia, and as long as The Boy is on treatment, our parking is free. All we do is exchange tickets at the desk. Also, we could very easily just drive up and drop off.
I was nervous, to tell the truth. I didn't want another large hospital experience like the one in Philadelphia. I don't think we'll get that. In fact, I think we'll be very happy.