Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The elusive appointment

Today I have a goal - I always need a goal, it makes me feel like I have a purpose, maybe even a use in life. But I digress, my goal is to make an appointment for my next back treatment. How difficult is this? Apparently it is very difficult.

On August 29, I saw my back pain doctor because I was having lots of pain in my back and hips. He told me all my back treatments had worn off and I needed to start them all over again. He fit me in for an injection in my bad hip on the 31st and told me to call his office to schedule a radiofrequency denervation (where they stick needles in to joints and use heat/electricity/or something along those lines to kill off the nerves). It is not a fun event and I am not looking forward to it but it will get rid of the pain.

On September 1, I called his office and left a message to get it scheduled. When you call, you get 'press 1 to refill a prescription, press 2 to schedule an appointment, or press 3 to speak to a member of the office staff'. If you press 1, you get a recording to leave your information and your prescription is (usually) magically refilled. If you press 2, they send you to the hospital scheduling office where you can only schedule regular appointments. If you press 3, you get to leave a message for the office staff and they promise to call you back in 48 hours. I pressed 3 and left a message and asked them to call my cell phone to schedule this. I know its not going to be scheduled soon. They are usually scheduled about a month out which is why I want to get it scheduled NOW and not wait a month to get it scheduled and the wait a month to get the treatment.

Then on September 7, I called back and left a message again and asked them to call my cell phone. Some one actually called me back and said that they were backed up in scheduling treatments because one of their doctors went out on an emergency leave but a nurse should call me in the next few days to schedule it.

Yesterday while I was at work, I called and checked my home voice mail and there were no messages. A little while later I decided to call again to see if I could get this scheduled and left a message asking them to call my cell phone to schedule this. When I got home after 5 last night, there was a message on my home phone asking me to call and ask to speak to the scheduling nurse to schedule the treatment. That message was left in that little interval from when I called to check messages and when I called the office to leave a message. I called back again and left a message repeating my request that they call my cell phone.

Let's see if they call today - on my cell phone which I will have with me all day or on my home phone and I won't be home until after 5 again. If I call them, I'll be able to leave yet another message which I may do anyway.

I know they aren't trying to be difficult but it is very frustrating from the patients point of view. The pain management center also only deals with people who are in pain which makes them cranky.

But I do have a goal today - I will make this appointment. Just call me the not so patient patient.

1 comment:

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