Yes I did say it,
yes I wanted to fight…..
BUT those were NOTthe first words that were said
Let me go back and start at the beginning.
One of my grandson’s was diagnosed with ROP or Retinopathy of Prematurity. A doctor from Mayo clinic describes it as this:
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye disorder caused by abnormal blood vessel growth in the light sensitive part of the eyes (retina) of premature infants.
ROP generally affects infants born before week 31 of pregnancy and weighing 2.75 pounds (about 1,250 grams) or less at birth. In most cases, ROP resolves without treatment, causing no damage. Advanced ROP, however, can cause permanent vision problems or blindness.
In ROP, blood vessels swell and overgrow in the light-sensitive layer of nerves in the retina at the back of the eye. When the condition is advanced, the abnormal retinal vessels extend into the jellylike substance (vitreous) that fills the center of the eye. Bleeding from these vessels may scar the retina and stress its attachment to the back of the eye, causing partial or complete retinal detachment and potential blindness.
We were informed that because he had to be on oxygen, his risks for it progressing further were HIGH.
Well that’s great….. He needs oxygen to live, but keeping him on oxygen can cause him to go blind?!?!?!? WTF?!?!
There really was no decision to be made. He needed to remain on oxygen, steriods and the nebulizer treatments to live.
My daughter was told that she would need to continue to follow up with the pediatric ophthalmologist biweekly to monitor his condition. ( add that to the list of specialists the boys needed to see weekly, what’s one more doctor?) OF COURSE she was going too.
The next appointment was January 31, 2019.
If you google record breaking cold for my area you will find the date January 31, 2019
The city hit a new record low at 6:45 a.m. when the temperature hit minus 30, making Thursday the coldest day since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1905. And then the temperature plunged even lower a little later in the morning, to minus 31 degrees without the windchill factor. (which for the record was -60)
Knowing that the temperature was going to be so low, Thing 1 called the ophthalmologist’s office to reschedule the appointment. I was sitting across from her at the kitchen table when I heard the person on the other end of the phone say, “YOU DO REALIZE YOUR SON COULD BE GOING BLIND DON’T YOU?!?!?”
Let me pause here for a moment to let you absorb that. I know I needed to.
OH HELL no she didn’t just say that!
Thing One gave me the look of “OH GOD….please don’t say anything” as I tried to climb over the table to give that voice a piece of my mind. The voice continued with , “well you were supposed to come in yesterday and you missed that appointment.”
“Um no we weren’t and no we didn’t. I am looking at the appointment card in my hand and it says 1/31/19 at 11:20 am.” This Bitch, yes I said BITCH, wanted to sit there and argue about this. Did I mention -31 degrees outside?!?!?!? Most of the city ended up shut down that day.
I couldn’t control my anger so I told Z to go help her while I walked outside. (yes in the freezing cold I went outside)
When I came back in the appointment had been rescheduled for that Saturday morning and I was going with.
I’m actually getting angry again as I write this and I’m not even close to being done.
When we went to the appointment on Saturday, I recognized her immediately by that voice I will NEVER forget. Her name is Shayla. I promised thing one I would not say anything to Shayla directly, I was only going to talk to the doctor.
While we were in the waiting room, I started talking a another mother that was there with her 4 month old triplets. After Shayla was finished putting eye drops in her babies eyes and walked away, the woman shuddered and said, “Man I hate that bitch”!
Of course I had to ask her why she felt that way, and share why I was in total agreement with her. It turns out the woman, Jessy, had also called on Wednesday to cancel her childrens’ appointments for the 31st because of the weather. Shayla proceeded to tell Jessy that she would call social services if she missed the appointment.
Man was my blood boiling! Thing One and I exchanged contact information with Jessy. This was far from over.
Unfortunately, our appointment with the doctor was rushed since he was getting ready to leave the country. The boys were both screaming after having their eyes examined, and I could not get to the doctor without Shayla, so I said nothing.
That’s on me. 😦
When we left the office it was decided that I would come back by myself, after she had found another doctor for the boys. The week that it took to find another doctor felt like years. While I was waiting to go back I did everything I could to find out how to file a formal complaint and an investigation with the nursing board. I wrote a letter to the Dr.s office manager, and I told every other specialist that we had to visit for the boys that week what had happened to encourage them to maybe not refer patients to that office.
Once thing one found a new doctor. I immediately got in my car and went back to the Dr.’s office. I’ve been told that I wear my emotions all over my face, and I have a pretty scary look that could kill. When I approached the desk with my letter and complaint forms in hand I asked to speak with the office manager. I think I scared that poor girl. She started fumbling around trying to place a phone call to reach her and then left to try to find her elsewhere in the clinic. A second person came up to me to ask if she could help. I replied, “I am waiting for the office manager”.
Everyone from the reception area started offering suggestions on where she might be and offering to go find her, and then Shayla walked up to me.
“What do you need”, she says…….
I thought…..seriously?!?!??! and I replied
“Maybe YOU would like to step outside”?
“Excuse me?”, she said.
I repeated, “MAYBE YOU WOULD LIKE TO STEP OUTSIDE”?
Sadly that was it. All of the staff from the office suddenly surrounded her and ushered her from the room. The office manager miraculously appeared and shuffled me into a conference room.
I repeated the entire story to the office manager including what I had learned from Jessy. I gave her the letter I had written and learned that the BITCH, I mean Shayla, was not a nurse but rather an eye technician, so there was no formal complaint process and no nursing license to go after. 😦 Kristie, the office manager apologized and said she would look into the matter with both my daughter and Jessy.
THAT’S IT! She did call to follow-up my daughter and to hear the story from her directly, but not to offer an apology.
I don’t feel that there is anything else I can do. I was not the patient. I’m not even a legal representative of the patient. Some people should not be in the services field at all. I hope if anyone treats you this way you fight for yourself. I hope that my daughter continues to follow up with this, although with the load she has on her plate it is doubtful.
This is my exercise in therapeutic writing