OK so when I left off in my last post, I had talked to the patient advocate about everything that had happened at the appointment. She (J) agreed with me that the nurse was way out of line. I absolutely can see a different doctor! There is a process I have to go through, but it is possible. Also, a nurse should never be sending patients to a different hospital. (Ya think?!) J and I have talked about Dr. A before at length so she already knew why we didn't want to be seen by her. She knew that we left Vandy GI for Cincinnati because of Dr. A. She assured me she would get to the bottom of all of it.
A few days later my phone rings and it's Vandy. Imagine my shock when it's Dr. A on the other end of the line! She was so overboard nice and said " OF COURSE we can switch doctors" and she is SO pleased that Dr. M has ideas about Kennedy's diarrhea because she has been trying to figure it out for " five YEARS now" with no success! (Funny, since she's only had it for 2 years... AND it would have helped if she actually would have SEEN Kennedy IN her office for a clinic visit or *gasp* checked her stool!) She wanted to know the name of the nurse I spoke to, which I didn't know. (My mom has been drilling into my head for as LONG as I can remember to TAKE NAMES, but when I get upset I just can't seem to do it! It drives me crazy!) Dr. A said she would definitely figure out who that nurse was and make sure nothing like that ever happened again and in the meantime she would be talking to Dr. M to see if he would take Kennedy on as a patient because that was all that had to be done and she would make a note that I really wanted Dr. M to BE Kennedy's doctor. She again said how "pleased" she was that someone was finally figuring this out.
After we hung up I felt like I just might puke from all the fake sugary sweetness, but at least I felt like we were getting somewhere. I was a little surprised though that J had her call me since she knows my... ummm... lack of fondness for her. BUT it was getting taken care of, Kennedy was getting a good doctor, and that's what mattered. Or so I thought. (Turns out J didn't tell her to call, Dr. A did that ALL on her own... most likely to keep control of the situation.)
Yesterday I get a phone call from Vandy. Somehow I missed it and it went to voice mail. It was Dr. A's nurse asking me to call her back. We play phone tag, and when she finally gets a hold of me she tells me that Dr. M cannot see Kennedy because his patient load is too full. WHAT?! He made NO indication of that when we saw him in the office a couple weeks ago! Nevertheless, Kennedy cannot be his patient, she says. What they CAN do is assign her to Dr. W. A very good doctor, she assures me! HOWEVER he will only see Kennedy for ONE appointment. The FIRST visit, JUST to develop a plan. After that? She will be shuffled between Fellows. Are you FREAKING kidding me?!
(I need to enter a disclaimer here. I have nothing against Fellows as a whole. Kennedy's oncologist was a Fellow. We LOVED her, and so was her endocrinologist and we loved him too, for the short time we had him before he moved. However, we've had horrible horrible horrible luck with GI Fellows and the word "shuffle" is key in that sentence.)
SO I lost it. Again. I said, "WHY is it SO hard to get quality care from THIS clinic?! THIS is not acceptable! Kennedy needs ONE consistent doctor. Dr. A has already admitted she couldn't figure out Kennedy's problem after FIVE years (her words) so you really think shuffling her from Fellow to Fellow is a good idea?! Seriously?! I feel like I've been beating my head against a wall with you people for her ENTIRE life!"
"Well Ma'am," she said, "This is all we can offer you. You can take it or leave it. What would you like to do?"
"What I'd LIKE to do is have my daughter see ONE doctor, preferably Dr. M, who can HELP her. But since you're being difficult, what I'm GOING to do is contact patient affairs. AGAIN. You'll be hearing from them."
SO I called J back, left a message and went back in to Kennedy's practice, where I don't get cell reception, which turned out to be a good thing. I got a voice mail a few minutes later from Vandy and it was Dr. A's nurse again:
"Mrs. Garcia, Dr. A said until you decide what to do about a Doctor, you can give Kennedy Imodium for her diarrhea."
Ohhhh she's very very very lucky I didn't answer my phone. You see, when we were going through this nine month stint before, when Dr. A wouldn't see us in clinic but kept suggesting things over the phone, Imodium was ALWAYS the first thing she suggested, followed by Miralax, followed my Milk of Magnesia. AGAIN, if she'd BOTHERED to look in her CHART, she would have known that THIS DOESN'T WORK!!!! Yes, I'm very very glad that call went to voice mail or VERY not nice things would have been said out loud instead of just in my head. Can anyone blame me for wanting a new doctor? A good doctor? A doctor who READS patient history? And really, should doctors be prescribing medication without looking in a file anyway? Seems kind of dangerous. I'm just saying.
SO J and I talked AGAIN today (actually I ranted and she listened) and she couldn't understand why they would want to assign Kennedy to Dr. W in the first place because he is a research doctor and therefore is only in the clinic a couple days a month. Things that make you go "hmmm". SO she's talking to the manager of the clinic. Again. And we'll see what tomorrow brings. It just floors me that Dr. M went from "See you in a couple months" to me being told his case load is too full. Sure would like to talk to HIM about that! UGH!