Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Physician, heal thyself!

Yeah, I've got a serious problem with doctors today.

My kids were at their mom's house this weekend. The day that we go to bring them home, it's amazing, but my oldest suddenly comes down with really nasty abdominal pains.

I don't know how she manages it, but they seem to be just fine when they stay at her place, and then come down with the worst colds, pains, and injuries just hours before coming back home....

It kind of boggles the mind, really.

But, I digress.

We took my oldest home, gave him some Aleve for his pain, and decided to see how it was going to be that following morning.

It didn't get any better.

So, he stayed home from school, we called the doctor, and made an appointment for him to be seen.

Little did I know that this single decision and action was going to basically write off the rest of my day.

His appointment was made for 11am. We got there in plenty of time, got to sit and wait for about 20 minutes, then were ushered back to an exam room. Nurse took his vitals, the works, then left. Doc came in 10 minutes later, asked about 5 questions, then sent us off to their lab to get some samples.

We walked down to the lab area, checked in, then waited another 45 minutes for a lab tech to call us back. Blood was drawn, urine was given for a sample, then we headed back down to the doctor's office to wait.

Back in the exam room, we were able to sit for another hour before the doctor came in and asked me to take my son back down for a CT scan. This was going to be done that day, in order to rule out appendicitis. The doctor told me that if it WAS appendicitis, then they'd get him into surgery that day, and take care of the problem, but they needed the CT scan to be sure.

We walked down to the imaging lab, sat for 45 minutes, then got called up to the desk. It was there that we found out that this lab doesn't DO CT scans, and that the lab they've got a contract with doesn't give them the authority to schedule same-day or STAT appointments, so we had to head back down to the doctor's office, and have them set up the appointment.

This had to have been our lucky day, since when we got back into the doctor's office, nearly everyone had gone to lunch, and there were only three receptionist-types there to answer phones.

Luckily, one of the ladies knew enough to contact the imaging lab, and found that I was going to have to take my son to the hospital instead to get his CT scan done.

I took my son to the hospital, and they assumed that we'd been fully prepped for this operation.

Let me fill you in:

For the type of CT scan my son needed, we had to have him drink a water-soluable Barium Sulfate solution, plus he was needing to push about a quart of water. Add to this that he couldn't have any solid foods for at least 4 hours before the scan, and you've got an irritable teenager on your hands.

So, no, we didn't have him prepped, the lab we'd come from had given us the wrong type of barium solution, and he'd eaten before we'd left home at around 10:30 that morning.

The technician was actually quite helpful at this point. He took the wrong solution, and threw it in the garbage. He gave us the correct solution, and then asked us to come back in two hours so that they could get the optimal picture.

I nodded, had my son drink the entire thing. (It wasn't hard. He was hungry, and since he couldn't eat anything, he was willing to drink whatever was put in front of him!)

We went home for a short time, then back down to the hospital to wait yet some more.

Then we found that they hadn't registered us, so I got to sit in an office for 30 minutes writing down details about my insurance, and disclaimers, and agreements for the doctors to treat my son.

Finally, we went back to get the CT done. Because of the nature of the CT, they also put in an IV line, in order to get a contrast for the imaging.

Let's just say that they finished with the CT scan about an hour after they called us back.

I was told to check in about 30 minutes later, and they'd have results for me.

I nodded, and did what I was told.

They left the IV in my son's arm, just in case we had to take him to surgery. After all, why put a new line in if there was one already started??

So, 30 minutes go by, and I check up at the desk.

No news.

The receptionist calls back, reminds the technician, and asks me to go wait again.

30 more minutes pass by. I check back in yet again.

This time, the tech was working on the image, but still didn't have anything to go on. I needed to wait.

15 minutes later, the receptionist comes back letting me know that my son and I can go home.

That's it.


What about the IV in my son's arm?

Oh yeah.. I'll send someone to come take it out.

Yup. 15 minutes later, the nurse comes back to bring us back to the exam room, and take out the IV.

During this time, I'm still wondering what's going on. Was there something? Did they not find ANYTHING? Did they think that there was something else wrong, and it just needed to be treated different?

I'll never find out.

The tech and nurse can't disclose those facts to me, and I need to talk with my physician.


You mean that I can't talk face-to-face with the radiologist, and get answers?

I have to sit and wait for my doctor to get back into his office THE NEXT DAY in order to find out what's really wrong with my son?

First, I get a nice little panic attack from thinking that my oldest son is going to have to go in for surgery, and that I'm going to be spending a night in a waiting room for a report.

Then, I get to waste a total of 6 hours for imaging that could potentially let us know if he needs this surgery.

Finally, after getting the images taken, we get NO answers besides a "go home" answer.

I don't know about you, but that REALLY bothers and pisses me off.

I really wish doctors would get the same kind of shitty treatment when they're sick, just to let them know how crappy this heathcare system's getting...

1 comment:

Jaime said...

i hate doctors. they're all quacks. and if the rest of us treated our clients/patients/customers like doctors treat us, we'd be out of business. i don't know how they get away with it.