Monday, November 2, 2009

regular anger

blurry beast

I called the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) last week to make an appointment for an x-ray. The receptionist told me that she couldn't schedule an appointment until she had received a faxed copy of my x-ray script. I made a phone call to the administrative office of my chiropractor. They said, "Oh sure we'll fax that today and give you a call when it's done!"

I called HSS the next day and asked to schedule an appointment for an x-ray. "Have we received a copy of your script?" the receptionist asked. I said, with confidence that I had played the game correctly, "Yes you should have received that yesterday."

Silence.

"I'm sorry, we don't have a script for you," you said.

"Okay, well I spoke to my my doctor's office and they called to specifically tell me that the script had been faxed, but I'll ask them again," I said.

"Yeah, we can't even begin to schedule an appointment without a copy of your script," she reiterated with no hint of responsibility for the delay.

So I called my doctor's office again, 3 days later because the previously dictated conversation happened on a Thursday and I didn't have time to make the call on Friday. The office agreed to fax the script over ASAP.

"So if I call in about an hour, they should have it?" I asked.

"Oh yes, definitely," said the office manager.

:: 5 HOURS LATER ::
(after swimming at the Y and working a heinous co-op shift for my overbooked girlfriend)

I called HSS. "Hi I need to make an appointment for an X-ray."

"Do we have a copy of your script?"

"YES, you should have received that sometime this morning," I said firmly, knowing I had jumped through the shiny little hoop they threw at me last time.

"What's your first and last name?"

"XX Johnson"

"No, I'm sorry, we don't have a script here for you. You said XX Dunkin right?"

"NO XX JOHNSON" I said, losing my patience. I wondered if the last person I spoke to had overlooked my script because she too thought I was an heir to the donut chain.

"No ma'am, we don't have anything here for you. Is this for an MRI? or a cat scan?"

"No, this is for an x-ray," I said, wanting to scream at her that I had specifically said at the beginning of this asinine conversation that I needed to make an X-RAY appointment.

"Oh, you don't need an appointment for a regular x-ray" she said.

"WHAT??"

"If it's just a regular x-ray you don't need to make an appointment," she repeated.

"I called here last week to make an appointment and was told that I had to have my script faxed over before you could schedule anything and you're telling me that I don't even need an appointment? That would have been really great to know UP FRONT."

Silence. No apology. No empathy. No response whatsoever.

"What is the procedure you need done?" she asked, annoyed by my ignorance of what a regular x-ray means.

"It says lumbar spine, hip and pelvis. It's listed under general radiology. Is that regular?"

Sounds of page shuffling.

"I don't know ma'am, let me transfer you to that department."

If only I were a more explosive person. Instead, I got off the phone and literally couldn't move for about 10 minutes because I was so angry. I could have walked into this radiology clinic over A WEEK AGO and gotten the x-rays done. If my chiropractic office knew anything about the clinics that they recommended, they could have warned me that I don't need an appointment for a "regular" x-ray. If any one of the 3 people I spoke to at the radiology clinic had paid attention to the fact that I opened each conversation "I need to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT" they could have sent me on my appointment free way.

If I walk in there and someone tells me I need an appointment for my "regular" x-ray, I may have to be escorted off the premises by security.

2 comments:

Steve said...

This reinforces my belief that the best course of action in life is to completely avoid the doctor.

ester said...

When are you going? If I'm not at work, I can come and be moral support / a punching bag / hold the chloroform over your mouth when you start having a fit.