Thursday, February 12, 2015

I just... can't... even...

A few minutes ago I found myself standing in the middle of the kitchen looking up at the ceiling and saying the words "Oh my goodness!  How are you people this stupid!" 

Nice.  No. 

However... it might be an indicator of how tired I am of dealing with coordinating different doctor's offices.

And I'm also reminding myself that this is exactly why (or one of a long list of reasons) that I've just had her transferred to the office that Patch and James are seen at.

Here is what set of this disjointed, shaking my head at the sky, blog post. 

It started with a message on my voice mail. 
"Hi Cammie.  This is *Kim at *The Child Clinic and I was just calling because you wanted a OT referral sent over to *The OT Place for Margaret.  I see that you're other daughter goes there.  But the problem is, we've never seen Margaret for anything that would indicate that she needs Occupational Therapy.  I see that it's noted that she needs speech, but really you're going to have to bring her in here so that we can evaluate her to see if she needs OT."

*names changed... of course

I'm just at a loss.  Does it not say in her file anywhere that she's autistic with rather severe sensory issues?  Have we really been to this doctor's office many, many times, filled with many, many screaming hours in their waiting room and little exam rooms and that is no where in her file?  And yes, you have sent an OT request for Maggie to this very office before, but she was picked up by another office who no longer has a therapist for her, so she actually has been seen for this very reason.  And that's no where in her file.  And what about the dozens of pages of reports that have both been sent to them and that I've delivered by hand at every single appointment, many of which they themselves ordered, which recommend OT.  Do they not still have the actual OT evaluation that I brought to her last "Well Child" check?

I know, I know, it's not the fault of the woman that I'm going to be talking with, which is why I'm trying to do my very best to get the "are you kidding me" tone out of my voice right now (this blog post is part of that process, in case you were wondering).  And it's definitely not her fault that I've been on the phone a dozen times this week arranging testing, appointments and trying to figure out how to fit everything in.  But the idea that, after three years at this office, they don't have anywhere in her file that she's autistic is... kind of disturbing. 

Although it does make me even more confident in my decision to move her over to the other practice (which will happen in two weeks.. so if nothing else I can get an OT referral then... I'd just rather not wait another two weeks since she really needs a new OT like, yesterday... and waiting lists can be long.). 

And thankfully it's their lunch break, so I have an hour to come up with a friendly tone of voice when I ask if it doesn't say in her chart anywhere that she's autistic with sensory problems. 


  1. I too find it quite amazing the incredibly BAD customer service at most physicians practices. Ours recently came up with a statement that everyone was to sign that they understood that even asking a question about the vaccines being given to their child was cause for termination of the patient-physician relationship. Now, I vaccinate. So why the sudden hostility toward me? I have decided it has nothing to do with making sure all kids get vaccinated and all about taking parental control away and being bullies. So I have to go seeking a new doctor--AGAIN. I liked this one. I am very sorry the hostile new approach to vaccinations has crept in to destroy my trust in the practice and thus in my child's physician.

    So vent away so you can take a deep breath and talk to them about autism. My guess is that the person you talked to hasn't even looked at the file. I have found it to be common that the secretaries and nurses don't have the time or inclination to actually pull a file and read it, so they say whatever they need to say to put the work on you instead of them doing their jobs. Mostly, it works for them, and the mothers never question and just make the appointment and the doctor writes the OT at the appointment. Perhaps someone from the bean-counters office has recommended that requests for referrals be done via office visits to help the bottom line. At any rate, it seems to be all about funneling everyone into office visits instead of doing their jobs.

    And yeah, I guess your rant triggered this one of mine. And yes, have to smile and be pleasant anyway.

    Last time a nurse put us off, said she would call back, didn't, my hubby just took the child in question to the office and let her stand there screaming and sobbing over the pain in her ear, right there in the office while he explained to the woman at the desk that the nurse failed to call back and this clearly could not wait. She was seen immediately. But that same nurse never calls back when she says she will, so we knew to just show up with a sobbing wailing child-- and mine can project like an opera star.

    1. We vaccinate too and I would be upset if there was a sign saying that I couldn't even ask a question (and I don't even have any questions in mind! It's just the idea that a question is something horrible that is so disturbing!).

      And you're right, when they called back she told me that she hadn't looked at her file. She'd called the other office and asked if she'd been referred there before and when she was told she'd only been referred there for speech (because she was being seen somewhere else for OT) she didn't look in her actual file that said she had been referred for OT too.

    2. Oh, I'd be FURIOUS if that were the case! My doctor is very pro-vaccine indeed, and we get all of them anyway, but they always specifically ask if we have any questions about them and explain what ones are on the agenda for today, what they protect against, and so on.

      Cammie, I've had similar experiences with incompetents at doctor's offices. I'm ticked off for you! :p

  2. Oh, Doctors! Some can be so inept. Although maybe this is an medical staff member issue if the proper documents weren't properly faxed. In either case, I feel your frustration, your pain. It's hard to stay calm with people who are involved but not at fault when you really want to yell at the person who messed up.

    1. I'm constantly amazed at how much the paper work has gotten mixed up in the past. I know that it must be somewhere in this office (and she finally found it) only because I've brought all of her paper work in by hand to each appointment, just to make sure they have it... so if it's not there it's because they've lost it!

  3. Hello,
    Just came across your blog and wanted to say I sympathise with what your dealing with at the clinic.
    It often seems they go out of their way to make life harder for parents of children with disability.
    Poor communication,bad organisational skills etc..are some if the things many of us have had to deal with repetitively from health care providers.
    I think it's a good decision your moving your daughter to another practise and I wish you all the best in the future.

    1. Thank you and welcome! I'm cautiously optimistic that the new place will be better for her (it helps that our oldest son has gone there for over two years now). It's an office that deals with a lot of special pediatric cases and so I think they tend to have to be more on the ball than the office our girls have gone to for the last couple years (since the other office was full when I tried to get them in the first time and would only take newborns).

  4. Oh my. I really hope you were able to get it sorted out. I would have to work very hard to speak with charity.

    1. We got it worked out finally, but I definitely took a few deep breaths before calling back!

  5. This would make me nuts. The worst example of office staff incompetence/arrogance we've encountered was when Ben was about 18 months old and we were at my other daughter's home, waiting for her baby to arrive. While she was in the hospital, Ben became ill, was fussy and very feverish, and clearly sick. His mom called the doctor's office (3 hours away) and they were at first dismissive (it's a virus, something's going around) and then, when she called back as he became sicker, never bothered to return the call. My husband packed up Ben and his mom and drove them straight to the hospital in Mobile (Ben's other grandfather is a doctor and he recommended they do so.) We never found out what he had, but he was in for 2 days, his skin (though not eyes) had turned yellowish, he was listless (never happens with him!)... a very scary time. The pediatrician on call said he took one look at him and one he was "a very sick baby."

    We never found out what kind of germ it was, and it likely was a very nasty virus, but you can be sure that they no longer use that group of physicians. (Their current pediatrician is a long-time friend of ours who is a gem, thank God!)

    God bless!


    1. That is so scary Marie! Just the fact that he was admitted shows that they definitely should have seen him! And I'm so glad he's going somewhere else now!


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