Everyone knows what it feels like to wait for medical care. Personally, the number of times I’ve sat in a waiting room hours after the time my appointment was scheduled is too many to count. And really, that’s only if you make it as far as getting an appointment that isn’t scheduled for months in the future. When you’re experiencing something significant with your health, waiting for weeks on end before you see someone can be a taxing experience.
For Michelle, this was exactly the situation she was facing—only it wasn’t for herself; it was for her 9 year old daughter, Bella. Bella has already experienced a number of health-related issues that required serious navigation through the appointment setting and medical records processes. So most recently, when Bella began to experience stomach pain and weight loss, the alarm bells went off for Michelle and she got started right away on finding a local specialist. “When it’s for yourself it’s one thing, but when it’s your child you want them to see someone as soon as possible,” she explained.
After working with Bella’s doctor for a referral, Michelle became frustrated when no progress was made. The appointment setting process was delayed multiple times and was taking longer than Michelle felt comfortable with, given the seriousness of her daughter’s symptoms. She needed to see someone—fast. She decided to reach out to her community, and that’s when someone suggested she seek the help of Grand Rounds.
Grand Rounds connected Michelle with Dr. Christine Nguyen, one of the top 3% of medical specialists in the country. Dr. Nguyen completed her fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at Stanford University. Not only did Grand Rounds handle all of Bella’s previous medical records collection and forward it to the office beforehand, but they were able to set up an appointment for Michelle and Bella the following week. Meanwhile, the referral she was working on formerly with her PCP still hadn’t been finalized. “I was so happy with how quickly they were able to get us in there,” Michelle explains. “I couldn’t have done that on my own.”
Dr. Nguyen carefully reviewed Bella’s symptoms and medical records and performed some additional testing, which showed Celiac Disease and potentially Crohn’s Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine—and if left untreated or undiagnosed, can lead to other serious illnesses.
Michelle immediately made changes to Bella’s diet, including removing all forms of gluten. “Bella told me herself that she’s never felt this good in her life.”
“The entire process was so easy and positive from start to finish. The doctor I was connected with was communicative, knowledgeable and helpful, and most importantly her office acted with a sense of urgency—something every parent in this situation can appreciate,” says Michelle.