Monday, November 7, 2016

Shaking My Head

Every time someone screws up something with me in the medical field, I get angry, and a little scared for my life and for the future of our country, but I eventually convince myself that it was just a fluke and next time will be better.  I say to myself, "It can't possibly get any worse," and then it does.

As you know, doctors have been having me run all over Kingdom Come for this and for that these past few weeks.   All of this is just in preparation for minor outpatient surgery that should not last more than 45 minutes.  I honestly don't even know exactly what she plans to do, but it's a diagnostic, exploratory type surgery.

Three weeks ago the doctor asked me to set up an appointment for today.  Two weeks ago a nurse called to verify that I will be coming to this appointment.  I asked what it was for, and she said it was a pre-op consult.  The last time I was in that office, they had the air conditioning cranked and I was shivering.  This time there was no air and it felt stuffy.  I was sweating and feeling overheated.  Then the nurse took my temperature and informed me that I had a fever.

Well, that explained why I felt so hot.  Then I panicked, because I thought they might postpone my surgery this week because of the fever.  The doctor finished with the patient before me and I could hear her running up and down the hall asking people why I was there.  I guess no one knew, so she came in and asked me why I was there.  I got a little pissy and said, "You tell me.  You told me to set up this appointment.  The nurse who called said it was a pre-op consult."

She brought a man in with her and didn't even introduce him to me.  She's been mentoring medical interns lately.  Each time I see her, she has a different man with her.  She said, "But your surgery isn't for a while yet."

I said, "It's this week."

She looked shocked.  Apparently, she had no idea that someone moved it up from December to this week.  She started digging through my paperwork and asked when I had my left kidney removed.


She has a bit of an accent, so I thought perhaps I didn't hear her correctly.  It turned out that stupid imaging place I hate going to screwed up my records again!  After all that running around I did to get ultrasounds and x-rays and lab work and EKGs, they wrote down that I was missing a kidney.  Fortunately, we were able to tell by other information in the report that this time they did not mix up my ultrasound with someone else's, but someone transcribed the report incorrectly.  They were supposed to say that I was missing my left ovary.

The doctor was reading through the results and interjecting with the word "idiots" multiple times.  I was shaking my head in my hands, moaning and saying, "These people are sooooo bad.  They're sooooo bad at what they do."  The doctor kept blurting out the word "idiots" among a lot of mumbling, and I just burst out laughing.  I told her that last time they mixed up my x-rays with someone who had hip replacement surgery.  She said, "And now they've removed your left kidney."

It didn't end there, though.  They also lost my mammogram results.  Why the hell do I go to so much effort to get all these images completed if they aren't even going to submit a report to my doctor?  I'm not going in for anymore x-rays, because I've had to do so many retakes that the radiation is probably getting to dangerous proportions.  If they try to bill my insurance company, they will get a rude awakening.

Then I found out that my general practitioner never forwarded the pre-op clearance results to her, so she just had to take my word for it that I passed with flying colors.  I tried questioning her on what exactly she's going to do during the procedure, and she was as vague as possible.  I don't think she even knew.  She was saying maybe she should do this and maybe she should do that.  Her responses certainly didn't do anything to boost my confidence.

I had one more thing I wanted to tell her that the nurse told me to discuss with her, but she leaped up and ran out of the room telling me to follow her.  Next thing I knew I was being dumped off on the receptionist to set up yet another appointment with her while my doctor was running down the hall yelling goodbye to me.

This just feels like insanity.  Nobody knows what is going on.  I don't know what this additional appointment is for.  I never got to discuss what I was told to discuss with her.  I'm scared that when I show up to the hospital, she won't know why I'm there.  Fortunately, this is a low risk procedure, but I can tell that I'm going to have to be vigilant and make sure that everyone is on the ball.  For every time that someone asks me for my name and birth date, I will be asking them some questions to verify that they know what they are doing.  I don't want someone accidentally removing my left kidney and giving me hip replacement surgery in order to get my body to match their screwed up imaging results.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh yeah, and I forgot the best part. After starting a regular exercise routine and skipping one meal each day, I gained two pounds. I'm almost hoping that she cuts a 40 pound tumor out of me, because otherwise, weight management for me seems a bit hopeless.

ellie k said...

