Posted 5/25/2009 10:43 PM (GMT -6)
I'm so sorry to learn you have so much pain at such a young age. I had to go about 3 hours away for 2nd opinions, and additional consults, including, finally, my lumbar fusion surgery. One thing I did ask was what tests they needed to have done and whether I could have them done locally and either bring them with me or send them down (if you send any records, I would take a copy in hand with you, including CD's with MRI's, etc., because things can get lost, faxes misplaced, etc.) or have them sent. You may have an MRI, for example, but each doctor has policies about the tests - and how recently they must be done. My surgeon would not see me unless I had an MRI less than 6 months old, for example. Blood work can usually be done locally. So all this may save you time. Plus, most of these major centers are used to people who come from distances just as you're doing, so although they can't tell you everything until a doctor sees you, they may be able to give you some ideas if they know and/or review the tests you have/haven't had. Also, ask about whether there's a place for outpatients to stay that's affiliated with the hospital if you need to stay to have additional testing, etc., or see other doctors. Be sure they know how far away you live. Someone in the office should be used to dealing with these matters, but if not, call and ask for the hospital's social work department and see if they can point you in the right direction as far as who you need to speak with.
Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!