My intake appointment at the Weight Loss Center is this coming Friday morning, at 8:15. I got my husband to change his half day to Friday and take the morning off instead of the afternoon, so he can come with me. You can’t do these things by yourself – at least I can’t, since he’s as apt to have cravings as I am (but being a more active, male gendered person, he keeps the weight off) and then I cave in. Hmm . . . cave in to cravin’ . . . nice turn of phrase.
Anyway, the Weight Loss Center had requested that my sleep study results and CPAP prescription be faxed to them before my appointment. So on August 9, 2007, at 11:30 AM, I called the pulmonary doctor’s office and made that request. One month before my appointment. No problem, they said. Took the info and would “get right to it.” Great!
Due to the fibromyalgia, I am all too familiar with doctors’ offices. So I put a note on my calendar to call today and make sure the records had been received by the W/L Ctr. The woman who answered went to check and, “No, we haven’t received any records.” Oh great!
So I called the pulmonary doctor’s office again right after I got off with the W/L Ctr. This time I took a name – Barbara. She was shocked that whoever took my call a month ago never got back to me to get more information because that person could not find my chart. She didn’t give me that person’s name and, in the self-interest of making an ally in this problem, I didn’t ask or rant. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years – an ally in the doctor’s office can make things go smoother, an “enemy” can make them much worse. She will see what can be done to get my chart from archives “stat” so the records can be there on Friday. She will call me if there are any further problems.
I’d probably need a new sleep study if I wasn’t planning on shedding the weight I’ve gained. That change in weight (up before, hopefully down in the next year) can make a dramatic difference in the degree of sleep apnea one experiences.
That’s the part of this W/L Ctr experience that I’m not eagerly anticipating: the increase in the number of doctors’ appointments (and other health care professionals as well) that I will now have to get to. You start to feel like a gerbil on the wheel, running …running … running. Fill out forms. Update information. Make sure you’ve got the insurance card. Don’t dare forget the co-pay. Get these additional tests. Go back for follow-up. Test results look good – no changes needed (So why am I here? You couldn’t tell me that on the phone for free?)
Not to forget group meetings for information and support. I’ve always hated support group meetings. I’ve always been the least needy person in attendance and end up being the support-er all the time, never the support-ee. I’ve never found much help or motivation in them. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t need AA or a similar group. I’d be the one who would get up and say, “Stop your whining and stop thinking the world revolves around you. Take an interest in helping other people and you won’t need the crutches nearly as much.” I guess my sympathy does have bounds. I hadn’t thought about that before. I will do anything to help someone who wants to improve his/her situation or someone who can’t for concrete, medical reasons. But when you’ve got a person whose situation is caused by their own stupidity or narcissism, I guess I’m less apt to be supportive. Interesting – something to work on here, I think.
Well, I’m impressed!!! I just got a call back from Barbara at the pulmonary doctor’s office. She’s better than Sherlock Holmes. She found the chart under my previous name. They had not changed it the last time I was in, even though I had remarried. She will fax the records over right now. It only took her half an hour to do what the prior person did not do in a month. See what I mean about having an ally?
So there it is – mystery solved – case closed. The moral to this story: ALWAYS FOLLOW UP your requests to medical offices to verify that they’ve done what they said they would do. Trust only goes so far in this day and age.