When I have my mamo I asks them to cut a disc for me to carry with me home and any other tests that I can I always get a copy before I leave. This cancer I am dealing with now I have a disc for almost every scan they have had me do. I am lucky and have the best doctors so far. Even the girls that are doing the radiation are the best.

Camryn said...

Whoa, that would be worrisome. And my husband wonders why I don't like going to Drs.

Linda said...

It makes me wonder about your area. It's not like that up here. I've been at the doctors and hospitals with both my parents and their caregivers are like clockwork. They communicate well, coordinate well, and are meticulous with their appointments. It makes me worry about the direction health care is going. I know they're making drastic cuts in reimbursements and having to cut back on staff at many places to survive. I fear it will only get worse and eventually make its way up here.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, I wish you luck with all this. It sounds awful. It's good that you're an informed and vigilant patient otherwise who knows what body parts you might be missing after your surgery. Don't let them put you under until you speak with the Doctor that day and feel comfortable. You need direct answers before they start exploring.

How Sam Sees It said...

After this surgery, it might be time to find a new doctor. Also, it might be worth it to report the x-ray place - they seem completely incapable of doing their job.

ellie k said...

I agree with Linda, my doctors are great here, I very seldom have to wait more then 5 or 10 minutes. My doctors office makes all my appointments to see spec. and fax all the paper work to them. All I need to do is show up on time. These doctors I am seeing for radiation and the other ones I need to see for check ups with the cancer have treated ne like I am there only concern at the time. Last week I had an injection for back pain and the wait was about 5 minutes. The staff had gotten all my paper work, did my insurance and it was in and out in about 30 minutes, I have to sit 15 minutes after the injection, that was half of the 30 minutes. I think after this surgery you need to see another doctor even if you have to drive to the next town, sometimes it is worth it.

Semi Feral Equestrian said...

That's incredibly frustrating and inexcusable.

If you are in an area with choices for a different medical facility I would do that.

It sounds like their electronic medical record system is inept to handle a variety of information and the input. It shouldn't be this difficult.

Our systems are all integrated, so a specialist can access the same information as the GP.

Best of luck and so sorry on your poor medical experience.

I would also write in and let the offices know of your experiences. They can't fix what they don't know. Also, reimbursement for some areas is based on patient satisfaction so it's getting to be a bigger criteria...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh, they know. The imaging place is letting clients know they are sending their employees to training, and my doctor actually told me that this imaging place is not the worst. My options are worse. Both of my doctors are constantly chewing out this imaging place for screwing things up.

Crystal said...

Yikes what a mess. So glad I have a decent doctor, although never really needed them so maybe not as good when I need something done.

Hope all goes well, and I agree with Ellie, ask for a copy so you have it. And dont get anything done until they sit down and actually talk to you no matter how many appointments it takes

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

So, after the doctor's office said they never received my test results and told me they would track them down, the hospital called me and wanted to set up a time for me to take my tests so that I can be cleared for surgery. I told them I already completed those tests and gave them the contact info for the doctor who ordered them. Then yesterday the hospital called again and said that they will have to cancel my surgery if I don't get my test results to them. I informed them a second time (same woman) that I was not supplied with the test results, but I did have all the tests performed and was given pre-operative clearance. I gave them a phone number to call to get my doctor's office to forward the test results to them. Still no word if the hospital considers me cleared or not. I'm already receiving bills for the tests, yet no one who needed the results got them. Isn't it customary to send the results to the original doctors who requested the tests? I just don't understand why this is so difficult.

Anyway, I told the lady that I was getting really frustrated because people kept making mistakes as my expense. I began listing off all the screw ups, and she cut me off and said, "Wouldn't it be nice if it were a perfect world?"

WTF? I got pissed and said, "I'm not asking for perfection! I'm asking for people to do the jobs they are paid to do and for just one thing to go right."

She laughed, even though I was dead serious.