Friday, February 25, 2011

A lesson in customer service.

There was a change in plans.

Instead of whisking away to the American Southwest for our next stop we stayed in Houston to deal with some oncological OB/GYN problems. This has been yet another trip through the healthcare system from the patient's perspective. This is almost always highly educational. This time is no exception.

We sat with contract in hand preparing to sign when the phone rang. It was Sarah's OB saying some blood tests had come back elevated and that cyst looked different and he thought it should just come out. So, we scheduled the surgery for two days later. YAY expediency! Still, probably not wise to commit to a contract a few states away until we had more info. Surgery day, the doctor comes out of surgery and informs me that he found some things he didn't like and it was either endometriosis (prognosis - irritating but not a big deal.) or carcinomatosis (prognosis - 18 - 24 months to live with multiple invasive and quality of life reducing surgeries to get you that far) He would know for sure by next week. Oh yeah, did I mention that this was on the LAST DAY of my contract here? Yeah, no stress. Luckily, my contacted hospital was willing to renew my contract for 10 more weeks while we sorted this out. This was a long ugly weekend. Customer service in healthcare lesson #1 "Don't tell someone they might have a horrible fatal disease unless you KNOW they do." Now, I see where this one can't be a hard and fast rule. I think he really believed that it was carcinomatosis. He wanted to prepare us for the worst.

Then we found out about a specialty in medicine. There are such things as Oncology OB/GYN surgeons. Turns out there are doctors who do nothing but deal with cancers of female reproductive organs. Now we had to deal with this guy.

Turns out our lesson from the regular OB doctor was but a minor quibble. That, is for the next post.