Wednesday, October 11, 2006


For posterity I will bang out what happened when I called back the docotr's office yesterday.
As per my instructions, I made the call at 11:15 (I didn't want to seem too nudgy, so I waited a bit.) The nurse answered, and told me to hold on, she would get the doctor on the phone, she was just in the examining room with a patient. Ok... so I waited, and waited... and waited.
Finally, the nurse came back on the phone and said, "Ms. C, it's a disaster here today, just come in to talk to the doctor." Alright, so I did.
And when I got there the waiting room was packed... with wildly pregnant women. Loads of them. I gave in my medicare card, and sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. And then the nurse came out and announced that the doctor had to go to the hospital for a delivery and wouldn't be back for at least an hour. When the waiting room cleared I went up to the receptionist and told her I was here to get my records. She sent me to the back to the nurse's desk. As I approached the back the nurse caught sight of me, and said "Ms. C, you can't sit here, go sit in the front!" To which I replied, as the tears started to flow, "Well the receptionist just told me to come back here..." Crying and all, she told me just to sit right there and wait. (I felt like a big baby, but I was a step closer to the records that I came for.
The nurse went about her merry way doing tasks and ignoring me as I sniffling nearby. Finally she turned to me and said, "What do you want exactly? We faxed your husband's semen analysis to Dr. Pfifer."
Me: "We are not going to Dr. Pfifer. We have an appointment with Dr. Chan. And I need the rest of the file because I have 2 other appointments as well."
Nurse: "Well you have to tell me what you want, I can't photocopy the entire file! And who are you going to see?!"
Me: "I don't understand why you can't just be nice to me. All I need are my records. You guys are the doctor's office, you should know what would be relevant to another doctor that I am going to see. It's really difficult to be here sitting in a room of pregnant women, I wish that were me, but it's not. I really wish you would be a little more sensitive to my sistuation, it isn't easy what I am goign through. All I am asking for are my records!"
At which point I FREAKED OUT, started BAWLING, and as a bonus my nose started bleeding.
A lot of back rubbing, calming down, and kind tones ensued. (No one wants a raving lunatic patient in the office!) Also the nurse picked up my file and started photocopying.
Nurse: "I have photocopied allt he test results that we have from you in the past year. I think that will be good. Is there anything else you would like?"
Me: "I'm not sure. Is that all that is relevant? I did have surgery in 97, do I need that?"
Nurse: "I don't think so."
(For the record, I think that is pertinet, so lucky I have my own copy of that report stashed in my personal files.)
Nurse and Receotionist: "If you need anything else, let us know, we will fax it to the appropriate doctor for you."
Me: "Ummm, ok. Thanks." and I got up to leave.
I was almost at the door when the Nurse called me back.
Nurse: "Ms. C, I have this note about Dr. Pfifer."
Nurse: "It seems we weren't able to get in touch with him to get a refferal, so we decided on Dr. Chan instead."
Me: "Thanks for clearing that up." and walked out.
So I walked out with blood on my pants and jacket, wondering what exactly they had faxed to Dr. Pfifer (whom we weren't going to see), with my files tucked neatly inside my book. I still do not understand what all the hastle was about.
I mean really. I have been seeing this doctor for 13 years (and my mother has been seeing her for 25 years). Up until last year I have needed her services once a year for a pap. In the past year I have been to her office 5 times. Until there was an issue to deal with they were happy with my once a year service call. But if the doctor and the support staff think that I am asking too much of them when I actually need their help for the first time in 13 years, I'm not so sure what to think of their service skills...

Thanks to all of you who commented with words of support. This is the reason I have joined the blogging community. I can't imagine having been able to get through yesterday without you. Someone mentioned not returning to this doctor, and I am seriously thinking about it. At least I don't have to go back to that office until I am pregnant. At which point I may take my Mommy to stick up for me. (When I told my mother what happened, in a shorter version, she could not believe that they would treat me in this manner. As in: I must have said something rude to have them treat me like that, because they have never been anything but nice to her. Thanks, mom.)
On one hand I feel relief that I am done with the gyn's office for now. On the other hand I am fearful of what lies ahead. What if I am treated like this everywhere I go?


