Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Today a miracle happened. This was one of the days when I had to take my dad for his weekly blood draws to check the white cell count after his chemo treatments. Last week, I pretty much reached the end of my patience when we went to his weekly appointment because, as on every other occasion, we spent two plus hours just getting his finger poked.

When they initially said he would have to have chemo treatments every 3-4 weeks, what they failed to tell us was that he would also need to get his blood checked weekly between treatments. Once the shock of knowing we would have to go to that clinic every week wore off, then the irritation started building at each weekly appointment.

What is supposed to take place is when we arrive, he gets signed in, they pull his appointment sheet, and he should get called in within 15-20 minutes. Until today, that never happened. The first two times we went, we waited just to get the blood drawn for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Why? Because for some reason they never pulled his chart. If I hadn't gone up to ask what the hold up was (after we saw everyone that came in behind us during that time come and go), they indicated there was a chart mixup. Oh fine, I just want to sit here freezing in the reception area next to the door because you screwed up! The next time, they couldn't even find his chart, so again we waited until I inquired as to what was going on. (I was catching on to the routine by then.) And unbelievably, the next time, the woman at the reception desk left for lunch before pulling his chart. She apparently got distracted by a call after we signed in and it totally escaped her mind. We didn't find that out for over two hours that time.

So then we come to last week. I was over tired, over booked on other things to do, and had an appointment myself that day, so I was in no mood for what took place at that appointment. First, there was no place to park within reason. Close enough for me, yes, but not close enough for an old man on a bitter cold day. I wanted him to get out at the door, but he insisted he was okay. That was until we had to park way around the back side of the building and then found out the entrance there was only for a particular office, so we had to hike back around to the upper level of the lot to the front of the building. I know he regretted not getting out at the door then. Next, upon registering, once again there was a mixup on his chart. I knew that from the fact that we had to fill out another information sheet--something they must use to track down a missing chart. This time, though, I followed up within 5 minutes to be sure they had his chart. Yes, you're all set, we were told. And he actually got called in within 15 minutes, so I was pretty happy about that, thinking we were going to get in and get out quickly, something that also worked in my favor to get everything else done I needed to do that day.

But alas, a quick appointment it was not to be. For some reason, they told him he needed to see his oncology nurse, Matt. Which meant we had to wait in the overcrowded waiting room they have for treatment patients. At least it was warm in there! But after waiting 15 minutes or so, my dad started his wandering, thinking if he walked around and looked for Matt, that we would get out of there much sooner. Sometimes, this actually works. But he couldn't find Matt, and after another 15 minutes, I was at my wits end, sitting on a hard-backed chair that hurt my shoulder, listening to a woman yap on and on in Spanish on her cell phone, and basically starting to worry I would miss my upcoming appointment. Still no Matt in sight. So I inquired of the whereabouts of Matt from the receptionist in that department, and she said she would tell Matt we were looking for him. We were looking for him? I thought he wanted to see us?? Another 15 minutes or so go by and by now I am steaming. I finally went to the receptionist and asked her to just tell Matt to call me if there was something he needed to tell us. I couldn't wait any more. She then very rudely said, "You don't even have an appointment until 1 o'clock." I said we didn't even have an appointment, but that the hematology nurse said he wanted to see us! Fortunately, right then, Matt showed up and said he did not want to see us, he just wanted to be sure we had a correct schedule for the future appointments. OMG! I was ready to strangle someone at this point.

I told my dad that day, after I griped all the way back to his car, that from now on, we are going to go, get the blood drawn, and leave, no matter what they tell us they want us to do. I figured if he pretended like he didn't hear them, what could they do? Call us, that's what. There wasn't anything we would have to do that day that a phone call couldn't fix.

So today, as I said, it was a miracle! We got there, waited less than 10 minutes, and were out the door within 20 minutes of arrival! Yipee! I was only gone from work 1 hour 15 minutes instead of the usual 3. Do you realize how much more time this gives me this week to get other things done??


Flo said...

OMG!!! One of my MAJOR pet peeves in life is incompetence!!! People in positions of some minor authority that have no ability to do the job!!!

Glad everything went okay today and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from now on.

Shelley said...

Christmas is a time for miracles!!

sharon said...

Things like that really gripe me too. I have a real hard time being nice when people screw up and won't even apologize for it.

Fe-lady said...

Isn't it great when things happen the way they are SUPPOSED to!? Too bad they don't all the time...yea, for Christmas miracles!