appointments

All posts tagged appointments

Still waiting…

Published October 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

Today makes two weeks since the hoop-jumping commenced.  I did as I was required; saw my PCP to get an oncology referral (even though my insurance knows I have cancer).

My PCP claims they called me to say the referral was approved and to call the oncologist.  That was pure fabrication.  I only found out, because I called a week after the appointment since I hadn’t heard anything.

This past Monday, I called the oncologist’s office and was told they hadn’t even reviewed the file yet.  They couldn’t tell me how long it would take for the doctor to review the file to see if she could even treat me.  She only reviewed files in between seeing patients.

Now my PCP was told I was having anemia symptoms, yet she didn’t flag the file with any urgency.  She put it through as a basic referral.  This is the problem with using a PCP for conditions they don’t treat.  If they are to facilitate care, then listening to the patient would be a good place to start.  If the patient deems the situation as an issue, then the doctor has an obligation to process that information accordingly; especially if they are symptomatic.

My energy levels are falling.  Day to day life is becoming more and more challenging (again).  Yet, I sit and wait because the medical profession has no sense of urgency.  I’ve upped my caffeine intake and back to taking naps the second I get home from work.

When will doctors get a clue they are messing with people’s health by their lack of concern.  They aren’t battling a life-threatening disease.  They aren’t waiting in limbo to see if the cancer has spread or new cancer has emerged.  They have all the time in the world (at this point).

Yet, I and so many like me, are dependent on a broken system that doesn’t value life.  This is our reality.  We struggle, we worry, we pray and we just wait.

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Cancer Journey: Part 14

Published June 21, 2018 by lynn k scott

After yet another phone call with Sutter Health, my oncology referral to Sacramento was denied.  The reason is the doctor is limiting her practice.  They referred me back to Vallejo.  I lived in Vallejo for eight years.  It’s gotten progressively worse and we moved away from that cesspool over six years ago.

I will be getting to see a native-English speaking doctor.  However, she is only in Vallejo one day a week, because her primary office is in a better city.   Colored me surprised…

I tried to make the appointment yesterday, only to be told the new patient coordinator was already gone for the day.  What?  It was 2:15 p.m.  Must be nice.  I left a voicemail that I needed to make an appointment and asked her to return my call.

Now, I tried to schedule an appointment with this provider three months ago.  They were unable to accommodate my schedule and Valerie, the coordinator, either hates her job or believes she is above us poor cancer patients.  I had the displeasure of dealing with her again.

Conversation starts with her calling me back and asking how she could help me.  Ummm…I know I left a message regarding booking an appointment (you know…you’re job – but I didn’t say that).  So, we had to start from scratch.  She never bothered to look for my referral before calling me back.  She had the wrong address (even though I corrected it last time we spoke and it was on the referral).  She didn’t like my exasperated tone.  She kept telling me to stop yelling at her.  At that point, I wasn’t.  However, after the third time she said it, and I told her she was part of the problem, she said, “did you just hear yourself?”

It was then I asked for her supervisor.  I wasn’t going to tolerate her crap a second time around.  Even my coworker, who could hear everything, and knows I wasn’t initially yelling, said, “I can’t believe how much trouble they are causing you.”  See, it’s not just me.  Part of the biggest obstacle of seeing a provider is their staff.  I finally raised my voice at Valerie, didn’t want to make a liar out of her, requested her supervisor and muttered a few not-so-nice words.  Ooops…she heard me…oh well…

Spoke to the supervisor and she starts to tell me that the doctor doesn’t go to the city I live in.  Umm…DUH!  I never said I wanted to see her there.  I knew she was in Vallejo and that’s I was trying to make the appointment.  Valerie couldn’t even get that straight.  We made the appointment.  I was supposed to receive a form to authorize the release of my records.  Three hours later…NOTHING!

I found the form online (which the supervisor should have known it was there).  Completed it, called for the fax number and printed the confirmation that it went through.

So now I sit and wait until my appointment next week.  The only benefit of seeing this doctor is that if I have to have any procedures, I will cross the bridge (same distance as going to Sacramento) and be seen in a better facility, in a better city.

Physicians and their staff need to be held to some sort of standard by the insurance carrier.  Patients need to have a recourse against them and their ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

I admit, I am less-than Christlike in my dealings with the medical community.  I attempt to “behave” for every interaction, yet it rarely plays out that way.  I keep praying for tolerance, but I’m not great at waiting for a response.  I have been “labeled” by my insurance and the providers; almost like a medical blackball.  I’m not giving up and I’m going to raise Cain, Hell and whatever else needs raising til patients are seen as people who need help; attitude be damned!

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