Monday, January 28, 2008

1 Hr Late For Dr's Office Visit=Trickle Down Theory

Most of this post is actually from a comment I left over at Dr. Schoor’s blog in response to his post called “The No-Show-ers”. I think it will make an interesting post and so I am putting it up here as well.

*I have added some extra thoughts at the end of this post that tie into my feeling of shame on that day and a couple of other things.

Here is what I posted at I’U.’s blog (with some editing):

I never no-showed but was an hour late once! And it was with the urodoc I respect so much! I never did that before in my life and never since. I would NEVER assume it was ok to be an hour late!

I still had the big stent in me with a resistant e-coli infection and so he wanted me admitted for antibiotics before removing the stent.

It was February and the night before...I started thinking about going into the OR again and even though I figured everything would be alright, I also had the thought...what if something went wrong? (Remember my "sea of papers" at tax time?) My husband would never know where or what to look for with tax receipts etc. So it took me until 4:30 in the morning to get everything together and categorized and in one box. Then I went to bed but over slept. I called the office to see if I could go straight to the hospital but I had to stop and pick up the paperwork and see the doc. But before I left I had a left kidney spasm that leveled me and I ran to my bed. The stent was in the right kidney.

So between me oversleeping and then having to go back to bed with the spasm that is how I ended up an hour late. I am not proud of that.

So, it turned out they gave my room to someone else at the hospital and so I had to go in through the ED so they could start the antibiotics and also get a CT to check out other kidney.

I remember thinking..."Oh Great! The ER is gonna LOVE this!" NOT! I knew how they loathe unnecessary patients. Sure enough...I was put into an obscure little room that reminded me of something used for storage. I got the IV and the CT. The worst part was that I felt SO GUILTY for taking up any space there or their time. I did not belong there but urodoc wanted to get the IV going. I told the nurse that I did not need the room and that a chair somewhere would be fine. She said no that they wanted me in bed. My husband and son were with me too. It was the one time we brought son because we thought they would just drop me off and then I would be fine alone at the hospital. I didn't want them to stick around because it wasn't like I felt sick or anything and my husband could come back the next day when I had the procedure. Good thing son had an electronic game with him. I think I was in that little room for at least 8 hours. I felt sorry for my family and wanted them to go but they said no.

So now I felt guilty about annoying and holding up the doctor's office, the ER staff, my husband and son. I felt like walking or I should say reclining shame.

The ED nurse kept coming to apologize and said the doctor didn't read the CT report yet and that was what was holding me up for getting a room. I don't know why she kept apologizing because I felt so ashamed and guilty that I didn't ask about getting a room even once.

My husband thought the doctor's office was trying to teach me a lesson and that is why they didn't read the report but I said "No, they are just busy." but I secretly wondered the same thing.

I didn't know urodoc's office yet and they didn't know me. Maybe it was a poor decision on my part but I really did worry about the taxes and having everything in order. I never meant to be disrespectful.

Still...it was what it was.

I was also dying a thousand deaths because I know the conversations that go on at the ER desk and just how many people are privy to information about a patient particularly if they are perceived as an annoyance and wasting their time. I was truly embarrassed that "I" was now one of "those" people!

Finally, approximately 8 hours later the nurse came to get me because they were taking me up to my room. She apologized again except this time...she said it's the trickle down theory. You were late and then they were late getting to you. I didn't think it was possible for me to feel any worse… but I did.

So now I was feeling guilty about the doctor and his office, the ED staff, my husband, my son and now I was even embarrassed to go to my room because I felt like the floor would know all about it too and I felt so humiliated and GUILTY.

But I got through it and woke up feeling better in the morning. I was talking on the phone with my mother and I said I had to go because the anesthesiologist came in.

He said he was one of the urologists in the group and I was happy to meet him. I don't remember anything else he said if he did because he mentioned my being late to the office yesterday. He didn't seem mad and I don't recall what his point was because that is all I heard at that point and thought "Oh no...I WAS the talk of the office...GREAT!" I was mortified all over again and felt excruciating humiliation and guilt. (I worked in the business and now I had become one of those awful patients!) He never acted mad but it almost felt like he wanted to see if such a patient that had that kind of audacity to be late really existed. (My own thought- NOT fact) The second he left the room I started to cry. Hot burning tears streaming down my face. I wasn't sobbing but was trying to control them and I was sniffling. Then the transporters came to get me. Tears still streaming from my face and I tried wiping them away with my hands but they were coming out faster then I could clear them. Didn't even know that was possible.

"Oh great!" I thought as I passed the nurses station and they saw me crying. By the time I got to the 2nd nurses station I asked them to stop so I could have some tissues. "Now they all see me crying...just great!" Someone asked me if I was alright and I just nodded yes. First of all they had to see I wasn't alright but secondly obviously it was just as odd to nod yes. I mean ...I never went wheeling off to the OR in tears...not even with a kidney stone.

So we continued on to the OR. I think it was the longest ride from my room to the OR I ever had. It felt like a day's journey and I was so drained but not enough to stop the water works.

Now, not only was ashamed and guilty that I had held up my urodoc and staff, the ER staff, my husband, my son, the floor nurses, and the other uro partner but I now felt like all the nurses stations knew and that somehow all the OR staff knew too. (You know how you feel when you fall down...you feel like the whole world sees you?) That is how I felt.

I was waiting by myself in the pre-op area when two nurses at the far end of the hall came around the corner but stayed down at that end. They were looking at me, I was still crying, they went back around the corner, poked their heads back looking at me and disappeared around the corner again.

I still couldn't stop crying! No sound ...just hot tears running down my face and I was sniffling.

And then my urodoc came over to me and I immediately apologized and started crying more, I don't remember what he said either but I know he tried to comfort me and reassure me that everything was ok. He was so sweet.

