- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
As someone with a chronic illness 15+ years, I’m very used to dealing with doctors, nurses, etc. However, I had an experience today that upset me, and I’ll like to get some feedback.
It’s time to start planning my next surgery, so I called the surgeon’s office as per his instructions when I spoke to him 1.5 years ago about this. At that time, he told me to call his office when I was ready and we would meet and talk about it. Great! (He has a weird bedside manner but is a great doctor and has already operated on me once.)
So today I called the office, and spoke with a nurse – not the nurse who usually handles his phones, but someone different. When I told her that I needed to make an appointment with him, she wanted to know why, so I told her that I was one of his “problem patients” and would like to come in to discuss a laporoscopy. She wanted to know why I wanted a lap. What? So I paused, and just said that I am having trouble with my endometriosis, and at my last appt, he said to call when I was ready to discuss surgery, and that I am now ready to have that conversation, so let’s make an appointment.
She told me “It doesn’t work like that” and told me I had to go back to my family doctor for a referral again, since their policy now states if it’s more than 1 year, you can’t call directly. Ugh annoying, but fine. Then she asked me exactly what problems I have been having – and this is where I got annoyed.
I was not comfortable discussing the ins and outs of my endo issues with someone I don’t know, over the phone. Excuse me? Why did she need to know “exactly” what types of problems? That is what the appointment with the doctor is for. I have never in my life been asked this, and as I said, I’ve been around the block with this illness. It made me so uncomfortable, like she was testing me or something. I started trying to vaguely explain about bowel issues, stomach issues, rectovaginal pain, etc, and then she sighed and cut me off, and told me to go get a pelvic ultrasound. When I told her I already did that (since my GP is not a moron), she told me to send that in, send in my referral, and “THEN we’ll see about your appointment.”
Bees, it was so upsetting. I’m so stressed and upset as it is, since I am living every moment this days with agonizing, horrifying pain. I know office life is busy, and I’m sure she deals with people calling and annoying her all day, but if you can’t handle that, don’t take a job where you have to answer phones. I felt so belittled and humiliated, and it really bothered me that she asked me so many personal questions over the phone.
Anyway, that was my experience today, and I’m really upset about it. I know there’s no point in that, but it’s how I feel, so there. I made my appointment with my GP for next Friday to get the referral, and get my ultrasound sent over, and I guess I will have to wait and see.
I’m extra irritated because the nurse who used to be there was a lovely, compassionate woman who understood how emotional and personal women’s health issues can be, and was always very respectful and considerate. This woman just … well, not so much.
Thanks for letting me vent.