7.02.2006

Entitled? You Betcha!

Tough couple of weeks. First was the relapse news. Then was the go/no go decision for taking a vacation. Then there were the fevers and hospital stay after making the "go" decision. Then there was Julia with pneumonia on oxygen at home while Nathan was in the hospital. Susan and I are completely drained. On top of the logistics and the physical just doing things that have to be done, the weight of the stress and the fear and the worrying is completely draining and exhausting. You know that "knot" in the pit of your stomach that you sometimes hear about? I didn't know that it was a real physical thing you could feel. It is and it is something that I'm just living with for the time being.

Anyway...on to the entitlement story. Thursday morning (after getting Nathan settled into the hospital in the middle of the night and getting about 2 hours of sleep) Susan called saying that Julia was feeling very bad (she had been battling a cough and intermittent fevers for about 10 days) saying that her babysitter took her pulse oxygen level and that it was really low. She already had a doctor's appointment scheduled that we were going to cancel, but decided we needed to keep. Leaving the hospital and going straight to get Julia and then straight to the doctor would get me to the appointment late. I wanted to change clothes at least (I was wearing the sweat pants and t-shirt that I had worn to the hospital and "slept" in), but I figured I would try to keep as close to the appointment as I could. On the way I decided to call and warn the office I would be late so they didn't think that we had just not shown up. I had a conversation with the scheduling lady that went something like this:

Me: Hello. I have an appointment for my daughter that I will be a bit late for because I just left the hospital where I spent the night with my other child. I didn't want the front desk to think we were just a no show.

Lady: How late will you be, Mr. Gentry?

Me: I think about 15 or 20 minutes.

Lady: Hmmmm......If it were 5 minutes that would be okay. 15 or 20 will cause us scheduling problems.

Me: Ummm......Okay. You see. My son has cancer and was just hospitalized with fevers and a compromised immune system. I can't be on time because I just left the hospital.

Lady: I know. But you will mess everyone else's appointment schedules up. Let me see...Okay. You can see the PA (Physician's Assistant) when you get here.

Me [patience gone]: Look, Lady (and I did actually use that "title"). I'm going to be 15 to 20 minutes late. I called out of courtesy. My daughter will see the doctor that she saw last week and has her appointment scheduled with when I get there.

Lady [flustered]: Okay. I guess we'll squeeze her in.
Luke hangs up phone.

The practice we go to is great. They give us lots of care, listen closer to what we as parents have to say and suggest than I would guess they do for most people, and really work with us. The doctors and nurses "get it". Apparently the scheduling lady did not.

2 comments:

shadowfax said...

Amen, brother.

If you know the doctor well, you might ask if they would give you the number for the "back line" which bypasses the flunkies at the front desk. Most doctors do not give it out to patients, but occasionally for a special/trusted patient they might.

thegoodgeeks said...

She clearly has no idea as to what 1/2 of 1% of the stress in your life is like.