Sunday, March 13, 2005

Facemask, anyone?

Okay, folks, here's the deal:

I did the wknd assigment for two reasons.  One, because I love art, and I wanted to.  Two, because I wanted to grant you a break from Plaguewatch:2005, you know, the show that's been in my house for 2 and 1/2 weeks now.

Okay, here we go:  Ben and Nolan are fine now.  Audrey broke out in this weirdo rash and I took her in again as a precaution, just in case she was allergic to her antibiotic.  Nope, doc says viral rash.  She looked terrible yesterday, but is much better now.  I talked him into sending me home with a breathing machine b/c Ben and Ryan were still having some issues at that time.  Ryan, well, he's better, but he still looks bad, so I'm kinda holding my breath with my fingers crossed that he'll look fine tomorrow.  Haha, what kind of voodoo is that?

I woke up feeling congested yesterday, but I am convinced that it's just an allergy attack.  It is, because I got all itchy, took some Benadryl (oy, the wonder drug of wonder drugs) and a long nap.  I feel fine, lol.  Four hours of sleep on a Saturday afternoon can only do a body good.  I dosed up Audrey too, and she joined me.  Bliss.

Which leaves---Mr W.

I told him on Tues/Weds that I'd schedule an appt for him, b/c his cough was just wicked, but nooo, you know how men are: "I'm ok." <hack, hack, hack>  "I'll be fine." <sneeze, hack>

So Thurs afternoon, I called to get him in, thinking he'd probably get in on Fri.  The receptionist, I could practically feel her drop her shoulders and sigh as she said this, told me that she could get him in.  On Saturday.  Fine, I say.  "But if you want, call back at 8 am on Fri and maybe if one of the emergency appts is available, he can have one of those."

Mr W had an awful night on Thurs.  I even cheated and made him use the breathing machine, thinking that'd do it.  Friday morning, I called the dr's ofc at 8 am, like they told me to.  And she couldn't get me in, and it was flippin' 8:04.  Aye, yi yi, I um, lost my temper.  And in my best bitchy receptionist voice (remember, I used to be the receptionist), I said to her: "It's unfortunate that we can't get in today.  I mean, it's not like I can plan 2 weeks in advance when we're gonna get sick.  Are you seriously telling me that there's no one, not a PA or another dr, with an appt open today?  Afterall, I called at 8, like I was told to do."  "No.  I'm told we have to schedule you with your own dr, or the PAs, and I have nothing left."  "But it's eight-o-four."  "It looks like your dr only had one opening, and it's filled."  Sigh. "Fine.  We'll keep our appt on Sat with the PA."  And that was that, or so I thought.  I hung up, because we were done.

Mr W calls me a few minutes after I get home.  He says that our dr called him at work. ??? And that I must have pissed someone off, because she told him I was um, upset, and a little forceful with her staff and that I hung up on them.  NO WAY!!  I told Mr W about our exchange.  He said that the dr told him she'd get him in that afternoon. 

Man, I was really hot.  I called and asked to speak with the office manager.  I don't hang up on people, I'd told Mr W, not when I can express my displeasure to them while they're on the line.  Honestly.  How pissy of a receptionist do you have to be, to go running to the dr because of the mean lady on the phone?  If you are gonna work in a busy medical office, you have to have a thicker skin than that, missy.  I've been on the receiving end of much, much worse in my time at the helm of a 100- calls-before-noon-office. (really, I counted them once)

So I spoke with the office manager, and told her what happened, and that I didn't hang up on anybody.  I told her that I understand that they are busy, but I shouldn't be instructed to do something like call at 8 am when in all likelihood there would be nothing available.  I told her that my entire household had been going on 2 weeks of being sick, and that I'd exhausted all my at-home remedies to no avail, and that I really didn't want my husband to have another bad night.  And I reiterated that I certainly did not appreciate her staff lying about my hanging up on them to the dr and that I was concerned my husband's care would be compromised because the office would know that his wife had gotten a little bitchy on the phone that morning.  "Oh, no, that would never compromise his care, our phone staff and front office staff don't even hear each other, they're separated."  Yeah, right.  I've been the receptionist.  I know what goes on, wink, nudge, that's the unruly patient.  Sure, no one's gonna be outright unprofessional towards you (you hope) but somewhere, somehow, it's recorded for all posterity that you are difficult.  Handle this one with care, or get the clipboard thrown at you. 

What really got under my skin is that I stand up for myself, and I'm the bad guy?  Oh, I don't think so.  The office manager didn't believe me when I told her the dr herself called Mr W at work, so I suggested she talk to him herself.  He said she called, and they went over it, but ultimately this is what they both said:  "I wasn't there, so I'm not exactly sure what went down."  He added, in my defense, that I don't hang up on people, and that my frustration stemmed from dealing with all of them being sick, for so long, and not being able to get him in.  Ok, so I'm only a little bit mad about that, because really, he wasn't there, and he has heard me at my pushy-receptionist voice finest, so I'm sure he has his doubts about the degree of unpleasantness I unleashed.  Whatever.  He got in.

When I picked him up afterwards, he'd had a breathing treatment, and pulled a small stack of prescriptions from his pocket, 4 in all.  Antibiotics (just in case), steroids (for all the swelling in his lungs), an inhaler (you know, for the nonimportant act of breathing), and cough syrup with codeine (lol, for me--just kidding-it's to make him maybe sleep instead of hack all night).

Sometimes, it pays to be pushy.

And it definately pays to be my pharmacist, or my pediatrician, holy cow, all the copays I've left there in the last two weeks...someone's getting a new car!


P.S.  Mr W is doing a little bit better, he's still coughing, but I think he's not so short of breath anymore.  Inhaler-a-go-go.





deniden said...

I can't wait believe you handled the call back so calmly. With me and my temper, it would've been ON. LOL. No one is happy when doctor's offices are busy, but they are getting paid to be there - so they should suck it up.


slyracing1 said...

I'm sending over the infectious disease crew... they will be the ones at the door in haz mat outfits... Don't worry...  quarentines can be fun... j/k
Hugs with love,

suzypwr said...

Would you guys just GET BETTER???