Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another Doctor Visit From Hell

I swear someone must be shoving pins into a voodoo doll because I’ve been having the worst luck lately, especially with doctors.

I went to go see my primary care doctor for my migraine maintenance medications like Inderal and I wanted to discuss things with her like an anti nausea pill, etc. My original doctor had left several months ago, and I had seen this new female doctor in the same medical center once since then and I liked her.

My appointment time was at 2:30. I arrived at the office by 2:20 p.m. and I was taken to the examination room right away. The nurse took my vitals. I told her why I was there and that I was experiencing bad migraine pain today. She said the doctor would be there right away.

A half hour later, no one had showed up. I stuck my head out the door a couple times, but I didn’t see anyone to ask if they had forgotten me. I’ve never had to wait more than a half hour to see a doctor at this facility.

Another half hour later, a man showed up. He didn’t identify who he was as far as an intern, a nurse practitioner or a full-fledged doctor, but he was wearing a white lab jacket. Maybe I should have question his medical status more. I mean he could have been an insane person who stole a lab coat, but since my brain was killing me, my mental clarity was limited.

He said that my doctor was running late and he would speak to me first before I got to see her. He had my chart. I explained why I was there and what my level of pain was. He wrote nothing down. I told him I had taken a Tramadol and a couple Motrin earlier in the day.

He told me that I had maxed out on my meds for the day, and there was nothing they could do to treat my migraine today, but they might be able to do something for future migraines.

Then he left me after saying my doctor would be straight in.

Another half hour later, there was still no sign of my doctor and my pain had gotten so bad that I had started throwing up in the examination room sink. I was becoming super dizzy, and my vision was blurry. I knew by the level of pain that I was going to become incapacitated fairy quickly, and I had no one to drive me home. Since I was told by the man in the white jacket that they couldn’t treat my migraine today, I realized I needed to get myself home quick.

I left the examination room and I walked to the check out counter where I wanted to tell them I was leaving. No one at the desk acknowledged me although I was standing there quite distressed. Then he appeared. He asked me “How is your pain level?”

I said “Quite horrible. I just threw up in the sink.”

Then he walked away. He didn’t say wait here. Let me get someone. Nothing.

I waited another minute for a desk clerk to acknowledge me. No one did. Then I threw up in my mouth so I left the building. I tossed my cookies in my lunch bag twice more before I got home. I was in bed the rest of the day, barely able to move.

Now I'm so appalled that all this happened. When did doctors stop treating sick people in their offices? I don't know if I should call the Healthcare Center and get the manager on the phone or write a scathing letter.(so I have something in writing) What would you do?


How to Cope with Pain said...

Yuck... what a bad experience. I'd try talking to them.

If this were my office, I'd hope you'd call to talk to the office manager, so he/she could figure out what went wrong. Sometimes delays are unavoidable, but you should have gotten better guidance re what the delay was, how long, etc. They should have asked you, given that it would be over a 1.5 hour delay, if you want to stay? reschedule?

I'd also ask to speak to your physician. She also needs to know if there's an organizational problem, and to hear you were never given info about how long. Hopefully she wasn't aware of what was happening, and will review with her office how to handle such a delay.

Lastly, the person who saw you, unless he was actually a full-fledged doctor (which doesn't make sense if your own doctor was going to come in), shouldn't have directed treatment. A no-no! Maybe said, "this is what I think, but let's wait for Dr. X."

I think you'll also be able to tell a lot by their response to your concerns. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Migraineur said...

Yuck! Maybe the guy in the white coat was some insane person who stole a lab coat, and he stuffed your doctor, bound and gagged, into a closet. Muaaaaaah haaaa hahhhh haaaa!!!

Whoops, sorry.

In all seriousness, the previous commenter has the right tactic. Assume your doctor doesn't know, and then tell her. And it might not be bad to put your complaint in writing, too.

Diana said...

My recommendations were going to be almost exactly what HTCWP suggested. And since she's a practicing MD, I'd trust her advice!

If I was in your shoes, I'd want to get the doctor herself on the phone with time to discuss exactly what happened and how she plans to make sure it won't happen again. Especially the part about Mr. Random Whitecoat telling you that you were SOL on treatment for your migraine that day. What a crock!

I'm so sorry you had this horrible experience. I hope they'll do what it takes to regain your trust. And if they don't, please don't feel bad about moving on to someone else.

Connie said...

Holy cow! That's like a scene from a horror movie - no one sees you, hears you, knows you're puking. What in the world? Call and complain big time. And include the receptionist too.

Migraine Chick said...

Thank you everyone for your advise. I truly appreciate it. I've left a couple messages for the office manager, but she hasn't called me back yet, so I'm mailing a detailed letter to her this morning!!

deborah said...

it totally boggles my mind that they would just let you go in that shape! I suppose I'm one of the more fortunate, FINALLY, with my doctor. Now with the infusion center up and running, I get to (yeah, right) just get hooked up there rather than wait forever for a bed in the hospital. which is by far much better than the hospital.

I can't believe thy let you just leave! idiots

Angel said...

There is NO Effin excuse for this. When you are able, complain to everyone--the office, your insurance, the media...I am so disgusted for you. I am so sorry they treated you that way!!

(((((Giant hugs))))))