About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Starting Over

Yesterday I had an appointment scheduled which I nervously anticipated. After months of anxiety and worry, I was meeting with a doctor to develop a plan to treat the cancer. My mind has been spinning as I have been contemplating worst case scenarios. The impending appointment felt much like my day of reckoning, where I would learn my fate.  The fact that my treating physician of 10 years left the practice, and that I was beginning a relationship with a new doctor, added to my uneasiness. 

Only one week post-op from my major revision, getting to the appointment was a Herculean effort. After helplessly watching my mom juggle Timmy, his car seat and my scooter to the car, I crawled down the stairs to assume my position in the passenger's seat. After the limb trauma from the day before, my limb was quick to anger and began cramping and thumping almost immediately. The leg pain, along with hearing my mom complain about the difficulties of infant car seats,  served as a welcome distraction from my growing panic.

After wheeling my way into the hospital and up to the office, I proceeded to the check-in desk while my Mom sat in the corner and tried to calm Timmy. ( Poor little buddy was bright red and sweaty from voicing his displeasure during the entire drive.) Soon after signing in the receptionist called me to the desk.  She looked at me with confusion and said, "Mrs. Chenoweth, your appointment isn't until July 17th."

I spoke with the office on Monday about my Thursday appointment, so I knew that the receptionist was mistaken. I also explained that I had received a confirmation call yesterday, reminding me of the appointment and threatening to charge $25 if I failed to show. I explained this information, and patiently waited for her to verify that she had made a mistake. 

She was insistent that I was not on the schedule. I asked about the confirmation call I received, and she contended that the call should be disregarded because they don't have room in the schedule to see me today. I felt the tears begin to well as I struggled to maintain my composure.  I have been dreading this appointment, and the thought of putting it off for a month was simply too much to comprehend.

I took a deep breath and explained that I did have an appointment, and that I needed to see the doctor today. I calmly stated that I needed to know my test results because a cancer diagnosis without a plan is cruel and unusual punishment. I continued my plea for them to honor my appointment by explaining the difficulty I had making it to the office because of my recent surgery.  She remained stone faced and unmoved.

Despite my attempts to employ logic, to provide proof of the facts and to elicit sympathy for my plight, I was unsuccessful. After enduring an emotional tornado as I prepared for the meeting, I left the office lacking a direction and information. I felt completely deflated. I felt invisible and broken.

After licking my wounds for the majority of the afternoon, I finally managed to channel my despair into anger. I can't believe the complete disregard for my health demonstrated by the office staff. I just had a baby, have been battling a severe uterine infection and was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  None of these significant health issues, all of which they have been treating, were rated higher than their scheduling snafu. I was given an appointment for July and sent out the door.  After shedding a lot of tears, I came to the conclusion that I need to seek more compassionate medical care.

I reached out to trusted friends and was provided with a recommendation for a new doctor. The doctor who had been treating me was no longer at the practice, so I was already starting with somebody new. If I have to start over, I am going to seek more compassionate, and competent, care. In my opinion, the front staff personnel are a reflection of the values of the practice.  Obviously, patient care and compassion were not the priorities of the previous facility.  Today I will seek an appointment with a new doctor, and hopefully he will be able to see me quickly.  Waiting for answers to these looming questions is torture, and I fear dangerous. I need to move quickly.

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