Stooopidity and medical updates

Monday morning, I had another appointment with my Nurse Practitioner to check the Oasis and re wrap my leg. We got the kids off to school and hightailed it across to Tampa, arriving five minutes before my scheduled appointment time. (small miracle, given the unpredictable Tampa traffic patterns)

First, a little info about the reception staff at the Physician's group. I am a familiar face to them now, since I have been there at least once a week since December. Most of the ladies are pleasant, including the receptionist formerly known as the grumpy battle axe (rfkatgba), who is now positively chipper when checking me in. (I think that wonderful week where I was there FIVE times won her over). All but one of these ladies have been there at least the three years that I've been a patient with the practice. There is one young lady who started there about three months ago who treats patients as an interruption of her day. Even those who are cordial and polite get the "I am the princess" attitude from this person. She is the one who checked me in for this visit.

When I checked in, I said "I'm here to see M." If you brought up my appointment and saw:
1. I'm scheduled in the ultrasound lab (not M's area)
2. You haven't seen anyone from the lab this morning
3. My file sat there for more than 20 minutes without being picked up (their service protocol)
4. Everyone else emptied out of the waiting area, even those arriving more than a half hour after me
You should question someone to find out what the story was? Yeah, me too.

After I sat there for an hour, Nurse D commented "how come I don't have you on my list?"when she came to collect a patient who'd arrived 30 minutes after me, I went up to "princess" and asked why was I still sitting there. She informs me that my appointment is for an ultrasound, and no one has come out from there yet (duh? wouldn't that give YOU a clue. Yeah, me too).

I tell her my 9:00am (it's now after 10) appointment is with M. She gets snippy with me, telling me that M will come in to the ultrasound to check on me. I politely explain that there is no reason to do an U/S on a skin graft(and she implies I don't know what I am talking about, I am SCHEDULED for one, therefore I am getting one). I further relate that the substitute nurse scheduling it last week seemed a little clueless about things, that M told sub to schedule me to see M today. I related my thought that the sub didn't enter me properly (a thought reinforced by the state of chaos that the sub had caused at that nurse's station last Monday!)

Princess tells me to sit down and that someone would come get me. Toots, they haven't come out in an hour, what makes you think they'll come out now? At this point, the other receptionist (the rfkatgba*) notices that "Hey, she's been here a very long time" and intercedes on my behalf as soon as I sat down in the waiting area again.

She asks Princess why I haven't been brought back to see M yet (knowing that 95% of the time that this is the purpose of my presence). Princess responds rather annoyed that I am there for an ultrasound. This merits the comment "Have you even seen anyone from ultrasound? She got a skin graft, we don't U/S those? What does her appointment say?" All very good questions, don't you think? Yeah, me too.

I'm sitting in the waiting area, stewing and making snarky comments about Princess to Ed while rfkatba* continues to interrogate. Finally, rfkatba* looks at my records herself and sees that yes, I am scheduled for an ultrasound ACROSS TOWN! Duh, Princess! Rfkatba* give her a load of grief, most of which I miss because I get a phone call from my corporate rep about my disability claim (talk about timing, as I am in the doctor's office!). Princess comes up to Ed, since I am on the phone, and makes some lame apology about not realizing that I was scheduled across town and that I am supposed to see Nurse M (no shit, sherlock) and that they'll bring me back as soon as there's a room.

Princess leaves the reception desk for whatever reason and the remaining ladies go into a tirade about her mistake, with rfkatba* vehemently taking up the case for me. I know why I'm there and tell her why I am there, yet she blew me off. Apparently, I am not the first patient to whom she's acted in this manner when she's screwed up, but to not notice that I was scheduled elsewhere was a huge mistake.

I suspect she got in some big time trouble. Serves her right, because I ended up sitting there for 90 minutes. There should be compensation, I tell ya, because all the magazines in that waiting room SUCKED. Road and Track, Car and Driver, Golf Digest, Men's blah blah blah, Even more Men's blah blah blah, Digestive Ailments Anonymous and a year old Time magazine. Out of desperation, I read that outdated Time magazine to see how well they prognosticate (not very well, my friends).

Nurse D comes and gets me, and brings us back to the exam room and SHE apologizes for the screwup. She commented to M that I was out in the waiting room about the same time that I was asking Princess questions. It's at this point that M gets a lightbulb moment.

Everyone she'd seen last Monday was supposed to have follow up visits today, yet her schedule was extremely light. Perhaps they all got scheduled wrong, too. The difference is that those people probably listened to the automated phone call reminding (insert mispronounced name here) that you have an appointment at University Center. Those people probably said "wait a minute, I don't have an appointment there!" They canceled their appointments, not realizing that it was supposed to be with M. Oops. We told Nurse D she can't go on vacation anymore, ha ha, because this is what happens.

Nurse M tells us she'll be back in a moment and Nurse D trusts me enough with the big nasty scissors to cut off the wrap (she is on crutches, yet another reason why we told her she can't go on vacation ever again!) While waiting, Ed feels sorry for me and hands me a six month old copy of US magazine that was sitting on the chair next to his. It was funny to see how wrong their prognostications on Britney, Paris, Lindsay and the like were! We'll leave that for the other bloggers, though.

(and you're all thinking 'darn, that sure sounds more interesting than this,' I've roped you into reading about ME, not them. ha ha. Yes, I am snarky and have no audience for it since I'm not at work. Poor Ed)

The exam goes well. The wound finally stops looking like some gross thing you wish you hadn't tuned into on the Discovery Health channel now. You know, that bowel surgery that is burned onto your closed eyelids for days, maybe weeks? No, now it looks like a healing road rash wound. It's got some liquid coming out of it, which M can't decide if it is due to infection or is colored that way because of the Oasis dressing.

What does this mean? More wonderful medication for me. This time it's Cippro (that anthrax curing antibiotic), but at least it is free from our favorite supermarket chain. Here I thought they didn't like me because they were handing out free Penicillin, to which I am allergic. I guess they like me, they really like me, because they gave me free medicine (and returned Barnie's Santa's White Christmas Ice Cream)

I noticed that M has a tendency for a light touch on the leg wraps. Silly me, I comment on this and in the spirit of 'more aggressive treatment', she wraps my leg with a venegence. Here I sit, very early Friday morning, and I'm having a devil of a time with sleeping from this thing giving me the Arnold Schwartzenegger bear hug. I'm toughing this damn thing out, though, because I want this wound to heal, people. I'll even put up with the awesome RSD flare if it means the stupid wound will be gone when I go back for my next visit.

Oh, yeah. I go back out to schedule my next appointment and rfkatgba* is the one to check me out. I thank her for advocating for me when Princess wouldn't listen and she rolls her eyes about that one. She opens my file to find a ICD9 form with a receipt attached. Puzzling, since I've already got one of those from when Princess checks me in. I fish mine out of my bag to show her. Princess shows back to the desk and tells me she had to reenter my payment, because she had charged me for getting the U/S. That explains that receipt-but a post it note on it would have probably been a good idea, don't you think? Yeah, me too.

Princess apologizes profusely for her mistake. Not the sincere kind, the "OMG I totally F'ed up and I'm in a world of trouble but I better make nice before this woman calls the boss and demands they fire me" kind of apology. Ahh, fear, I can smell it. That's good. I won't do that, but it means she will double, triple and quadruple check that she's got everything right if I am standing in front of her. Too bad it doesn't mean she'll do it for everyone else, but I'll take one small step for my rights.


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