Well, this is a post I definitely didn’t foresee myself writing. I was all set to have my surgery this week, and—at the last minute—it fell apart. Actually, more like it was never going to happen anyway, although I would have been the last person to know.
Here’s the condensed version.
During my last office visit with Dr. Lee, we scheduled my surgery. While I sat on the exam table, I watched her add my surgery into her computerized calendar. Just as I prepared to leave, Dr. Lee ran back into the exam room to have me sign a surgical consent form, which she had nearly forgotten to do. I signed it, she gave me a folder with pre-op instructions, and I went on my way.
A few days before surgery, I called Dr. Lee’s office for a copy of my bowel prep instructions (in my experience, every doctor does bowel prep a bit differently). Imagine my surprise when Dr. Lee’s office manager told me that I wasn’t scheduled for surgery on March 12 at all! The office manager (I’ll call her Sandra) said that my surgery didn’t appear on Dr. Lee’s calendar and accusingly informed me that I had failed to sign a consent form. As kindly possible, I explained that she was entirely wrong on both counts. Besides, even if I had neglected to sign a consent form, well whose fault is that? It’s the office’s responsibility to obtain consents, not the patient’s to remind them to do their job.
An hour later, Sandra called back saying she could squeeze me in for surgery after all on March 12! Although still annoyed, I was relieved, and figured the problem had been fixed.
An hour after that, Sandra called again saying Dr. Lee could not perform my surgery on March 12 because all her other surgeries that day were complex cases like mine, and there wasn’t time for me.
To say I was livid would be an massive understatement. I was even more livid that Dr. Lee’s office tried blaming ME for their glaring error! Also, it was beyond unprofessional that Dr. Lee personally didn’t call me. What happened in my case is a massive error for a doctor’s office to make, but the fact that she sent Sandra to do her bidding rather than taking a moment to personally call me was the icing on the cake.
I declined Sandra’s offer to reschedule my surgery. If Dr. Lee can’t be trusted to, I don’t know, run a medical practice efficiently, how could I trust her to operate on me?! I especially was insulted by her office twice trying to blame me for their ineptitude. I had arranged time off from work, Jake had taken a personal day to accompany me to surgery, and I had hired a friend who is a former nurse to stay with me the day after surgery. Expecting to be temporarily bed-ridden, I had made other preparations, such as pre-preparing food and scrubbing my home clean, which I could have avoided. It was also embarrassing to have to explain to several people that my surgery was off.
What my next step is remains to be seen. There is a definite God Factor that is part of this story, but I don’t want this post to get too long because no one likes to read really long blog posts.
So stay tuned; part two is coming up.