Rude doctors, and their rude staff.

I’m don’t have any religious beliefs, but I do think some things just are or aren’t meant to happen, and I go with my intuition when I’m in a questionable situation.

Today I went to see the neurologist for a nerve conduction study. I’ve never liked this neurologist. I never felt like he listened to me. I’ve always had to wait in the waiting room for a long time to see him, despite him not having very many patients. I chose to keep going to him because he and my rheumatologist are friends, and it’s a lot easier when you have 2 doctors that actually talk to each other. The waiting room itself is very closed off from the rest of the office. The front desk is hidden by a small privacy-glass window. They keep it closed almost all the time. If you tap on the window they seem to get irritated. I don’t know why the window is there, but it certainly isn’t for patient privacy, considering you can hear what should be private phone calls between the staff and patients. There’s a sign-in sheet right outside the window, although I’m not sure why, since they never open the window to look at it. They never look to see who is sitting in the waiting room. You get there and sign your name and wonder if they even know you’re there. This happens every time, but today was above and beyond.

I signed the sign-in sheet, tapped on the window, and a lady opened it and said “I’ll be with you in a minute” in an annoyed voice, and closed the window again. “A minute” never came. I sat there for an hour and a half. They were calling in other patients, who seemed to be equally annoyed with the wait-time, including one guy who was there on lunch break from work. He probably never got to go back to work. I gave it a good long chance for the situation to fix itself. I already had a headache when I got there. The pain I was in all over became unbearable, so I left.

“I didn’t know you were there.” She said to me over the phone, which confused me, because I thought knowing was part of her job. Apparently, no one pulled my chart, so they never came to look for me. She tried to say that I should have tapped on the window, but I did. How many times and ways do they need to be told? I guess I’ll send up smoke signals, because signing and tapping isn’t enough. Not to mention the fact that when you do tap, they get bitchy. If the privacy window wasn’t there, and I didn’t feel so cut off from the rest of the office, they might have acknowledged my existence and fixed the situation.

The reason I left is because I was there to get a nerve conduction study, where they insert acupuncture-sized needles into various points on the body and run electrical currents through them to test nerve function. It’s not a fun test, and some other patients I’ve talked to said that it left them in pain for a few days. I had already sat in the car for over an hour just to get there, which is a lot for me in itself. My pain is so bad these days that riding in a car at all takes a lot of willpower for me. I had to talk myself up to do this testing this morning. The drive, the electrical needles, and the drive home. I knew I was going to feel pretty awful. So for me to even be there is a big expense. People don’t realize the level of pain I’m in all the time, and the things that people do daily that they take for granted that are hard for me because of the pain. After sitting in the car and then sitting in non-ergonomic chairs in the waiting room, which totaled about 3 hours, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t have handled the testing. There was no point for me to stay, for me to tap on the glass for the second time and remind them I’m here, and have them be snotty and shut the window. Telling them the first time didn’t do me any good, what was a reminder going to do? They were too busy yapping about persimmons.

If I can’t trust this group of people to slide open a window and “Oh yeah, Jill’s here” then how can I trust them to be running electrical currents into my muscles with needles?

The whole thing just felt so wrong. Everything in me told me to leave, so I did.

I hurt everywhere. Even though nothing got done today, it was still ‘a doctor trip to LA’ and it will take me a day to recover from it, like it always does. I still had to pay $15 for parking. Still had to pay for gas and the rental, yadda yadda. It makes me angry that this doctor and staff doesn’t realize what they did to me today. Today wasn’t the only day that I’ve sat waiting forever in that office, but today was the day I said fuck it. I was going to be done with this doctor after this test anyway because of the waiting, and the total disregard for just about everything, but today was the icing on the cake. And as awful as it all was, a statement needed to be made. They literally had so little shit together that they forgot that I had to be tested that day. They were too busy hiding behind privacy glass and socializing. How many people have they done that to? How many other people sit there in pain, or are elderly, or take time off from work?

I have the name of another neurologist from my rheumatologist, who is closer to me, and hopefully has his shit together.

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2 Comments

  1. You are right, that is beyond human courtesy. Time to find someone else. I didn’t find the nerve conduction study to be awful. Some small pain but tolerable and none that lingered. And I have neuropathy from chemo, so I have nerve pain all the time. Someone really good at it will make the test much more tolerable as well, as I had one that hurt more than the other and I think it was technique.

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