Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Hate Doctor's Offices

I missed the president's speech tonight because I was at back to school night (and then I had to watch America's Next Top Model), but I'm curious if he addressed any of the planks in my health care reform platform. Because the problems are just getting worse.

I got a phone message from a friend today who evidently passed my house four times today going back and forth to get a doctor to fill out school medical forms, and don't even get me started on those, because GAH. Also, shit. Sorry I forgot to call you back, M. I'm not saying we don't need any Stimey reform.

What I'm here to complain about today is my second attempt to take Quinn to the doctor for the same damn thing that I've been trying to take him in for for THREE WEEKS. See, he's been having shin pain for a while now and there was one afternoon when we were on vacation that he was screaming and crying. (That also could have been due to his being strapped into his carseat for several hours, but he was really upset about his legs too.)

Shin pain is probably growing pains and not a big deal. But there is a small possibility that it could be something bad. And when I called to make an appointment in the third week of August and just said "shin pain" (not to be confused with "chin pain," which I erroneously Googled), I kind of expected to be laughed off for calling for a sick appointment.

Instead, I was put on hold for ten minutes and then the receptionist came back and told me that she was going to have to schedule me in a week and a half because shin pain requires a half hour appointment, but call back right away if it gets worse or he develops a fever. Based on that, I kinda think it's worth going in.

So last week I went in for my 8 a.m. appointment. Since we only have one car, everyone had to pile in at 7:30 in the morning and drop Quinn and I off for his appointment. Then they drove to school drop off and then Alex came back to pick up Quinn and I. This completely disrupted my entire family. Alex was late to work, Jack had a rough day because he was really tired from being woken up early, and Quinn was unnecessarily traumatized by thinking he had to go to the doctor.

Of course, he didn't see the doctor, because the receptionist had booked us into the practice's other location. The receptionist I saw that morning was semi-apologetic and semi-it-just-might-be-your-fault. Then she scheduled me for mid-morning today, which happens to have been Quinn's second day of school.

No, I take that back. It was his classmates' second day of school. Quinn missed it. But it was okay, because we were going to see the doctor.


When we got there, the receptionist (a different one) asked me if I was there to pick something up. When I told her we had a 10:30 appointment, she looked at her computer, then typed, then looked at the computer again, then typed a little more, then said, "Oh, we called to reschedule that appointment."

And I was all, "No. You didn't."

Because they didn't. See, that's the thing about rescheduling an appointment. You have to actually speak to the person you are rescheduling the appointment for. Or at the very least, leave a message. We got none of that.

Aside: Today Jack's OT office called to cancel his appointment. They called and left messages on both my home and cell phones. And they asked me to call back to confirm. THAT is how you reschedule a motherfucking appointment.

In retrospect, what I should have done was sit down and refuse to leave until I saw a doctor, but I wussed out and accepted an 8:15 appointment for tomorrow morning. Stimey family, prepare to be disrupted! (Also, they called four hours later to confirm my appointment—my 8 a.m. appointment. Ack.)

There was, however, one silver lining. Quinn was absolutely delighted.

I actually took this photo after our LAST appointment was canceled.
But it's cute, huh? And look how happy.


  1. Oh, that just sucks! Maybe it's time for a new dr?? I was hoping that noone was sick--Colin missed Quinn today!

  2. I'm telling you, changed docs then write the doctor a letter (copy better biz bureau) explaining why you are leaving the practice (piss poor service comes to mind...).

    They're lucky it wasn't Nik. If we'd gone to a doctor's office and left without actually seeing a doctor? O.M.F.G. the meltdown which would've ensued...and I would've let him just go at it in the waiting room. (Dontcha love autism some days?) Then I would've given the receptionist the stink-eye and told her "this is what happens when you screw up our appointments."

  3. I feel your pain!!! In general, I really like our doctor's. I will never email forms to them again. (everytime I called to check on the forms, they said, "I've never heard of forms being emailed in". Where do you think I got your email address from, huh? The email directory in my head?!!! When I got there to pick up the formS that were done, they only had one. I insistend their were two originally, but they said I only needed one. Got home, to find my original. There were two and the one they didn't fill out was the one thay said that he was medically cleared to go to child care. So need that. So, I called back, they found the form and the receptionist said they might not be able to fill it out today. (It was just a check mark and a signature). when I got mad, she put me on hold and then came back a minute later and said it was done. Good grief (thus the back and forth past your house 4 times). No worries about not calling me back. Give me a buzz when you have time or I will see you at school on Monday! Better days for all today, I Hope!

