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Fri, Jul. 20th, 2012, 10:46 pm
Medical Mishaps and More Red Tape

In light of the following situation, there will not be a standard recovery check-in today. Check-Ins will resume tomorrow.

Arrived at the hospital this morning all ready to go, only to have them tell me my appointment was last week and I didn't show up. Which was patently not true, I was there last Thursday and no way did they schedule my procedure for last Friday. So I went and produced my appointment card, furious in not only that they had screwed up my schedule a repeated time but in their continuing insinuations that I was at fault. Of course, somehow the front desk 'must have put down the wrong date' and misinformed me. Uh, no, I was there when the appointment was made, don't try to foist the blame on someone else because you don't know how to read a calendar.

Absolutely livid. They continue to waste my time with scheduling errors (this is the second one in a row from the same department, and I've only had two appointments). They attempted to misdiagnose me because they wanted to go by a scan (which should have shown the problem; I am now wondering if there is another misreading there from that department) without doing a physical examination until I insisted. Trouble took off work in a very busy time to bring me and his time is very valuable, when I brought this up they told me next time I won't need a chaperone as it was just a minor procedure. I'm sorry, what was that? How about I cut you open with a scalpel and you tell me how minor it is. Of course, now I have no choice because he can't get that time off again.

My trip plans are screwed up. Had to cancel all that assistance my friends were offering during my recovery. Have to explain to everyone calling and inquiring about my surgery today that, no, I haven't had it yet and looking and feeling both foolish and irate. Missed a stretch class because of the planned procedure which didn't happen, thus I interfered with my treatment of my other condition (the fibro) for absolutely no reason. Had to file a complaint at the hospital and then spent the rest of the time today looking into filing in small claims court and what regulations DC has regarding it. This has put a strain on my relationships, especially at AgtOrange would prefer I calm down. NO I WILL NOT CALM DOWN! NO ONE WILL SCREW UP MY LIFE AND CAUSE ME CONTINUAL PAIN FROM INEPT, NEGLIGENT BEHAVIOR AND THEN TRY TO BLOW ME OFF AND INSINUATE I AM AT FAULT. YOU WILL NOT BLAME ME FOR YOUR INCOMPETENCE. I have a hard enough time trying to keep track of my own things, heavily medicated as I am and subject to so many appointments. It's so hard for me to believe in myself to begin with, and then to have someone make me doubt my own abilities all over again, not because they truly believed me to be at fault, but because they didn't want to take the blame. I realized this (my revelation today) when, after proving I was right, the person in that department mysteriously tried to place the blame on some other (I suspect, imaginary) front desk person. Man... the... fuck... up.

  • I will get back the money that Trouble lost today for him.
  • I will be reimbursed for transportation and for my time and effort.
  • For every day this procedure is delayed and I am left with a painful lump in my abdomen, someone will pay me. I'd prefer I get to stab a fork into the offending party's side several times a day so they can share my suffering, but I will take money as a poor substitute. I have enough pain in my life already from the fibromyalgia without adding this effing thing to it, which I've had for too long already. IT HAS GOT TO COME OUT.
  • For the wasted time with my therapist because I had finally gotten over having panic attacks in the hospital and now I feel hysterical about being in one again (this one in particular), someone will pay.
  • I did not re-up the pain meds for my fibro when I renewed my other prescriptions, because I figured I would have something after the procedure and didn't need double pain meds. Now that there hasn't been a procedure, I'm short on my regular pain meds. I'm hoping I have enough to last the weekend, because of course this is all on Friday and my doctor's office won't open until Monday and the earliest I could get a refill called through would be Tuesday anyway. If I end up having to go to the emergency room this weekend because I run out, someone is going to pay for that too, even if the money then goes straight back to my insurance.
  • For every person who was inconvenienced as a result of their actions, there will be a rectifying.
  • And if I give myself a fucking stroke because I am seriously that stressed out and pissed off, my ghost is coming back to haunt every mother fucker in that department from here until the hospital crumbles to the ground.

