What did Robb and I (and our lovely nurse case manager Linda) do this morning, you ask?
We spent FIVE HOURS hanging around Highland Hospital. Five hours. Count 'em. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. FIVE HOURS at the hospital, for a scheduled appointment.
We arrived at seven-fifteen for a seven-thirty CT scan, but nobody was in the radiology office. When someone finally did show up, nobody on staff could find the keys to let themselves into the office or open the waiting room door. This set a nice, tense mood for everyone.
It seems that we didn't actually have an appointment, rather we were penciled into the "overflow slot," in the emergency room. Robb got his scan after two hours of waiting. For the first time, I was excluded from the room, and when Robb emerged from his scan, they sent him off to a waiting room other than the one they sent me to. When the radiology staff summoned the next patient, they realized that I was still waiting for Robb, which set me on a roaming expedition through the hallways of Highland Hospital.
Eventually, we did find each other in the neurosurgery clinic, where it turns out we were not on their books as having an appointment.
This is not the first time we have scheduled and confirmed an appointment with this office, only to arrive and be told that they have no record of our appointment.
I should also note that none of the doctor's reports (either from neurosurgery or radiology) have been forwarded to our insurance company. Our nurse case manager has spent hours on the phone trying to resolve this, and she has "camped out" in the hospital's medical records office. The insurance company has decided that if she couldn't get records on this visit, they would get a lawyer involved, and subpoena Robb's medical records.
(This lack of records is the main reason that Robb was sent to the Second Opinion Doctor. The insurance company, not unreasonably, needs documentation.)
We were finally seen by Robb's surgeon, who told us that while the bone graft generally looks good, it isn't as far along in healing as he had hoped. So Robb will be wearing the brace for two more months, whenever he leaves the house.
The surgeon had hoped to show us the scans, but -- get this -- the computer network was down, and none of the radiology exams could be accessed. I can't imagine how the surgeons were going to manage for the rest of their day. Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurrence, either.
Robb and I then sat in the waiting room for another hour, to secure our next set of appointments, but eventually the neurosurgery staff told us that there was some kind of problem down in the scheduling office and that we would be hearing from them via telephone.
During this time, our nurse case manager was down in the medical records office, and it seems that Robb's case files have been declared officially lost.
How does the reader imagine that I handled all of this? With patience and grace? Unfortunately not. I turned into a horrible cranky-pants, and mis-directed my frustrations at Robb.
I'm not as patient or as virtuous as I could wish.
(Robb and I have had a good laugh about this, and my crabbiness is forgiven.)