I think I stopped crying after that but honestly don't remember.

Everyone that saw me being wheeled to the OR probably thought I was really afraid. If only I had thought to slink down under the sheets. They may have heard sniffling under the slightly heaving sheets but at least they wouldn't have seen my face.

P.S. When I did get back to the office for another visit one of the nurses on the clinic side wanted to know how I made out going through the ER to which I said "alright" and she sweetly said "We were worried about you!" and I do believe she was sincere. :)

P.P.S. The vision of me crying through all of this reminds me of something you would see in a comedy movie or sitcom. :)


************************************************************************

I still feel the shame of it all if I think about it. I was so impacted by that incident that 6 months later when at his satellite office I was upset that he may have thought I was really late again and I wasn’t at all. I had been sitting on the other side of the waiting room and away from where the other people were sitting. They called at least 2 or 3 other patients in ahead of me that I saw walk in the door after me. It didn’t bother me as I figured they had a reason for doing it. But then I heard him through the door call out to the receptionist asking “Is SeaSpray here yet?” I couldn’t hear what she said but I was definitely getting squirrelly about it because I was afraid that he would again think I was really late for an appointment. I never said anything though because I didn’t want to get the receptionist in trouble if she missed me. Although she had to give me the specimen cup so she must’ve known I was there. Still…I didn’t say anything.

But… this past August I had to go back down to that office again. THIS time I made sure I sat with the other patients directly in front of the window...even though I was holding a urine specimen in my hand. Read this for that explanation if you want to read something humorous. *BTW…it was sheer anxiety that caused me to miss seeing the door for the specimen or that I didn’t process that it was there. Another private doc (good diagnostician/never misses anything) reassured me that the events going on at that time could indeed cause enough anxiety to throw me off track like that. I was relieved to hear that because that was so out of character for me, but I saw the humor in it …hence the post on my ditzyness. ;)

Actually, on the day of my appointment prior to the hospital admit…my urodoc nicely told me that I couldn’t be late like that. I would not have blamed him if he did show anger but he didn’t at all. I was so ashamed. Then he was showing me results that indicated that I had developed a resistance to the antibiotics and I started to get teary eyed right in front of him. He probably thought I was upset about the test results and I was really crying because I was late and felt bad for them. To this day...if I could undo it ...I would. :)

It's hard to believe that it has been almost two years since then. It all seems so surreal to me and I am glad I am finally past all of that. Technically, I have been well and healing ever since the last stent came out last February - 07. I have just had follow-up visits and renal scans since then. Urodoc fixed me and I shall always be grateful to him for that. I ended up having a great rapport with urodoc, his partners and support staff and I am actually going to miss them. :)

I thank God that he led me to this urology group and I know he worked through them to get me through it all. I pray that God will bless all of them... abundantly, both in the practice and in their personal lives. :)




5 comments:

Chrysalis Angel said...

Poor Seaspray, you won't do that again. They realized you felt terrible about it. Sure they were upset, but knowing you were that remorseful softened the no,no. I'm sorry that happened Seaspray. You're so thoughtful and conscientious it just didn't fit you. I'm glad they were tactful with you.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

No I won't do that again...anywhere...never...ever again!

Actually...in the past,time was not my strong suit.

But I was never that late for work or a doctor appointment -YIKES!

Some one once told me they thought I had TDD...time Deficiency Disorder.(that was clever)

I have gotten so much better, but every now and then I have a 5 minute slip. Usually I am right on time. My husband is 15 minutes to a half hour early everywhere he goes.

If I prepare in advance...it's smooth sailing. You know like know exactly what I am wearing right down to accessories.

I am such a different creature at work vs home. Ha! At work everything is badda bing-badda boom! Done! (Don't know how to spell that or if used in right context, but leaving it)I'm quick! At home...so many distractions. I take the last minute phone call or whatever pops up and shouldn't.

If I do take a 7am scheduled job (8 or 9 am would be so much better),I want to be there 15 minutes early!

That doctor office debacle was a first and I don't ever want to do that again. It wasn't fun being held captive in the ED all that time but it was way worse and actually emotionally PAINFUL to think that I was holding everyone up!

Thank you for your kind words. I AM thoughtful and conscientious!

The kidney spasm is what sealed the deal. It wouldn't have been so bad but that just stopped the clock for me but unfortunately theirs kept on ticking. And who knows...maybe if I had gone to bed, gotten up on time and wasn't rushing around, maybe I wouldn't have had the kidney spasm? Trickle down theory in motion.

Yes they were tactful and that is just the kind of office practice they have. Like I always say...they are an amazing group of professionals. :)

John McElveen said...

Sea- I know exactly how you feel. I made a mistake once too- I think it was 1980 or 81- LOL. You are soo sweet and tenderhearted with the Spirit of an Angel!

God Loves You- and You know all your Cyberbuddies do! Big hugs from all of us for having to go through that. What a descriptive play by play. I could feel your tears on the way to the ER. Well written and now it's over!

You can now forgive yourself because you know that fly's exactly in the face of your normal "Strengths"!!!!! Satan can beat you up NO MORE!!!!

{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}}}}

John

SeaSpray said...

You have no idea how much your kind words mean to me today. I try to be nice and respectful to everyone but I do fall short at times.

I just wish I could've told them the circumstances. And it wasn't because I didn't care about them. To the contrary...if I didn't care I wouldn't have had hot tears streaming down my face for so long.

But sometimes things are better left alone because we can make it worse.

I am glad you found it interesting enough to read all the way through. I think my next post about having a doctor withhold treatment is going to be interesting...says me. Haha!

Hugs back at you {{{{{John}}}}}! :)