Vallejo

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Cancer Update: September

Published September 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

Not a whole lot to report. I am experiencing issues of anemia again.  The same symptoms when I was diagnosed (almost exactly a year ago).

I called the oncologist’s office to find out what’s going on with my CT scan.  Well, it’s on hold because of their inadequate scan coordinator.  The facility, that’s in my city, can do the scan, but refuses to administer lidocaine to numb my arm for the IV.  I have collapsing and rolling veins.  Most IVs take two or three attempts (not to mention hurting like hell on each attempt).  They don’t do that on a “clinical level”.

Seems the scan coordinator is inept at calling the patient to update them or having someone else follow-up.   It would seem, the scan coordinator isn’t able to search other hospitals to see if they might be able to accommodate a very reasonable request.  Nah – let’s not do anything…we’re only talking cancer, right?

The receptionist was gracious enough to let me know that following up wasn’t in her job description.  She agrees someone should have called but couldn’t answer who would do that.  Let’s chalk that up to “no help”, shall we?  Then she told me to feel free to call back to check on the status.  I let her know I have been symptomatic.  Gave her all the symptoms.  Anyone with half a brain, working in a hematology office knows what anemia sounds like and should make sure the patient is called back.  Yea…not this office.

I almost passed out yesterday.  I was able to stay awake for 1.5 hours after work.  I slept after work and was in bed at 9:00 and went to sleep for the evening.  Their inept attitude is robbing me of my quality of life.

Am I demanding?  Yes.  I give them an opportunity to do their job and then I take off the “kid-gloves” and let them have it.  I will not apologize for being my own advocate; esp. when patient advocacy and the online help feature have also failed me.

I submitted a referral request for a doctor, who’s an hour away.  I asked for confirmation they received the fax and confirmation when it was processed.  The fax was sent over five hours ago.  Did the doctor’s office call:  Nope!  Now I have to follow-up with them; again.

There is no excuse I am receiving such horrendous treatment.  If I end up in the emergency room, I will not be paying a bill that could have been prevented by the doctor’s office simply doing their job.

Part of the blog is to show how (cancer) patients are being treated while facing a life-threatening illness as well as documenting issues should a lawsuit be necessary.

Sutter Health Plus, based out of Sacramento, California, should be ashamed at its inability to provide healthcare based on the needs of the patients.  I shouldn’t be forced to go to a subpar facility, even if they deem it ok.

Apparently, I have Schrodinger’s Cancer:  I either have it or I don’t.  Guess we’ll never know because my health isn’t a priority to anyone but myself.

 

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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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