Thursday, April 29, 2010

Scheduling Woes

So, two weeks ago today, I called to get Harlie's next heart catheterization scheduled in DC.

Her last heart surgery was in June 2009, and I was told that she would need another cath in about six months. Well, that put us in December, when she was getting her second bone graft jaw reconstruction. So, she didn't get the cath and I knew it was okay to put it off a few months. Well, since her bone infection happened, it had to be put off again. They said no cath until she was fully recovered from her infection.

Even though she appears to be doing just fine in the cardiac area, I would rather not put off the cath anymore. We are getting close to a whole year since her surgery and still no cath. So, I checked with her infectious disease docs in Norfolk and her cardiologist in DC and all agree that she has been on antibiotic treatment long enough to make them feel comfortable with going forward with a heart cath.

So, on a Thursday, I called the cardiac cath scheduler. Her voice mail says that "your call will be returned within the next 24 to 48 hours."

Several days went by with no return call. So, on Tuesday I called again and got someone who told me the scheduler was out of town till Thursday. That would make one week since my first call. Great.

But, just out of curiosity, if you were going to be out of the office for a few days - and NO ONE else could do your work for you (like schedule a heart cath, for example -that is really great that she has job security, though. Really, good for her!) wouldn't you take the time to change your message from "I'll call you back within 24-48 hours" to I'll be gone until whenever and will call you back within so many days after that? I'm just saying.

So, anyway, she calls me on Friday and leaves a message with a question. Not to pick on her - but her question was "do you want to schedule a heart cath or heart surgery?" Hmmmm. Let me think about this for a minute. I called the cardiac catheterization scheduler. If I wanted to schedule heart surgery, I would have probably called someone else. And does she ask every person who calls her to schedule a heart cath if they, indeed, do want a heart cath? Again, I'm just saying.

So, I call her back the same day, and leave a message with the answer.

Today is Thursday, and still no phone call. So, I called again and heard her message that says I'll get a return phone call within 24 to 48 hours.

I have to say that this is one of the most difficult appointments I've tried to make. Back in January/February, I tried to schedule it and got the same "speedy" response. We played telephone tag a couple of times, and then February happened, and I just stopped calling.

The reason why it's bugging me is that I don't want to have to do this! I don't want to go through another heart cath and then another heart surgery! The logistics of getting to/from DC, should Tom go, should he not go, will we stay overnight, who will be with the boys, when will this all take place, and HOW SCARED AM I GOING TO BE SITTING THERE IN THE WAITING ROOM AFTER WHAT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY?!?!!

So, add to all that stress and worry, having to call, write down when I called, keep track of how long its been since I called, so that I can then call again, and I just get easily ticked. And annoyed. I don't know if this heart cath will be in two weeks or two months. Not to mention when her heart surgery will be.

And I have a life to live, people! I want to know if I can train for a marathon, a half-marathon or nothing at all. And I don't like to make plans - but this is different. I feel like my life is on hold for something like this.

So, to make scheduling the appointment difficult???? Well, that just seems cruel, don't you think? Cruel to us parents of children with more medical issues than I can list in under 500 words. I might be exaggerating, but I think you get my point. I really need to reserve my patience for feeding therapy and potty training. And Cooper. Especially Cooper. God love'm.

The message I left today was nice, even though I was kinda mad. So, hopefully I'll hear back soon. Please keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?



Josie said...

Uggh, Christy I'm so sorry this is difficult for you. Do you have Dr. Donofrio's email? I got a shortcut by emailing her and having her cc the scheduler in her response to me...which worked out really well, with a cath scheduled by the end of the day.

Hope this helps!


PS. Let me know if you need that email!

B-Mama said...

Gosh, how frustrating is this??? It is situations like this, to people like you, that get me so worked up. This lady needs to learn to do her job better and more efficiently. If she's promised to return your call in 24 to 48 hours, then she's failed... multiple times. Would you like me to take the time (which you definitely don't have) to report her?! I'd be so glad to do it!!!! Can you tell how annoyed I am?! :)

Susan said...

That sucks! I'm glad you were able to get it scheduled in the end. But it just SHOULDN'T BE SO HARD!!!