  4. See, this is why standard medicine is so much better than HMOs here in the USA. You can see your doctor when you want. Oh, wait, it wasn't an HMO? Healthcare works just fine for us insured people. It must have been your mistake(s).[I spent too much time with a conservative lately and am grouchy].

  5. This makes me crazy. It tempts me to whip out the "calling them three times to confirm each appointment and also the location of each appointment" method, which involves saying with each call that "because apparently there was some sort of misunderstanding last time."

  6. This is insane. We started having problems with our practice a few years ago (scheduling and incorrect medicine dosages being given over the phone). I told the doc who had NO idea what was going on but it was fixed pretty fast (they spent 6 mos - a year closing from 1:00 to 2:00 and doing staff training and I guess forms and stuff). I would speak to the head of the practice and if it doesn't get fixed, change. You don't have time for this.

    As an aside, the head of the practice likes me because I politely them know about the problem and one time saw me in line, completed the form I was dropping off AND didn't charge me the $10 for it.

  7. Seriously, how did you stay calm through all of that??

    Let me know what happens. Funny thing is, Noah has had leg pains for months and it kept getting worse to where he wouldn't do anything that required running. The Dr. did a ton of bloodwork which was fine but noticed when he stood his ankles kind of rolled it. We had special arch supports put in his shoes to keep his feet and ankles the way they should and he hasn't complained since. So hopefully it's an easy fix for you too b/c I have to admit, I was freaking out!!!

  8. How you made it our of there without your head exploding all over the children's toys is BEYOND me.

  9. I've been thinking about this some should mention it to the Dr (if/when you see him/her). A lot of times they have no idea what's going on with the front desk. We went to a pratice where the staff was totally nasty and we told the Dr who was clueless...and they got new staff!

  10. Oh. My. God. I had an equally frustrating experience there yesterday, for a different reason. I'm giving them a pass for now because of a new computer system, but REALLY.

    I called with possible complications of high blood pressure for a kid with lots of issues and the best appt. they could give me was Dec. 10. (!!!) (And THEN it took me 4 days to make an appointment with Children's Hospital because of THEIR stupid phone system. Thank God I don't have a REAL job.)

    You should DEFINITELY tell the doctor, IF you ever actually see one. It is RIDICULOUS.

    (And if it's arch supports, like Kelly said, let me know. I can totally hook you up with the best dude ever.)

  11. Oh, he is adorable!

    I have one doctor who is like that. Or rather, his office is screwed up like that. And they don't even try to imply it's my fault anymore because I totally call them on it. Every single time.

    Ironically, they're very mellow with me now.

  12. Oh yeah, and by the way, I hope all is well with Quinn and that your appointment today went well.

  13. We are also a committed one car family and like yours it requires quite the orchestration some days. Also, my soon to be 4 year old also has leg pain somewhat frequently and we have also seen the doctor for it, but based on my husband's reported history of severe growing pains growing up, we just chalk it up to that and give her tylenol. Am going to look into arch supports though.

  14. I swear that our pediatrician's office has put a "difficult" note a la Seinfeld in our kids' file because I can be a serious PIA when it comes to f*ing with our appointments. Hate the pediatrician. Love Quinn's Nasa jacket!

  15. One of the CHOP specialist offices did that to me twice...a dingbat receptionist called to leave the appt time for the coming appt and left both the wrong day and time. We showed up two days later and the doctor wasn't even in the building that day and her appts book two months out, so yeah, not pleased. The next appt rolls around and she did the same dang thing. I called back to double check the time and uh, yeah, not amused. I feel ya. urgh. don't get me started on the 750am appts on the other side of rush hour traffic that a certain specialty *cough* GI *cough* won't see you for if you're so much as a couple minutes late.

  16. My doc's office always calls the day before to confirm the appointment. One time they called to confirm my appointment at a different time than I thought it was but I thought "well I am more likely to be wrong than THEY are!" and went at the time left on my machine. WRONG!! I complained to the doc when I eventually saw him - hours later that day - and let him listen to the message left for me - I had recorded it on my cell. He was not a happy guy. Yes, mention it to the doctor. They never know that stuff unless somebody complains directly to them.

  17. What IS it with people rescheduling?! Every appointment I've had lately has called me to reschedule. Hello, you made an appointment, maybe you should HONOR it! Argh!


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