Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What happens when people don't do what they say they will do.

I don't even know where to begin.

I am scheduled to have surgery in 6 days. I have coordinated 2 surgeons to do their totally separate procedures on me at the same time so I can have 1 less general anesthesia/recovery/hospital stay over the next 6 months.

A little over a month ago, I started the process of scheduling consults with 2 different surgeons 1) a Plastic Surgeon to do my breast reconstruction and 2) a Gynecology Oncologist to do my Oophorectomy. Both are in my little network of doctors, at the same hospital in the same office building- and I felt great after we initially met and went over the procedures. I was very eager to move forward with things but the Gyn Onc (to be referred to as GO) thought I was being a little too ambitious and wanted to wait until I finished my Herceptin chemo to do the Oophorectomy (removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes). I told him that I was also meeting with the Plastic Surgeon (to be referred to as PS) and asked if we could combine the 2 procedures. He told me- sure, as long as the PS is ok with it, I'm ok with it.

A few days later I met with the PS and told him about the procedure with the GO. He said- sure thing, might as well do them both together. So after we met, I sat down with the PS surgical scheduling coordinator and we picked a day- a day that I KNEW would work with the GO, who had told me 2 days prior that he could operate ANY MONDAY IN JANUARY. (do you get where I'm going with this?).

After we picked the day I said-
You will coordinate with the GO office and get everything set up with them- RIGHT?

Answer- Yes.

Fast forward to last week- I had to schedule my pre-op appointments with both doctors, so I called and got them both lined up. Yesterday, I met with the PS to go over all the last minute details. TODAY, I met with the GO....and here's pretty much what went down.

I made the appt with the GO for a pre-op exam and to sign the consent forms. I told them this when I made the appt. I also told them that I was scheduled for surgery on the 11th, so I needed to see the GO prior to surgery (duh). I walk into my GO office and he looks at me and says, how did everything go with the PS, do you have the tissue expanders put in? I say- no, we're doing that on Monday when you DO YOUR PROCEDURE. Hmmm. He then goes on to say that NO ONE FROM THE PS OFFICE HAS NOTIFIED HIM OF THE SURGERY!!!!!!!!!!!!! AUGGGH- this can SERIOUSLY only happen to me.

So we go over things, he looks at his surgical schedule and *thinks* he can work it out for Monday - in 6 days. So he does what I can not believe he did. He personally calls the PS office *ON SPEAKERPHONE*, and gets the scheduling coordinator on the phone, while I am sitting at his desk. Allright- I'm gonna say it, since I'm not naming names or anything- my GO is kinda a jerk. There's just something about ANY Oncologist- they're a little cocky. So he basically ummm.... expressed his frustration..... that he was not notified about the procedure. I wanted to melt into the carpet. It was the most horrid, awkward moment of my life. Then he started talking some surgical doctor talk about "cases" and "procedure codes" and "start times", and then basically left it as- "if you don't hear back from me, then a 7:30 start time is fine".

So we're on????

I felt so bad. I knew that I had inadvertently put him on the spot and NO Doctor wants to look like a fool. I know that my PS office dropped the ball, which they admitted to, and thank goodness the stars aligned and everything worked out. I kept apologizing (like that helps) and he said- it's not your job to take care of things like this. Whew.

Now, had the GO not been able to fit me it, it wouldn't have been the end of the world. It makes no difference if I have the Oophorectomy on Monday, or in 5 months, or 2 in years. The reconstructive surgery to insert bi-lateral tissue expanders is my main procedure. It will take about 1.5 hours and I will be in a lot of pain. The Oophorectomy is only 30 minutes and is actually an outpatient procedure with minimal pain. All I can say- bring on the Percocet!

No comments: