If we’re honest, I think we all know what WTF really means. That was pretty much what I was thinking as I sat in the oak covered office, with it’s 1960’s decor and tacky curtains. I was looking for the rotary phone, but found one from 1985, so I felt it was semi-legitimate. For a state of the art facility, they really seemed to focus more on the decor of the lobby rather than the small offices that most of the patients see more than the guests. And what was with all the fountains and wasting of water? There were miles of marble, sculptures around every corner, paintings donated from rich sick people, and lots of windows. But when you step into the neurology department, you step back in time. The yellowing rubber on the stethoscope made me uncomfortable.
The doctor was on time, which was great, but that was probably the highlight of the visit. As he introduced himself he looked over my charts, and “reminded” me that I had an MRI scheduled that afternoon and then I would meet with Dr. So-and-So the next day at 9am. Excuse me, what?
First of all, I had NO indication I was set up for this extra MRI (insurance, will you cover this?) nor did I have any heads up on the fact that I had another appointment the next day. Maybe this is how hotels in Rochester make their money…last minute reservations.
With this, all I could really say was “shit”. And then I stuttered, explained I had no idea about these appointments and that I couldn’t do them, and then all I could then think of was….”Well what am I talking to you for? What is the point of this meeting?” I felt like reaching over the table to the doctor and wringing is bow-tied neck…but I didn’t. I quickly realized it wasn’t his fault and tried to take the meeting for what it was…a consultation (also known as a screening). He explained to me that normally he meets with patients first to determine the situation, and then they meet with a specialist. Why wasn’t I informed of this normal process earlier?
So, what did I get out of this meeting? Well, I didn’t get the MRI…I know I can’t take any ibuprofen or blood thinners because if I have a bleed I won’t clot, and therefore will have more complications. I now know that my history of epilepsy might be concerning (unrelated to my AVM) and that the noise in my ear has to be something, so Mayo wants to do more tests. More and more tests.
I am sick of being a number, a lab rat, and tossed around like I don’t have a life. I don’t get paid sick days, I don’t have access to lots of money, and I don’t want to be tested anymore. I just want to talk to someone and get some answers.
I asked if my second appointment (which I had to move to March 5th) could be done over the phone, and the doctor said absolutely not. They want me to take the time to drive 3 hours to sit in a room and make sure all pistons are firing at once. Trust me, if I thought for a second that I had some signs of a stroke, I would be going to a hospital in the cities.
As much as I hate the medical industry, I admit I would seek their assistance if I had a problem that I couldn’t fix, but all of this back and forth business is driving me insane. It puts a bad taste in my mouth.
Needless to say the appointment was disappointing. I did, however, get to have lunch with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a while, and Jeremy was with me the whole time supporting me through everything. I swear, without him, I would be a lost puppy dog. He keeps me grounded, and for that I love him very much.
So, on March 5th I might head down to Rochester again, but not before calling to clarify exactly what I will be meeting with the doctor about, to make sure there aren’t any hidden MRI’s or appointments.
I am so close to giving up, but I will stick it out and get more answers. I guess I have to dig deeper. I just can’t get over how corrupt the medical industry is…WTF.