I'm actually so stressed out I'm not sure I can even step foot in that hospital again, I have had literally so many stupid fucked up experiences there, from being misdiagnosed, told the pain was all in my head, scheduling issues, etc. For the most part, I keep moving ahead and letting it slide because I don't have much choice in where I go; I'm on UHC and there aren't many places. But I'm angry and I'm in pain and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. For once, I want the same fucking care that someone with 'real' insurance would receive. I'm tired of being treated like a second class citizen and getting second rate care. THIS is why I want government health care; not because I believe government is competent to run healthcare, but because if everyone had to receive this kind of wantonly negligent care there would be such an uprising the whole system would be overhauled and fixed. Then maybe we could ALL be dealt with in a professional, understanding manner by caring professionals who do their jobs well because it is important to them to do it well and get it right. A mistake here or there is human error. Repetitive mistakes followed by finger pointing rather than concrete steps to ensure those errors stop is just plain unprofessional-ism and speaks of a much larger pattern of mismanagement and blame-chasing rather than problem-fixing behavior.

That said, the lady in the complaint department was very nice. I kept lowering my own voice in her office when I realized I was angrily shouting at her, when the folks I needed to be shouting at were in that other department (yes, I yelled them too, it wasn't all misdirected anger). I bet they have soundproof walls in her office.

Also, for all of my friends I exhibited pissy behavior with today over random, unrelated topics, my deepest apologies. It was not your fault and I should not take it out on you; it has just been THAT DAY today.

I hate that I have to continue my care at this hospital. I sincerely hope the lady is able to get this procedure done earlier than the department's 'suggested' one week reschedule, so at least it won't screw my trip plans completely to hell, it will just mess them up by a number of days rather than the whole thing (sort of the difference between an airline losing your luggage and being trapped in an airport for your whole trip until its over -- both suck, but you can at least attempt to salvage something from the former). I hope this can be managed in such a way that I don't have do deal with this department again at all. Any surgeon can do this procedure, it doesn't have to be a specialist, it doesn't have to be the one I consulted with, I don't care. I want to be free from this extra pain. I want this mess to be over with. I want to be compensated for the trouble and anguish, because it isn't something you can take away from me. I have inconvenienced my friends and loved ones for what amounted to nothing through this department's actions, and that pains me deeply. I need my people; I need my support network to be available for me. To call on someone and end up not needing them is a blow to that relationship -- most people are happy to help when needed but understandably upset if you inconvenience them for no reason. I know my friends understand that this was obviously not my fault and there isn't anything I can do about it, but it is a strain nevertheless.

A part of me is actually afraid to let anyone from this department cut me open now. What if I, intentionally or otherwise, receive substandard care because someone there is upset with my filing a formal grievance? In retail, if someone complains about you and you are aware of it, it is hard to give them top-notch excellent care, even when you really want to, even when you have acknowledged your mistake and are trying to make it right (which I don't really feel happened in this situation; I feel like everyone was trying to point the finger at someone else). The 'blame game' that ensued has led me to believe the work environment is a hostile one in which small errors are harshly punished, but no systems are put in place to fix them. It is this kind of environment that leads to an ever-increasing level of mistakes. Just magnify that by surgery and me being on the end of that and you can imagine my nervousness at placing my body and health into the situation. The staffers who do appointments in this department are also techs, nurses, and such. What if that person is at my procedure? It doesn't matter whether the person is trying to rectify the problem or hide their blame, either one leads to nervous actions in the room where I am getting cut open.

I really wish I was going to a different hospital now. If I could afford or raise the money to have it done anywhere else, I would. My anxiety level is so high just thinking about walking back in there I start to unconsciously 'rock' and cry and I have to stop myself from doing both. There is even a part of me that, no matter how justified I am, wishes I could just take back any complaint, because now I may have to put myself at the mercy of someone I am in a direct disagreement with. Do you know what that does to the mental health of a person who has been abused?

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