Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Idiot Central Medical Group
Unknown Female: Hi, this is Idiot Central Medical Group, calling to let you know that your referral is ready. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-WE-SUCK.
Mysterious phone call yesterday, around 2:00 p.m.:
Same Unknown Female: Hi, this is Idiot Central Medical Group, calling to let you know that your referral is ready.
Me:What is this about, please? What referral?
Same Unknown Female:I don’t know, but you can make your appointment.
Me:With who? For what?
Same Unknown Female:I don’t know, but we have your paper here.
Me:What paper? What is on the paper? Can I see the paper, please?
Same Unknown Female:I don’t know where it is or what is on it.
Me:Can someone please provide some clarification?
Same Unknown Female:~heavy sigh~ I’ll have someone give you a call after they get off their break.
Me, calling Idiot Central Medical Group yesterday, around 4:00 p.m.
Me: Hello, someone called about a referral and could not provide any information regarding it. Someone was supposed to call back but hasn’t done so yet.
Person on Phone: Let me transfer you to someone who cares because I obviously don’t.
Person on Phone: Someone who cares is not available and I really don’t want to deal with you. How about I get your name and number and have someone who cares call you back?
Me: Fine, thank you so much.
Me, calling Idiot Central Medical Group this morning, around 9:00 a.m.
Me: Hello, someone called about a referral and could not provide any information, and someone was supposed to call me back.
Person on Phone: Yes, that was me, I talked to you. But I don’t have any information. Let me see if someone who cares is available.
Someone who Cares: Hi, yes, we have your referral available. You can make your appointment.
Me: Referral for what? Appointment with who? Can I see the paper? Please?
Someone who Cares: A copy was sent to the patient. In the mail.
Me: I never received one.
Someone who Cares: The referrals we have here for you are for the MRI on your knee and for a follow up with the Ortho.
Me: Yes, I’ve already seen the Ortho. And the MRI on the knee is an obvious mistake, so I’m ignoring that. Was anything at all regarding my ankle surgery? Is any of this interfering in that process?
Someone who Cares: We don’t know anything about an ankle surgery. We have a referral for the MRI on your knee and for your follow up with the Ortho. You can make an appointment now.
Me: Nothing about the ankle surgery?
Someone who Cares: No, ma’am, just the…
Me: Thank you.
Me, calling Ortho doctor’s office today, around 10:00 a.m.
Me (speaking to the vm of the third person I was transferred to): Please, can someone tell me my surgery date? It’s been two weeks since my visit, and I already did my EKG that day and the results were faxed to you at that time. I’m cleared for surgery and just waiting for a date. But it has to be this specific date or week, or I have to wait another year for the opportunity, and I don’t think I should. The referring doctor’s office knows nothing about any surgery. Thank you.
My mother, calling today, around 11:10 a.m.
Mom: Hi, I’m calling because I’m helping the person you called because she lost her voice.
Me: Who is this?
Mom: Your mother.
Me: (grumbling under breath) Oh. Hello.
Mom: Yes, so, we faxed the auth to the referring doctor on May 20.
Me: They don’t have it.
Mom: Yes, I know. We faxed it again just now. Why didn’t you do your EKG yet?
Me: I did it on May 14. It was faxed to you that day.
Mom: We don’t have it. I’ll have to request it again.
Me: Great. Thanks.
Mom: So, you need to come in for pre-op.
Me: Yeah, what is that, and what exactly happens then?
Mom: I don’t know, I think it’s a mini-physical.
Me: I need to know EXACTLY what happens. Are needles involved? I need to know so I can prepare in advance. And I need to know about any appointment after the surgery so I can make nearly impossible plans to come back. I was shocked to hear that I have to come back two weeks after surgery to have the cast put on. That will be VERY difficult to finagle.
Mom: I’m surprised they don’t have you coming back two DAYS after surgery.
Me: If they need that, they’d better tell me NOW, or it is NOT going to happen.
Mom: I will have the nurse call you.
Me: Thank you. And by the way, all this incompetence and lack of communication between the doctor’s offices and even with me is completely unprofessional and unacceptable. Somebody needs to get their act together and stop playing fun little games with my LIFE. I am really angry and upset and I am NOT HAPPY about this entire situation, so if you could please make sure that things are DONE RIGHT THIS TIME, I would appreciate it!
Me: Thanks, Mom.
And now I’m off to lunch. Maybe I will have some primal scream therapy somewhere.
Anna C. Morrison is an author of children’s books, including Silly Moments and Green Gooey Goop, with many more to follow. She is also an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities, both face-to-face and online. While she instructs various levels of English composition, she also teaches classes on literature, film, feature writing, and technical writing, among others. In addition, she has worked with Adapt Courseware as a writing consultant on three video course projects, including college skills and composition. Anna received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her BA in English, Creative Writing, from California State University, San Bernardino. Anna is an active member of SCBWI and is available for book signings. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets. Please visit her web site at www.annacmorrison.com.