(Commentary added Sunday, July 31, 2011)
Hey kids! Sorry I’m adding words on the next day for the second time. I was so sleepy last night I couldn’t stay awake to compose a coherent post.
I had my MRI on Saturday morning. I woke up really anxious and so I decided to take the Xanax. I read that it takes 15 minutes to work so I took it in the parking lot before we went in. We went in, checked in, and took our seats while we waited for me to be called. The waiting room was empty (on a Saturday morning?) and I was called even before I’d finished filling out my form. The nice MRI technician went through the form with me and we were about to be off and running until *insert sound of needle scratching across record here* she said, “Did you already have the neck and soft tissue study or are you coming back for it?” (Here is where I fell apart at the seems) “No,” I said. “I’m here for both TODAY.” She said, “No, you’re only scheduled for a brain scan today, we don’t have time to do both. I have an appointment at 2:40pm on Monday.” Because, you know if I was able to have this done in the middle of the afternoon I’d be there at 9:30am on a Saturday morning. Come on. Be reasonable. *shakes head*
I ran out into the waiting room to freak out to Chuck. He’s used almost all of his time off at work running me to and from doctor appointments and radiation treatments and there are still 5 months of the year to go before his PTO time resets. He went up to the front desk and talked to the woman and she went back to talk to the MRI technician. It was decided that I would have the first half without the contrast (dye) right then and that I’d have to come back at noon to have the second half with the contrast (dye).
I should stop and tell you here that I decided to go to a new place this time around and it’s been a hot mess from the beginning. My problems started with them either throwing away or misplacing the order faxed over by my doctor’s office because I was not already in their system. It continued with having to call back to give my insurance company’s phone number and not being able to get back to the actual person who scheduled my appointment because she did not leave her last name.
I should also tell you that by far and away my actual MRI experience was much better here. Because I was so upset and freaking out, Pam, my MRI technician allowed Chuck to sit with me during the first MRI. She spoke to me through the whole test telling me how many minutes each scan would last and when the table would move and when the noises were going to be loud.
Now if only we could somehow merge the office efficiency of the first MRI place and the really good job the actual MRI folks did at the other we’d have the perfect MRI location.
I was so upset yesterday that I was unable to articulate what I was actually feeling. I wish that I’d have been calmer. I wish that I would have asked for a manager or supervisor so that I could have registered my complaint. Because there’s no point in having the doctors’ secretary spend her precious time faxing an order over to the MRI location if they’re not going to schedule the correct appointment. It’s not as though this was a verbal miscommunication, I saw the order, and the MRI technician saw the order and both of us were aware of the neck and soft tissue scan. So it bears asking, why was the person doing the scheduling not aware of it? Thank God they could accommodate me on Saturday.
I said on Twitter that it’s not the cancer that’s going to kill me but instead the constant miscommunication and scheduling snafus that are going to do me in. I think that is what the medical profession needs to work to improve. When my radiation treatments turned out to be 32 instead of 30 the reply pretty much was oh yeah the computer sometimes cuts off after 30. *looks astonished* I’m sorry but that’s not small thing. Not to me anyway. And I’m sure not for many other people as well. When I made my appointment and chose this location because they do have weekend appointments it was because Chuck just cannot exhaust his already depleted PTO time. There are 5 months remaining in 2011 and there are no guarantees in life. I could very well walk into Dr. Bussey’s office on Friday and find out that the cancer is not gone.
Chuck hasn’t had one day off that wasn’t to take me, or his father to a medical appointment since October 11, 2011. There hasn’t been one down day for him in almost 10 months and yet he’s almost completely out of time. Every minute he sits in a doctor’s office with me brings him another minute closer to having to take unpaid time, some of which he’s already used to get through the radiation treatments. Every minute a doctor keeps us waiting costs us money and time. I think that’s what the medical profession needs to fix on a grand scale. I had an 8:30am appointment and wasn’t even seen until an hour later. That hour was an hour of Chuck’s PTO time.
I can’t think of one person who isn’t at least a little anxious about having an MRI. The nonsense of not having the correct appointment scheduled only adds to the anxiety.