Krista said...

You should not be treated like that anywhere you go. I would make sure the doctor knows exactly what happened and then I would seriously think about switching doctors. That office sounds like it is very poorly organized and the staff are tired and not compasionate until there is a crisis. No good, you don't want to have to be in crisis mode to get what you deserve.

Heather said...

Krista is right - you shouldn't be treated like that anywhere.

BUT, there are mean heifers everywhere. Hopefully your new doc won't have an office full of them. My gyn had a HORRIBLE receptionist. My RE has an ok one - but my RE is awesome (so far). So I guess you have to weigh out whether or not it is worth it to deal with the wench.

Hope that the worst is over!

PS WHY do mothers do that? Doesn't she know she raised a polite daughter and maybe, just maybe, it isn't my fault that the woman was rude?

Hopeful Mother said...

What an ordeal - just to get a few pieces of paper. I don't know why they have to make this so hard on us - it's hard enough as it is.

My Reality said...

How awful. I can't believe they treated you like that. You have to wonder who teaches doctors AND their staff bedside manners. I am glad you have your records and can go to your appointments and hopefully get yourself pregnant really soon.

Oh, you said you got blood on your clothes from your nosebleed. Kind of off topic, I know, but if you haven't been able to get it out, try hydrogen peroxide. You put it on the blood stain and let it bubble up, rinse and repeat. I have done this many times with my undies when gotten caught off guard.

jennie said...

I definately would find another ob/gyn. Start asking people for referrals now, ask the R.E and ask friends if they like their gyn. It doesn't sound like it is just one bad egg either, it sounds like it is a problem with the whole office.

You do NOT want to be treated like that WHEN you do get pregnant (and even when you're not pregnant). If you have concerns or if you get worried when you are pregnant, you will want an office that will help you, not give you the run around!

They way they treated you is awful and inexcusable. You did NOT deserve that.

When I was pregnant there were many times I had a question or I was worried about something and the nurse is usually the one you talk to first. You need an office where they will treat you with respect, not like you are a child.

There is no guarantee that another office will be perfect, but I say keep looking until you are comfortable.

Sorry for bitching so much, I just get all worked up when I feel someone is treated unfairly.

Meri-ann said...

No one should be treated like that- not anywhere, anytime, ever. That is disgusting, and I would be tempted to write a very strongly worded letter to your doctor so she is aware of all the crap you've gone through just to get your records; which are yours anyway! And maybe look around and do some research into a different gyn....
Good on you girl!

sariel & shlomit said...

shit. that is a drag. and just WRONG!!!! i agree with the other really don't deserve, need or want to be treated like that...they work for YOU!!! i know sometimes in canada we lose sight of that, but it's still true.

i LOVE my RE and most of the clinic staff but had my own snafu this and i believe i may know EXACTLY how you feel?! This is your JOB people. Just do your JOB!!! we come practically grovelling, stressed to the max because our bodies are not doing what they are "supposed" to be doing and we don't need your friggin' tsuris making it worse!!!!!

good for you for sticking up for yourself and letting her know the proper way to treat a patient...
good luck with dr chan and the 2 re's...i'm sending nothing but good vibes!!!

aah0424 said...

I really hope that you find people more helpful at your new office. It sounds like you have nitwits working in the doctors offices where you live too! I think sometimes they get caught up in their daily grind and forget that they are dealing with human's that need care and empathy sometimes. have you thought about letting the doctor know about this situation? My gyn. is planning on letting the uroligist we were suppose to go to how incompetant his staff was when it came to the whole SA thing. And to think he is suppose to be an expert in Male Infertility.

Wishing you luck with the new doctor!

Lut C. said...

Don't you have a legal right to get your medical records?

lunarmagic said...

Moms are so helpful, aren't they.

They just are horrible. I cannot imagine dealing with a doctor's office as completely uncoordinated as this one seems to be. Getting a copy of your records SHOULD BE an easy thing. Just blah. I'm glad you got some of your records.

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I can't believe that they have treated you so poorly. That is just unacceptable. I think that I would try to find a new OBGYN if I were you. You definitely deserve better. Hugs. I am so sorry that you had to go through that.