Today is a rather personal issue that I’ll be sharing. Personal, but one that I suspect many of you have experienced. I batted it back and forth, on blogging it. But then while talking to my sister, her words were, “You should blog this.” The next part I struggle with is how much to share and how to go about it. I have done a journal the past couple of weeks. But I’ve decided for now, not to bore you with that.
A week ago Saturday, hubby and I were getting up early to drive to Enid, Oklahoma, to see our kids. I reached over to turn off the alarm clock and my right side hurt. It felt bruised and sore. That’s when I discovered a large knot in my breast. I am normally calm and matter of fact when medical issues arise. But I was so caught off guard, I just blurted out, “I have a lump and it’s huge and it hurts.” A great way to start the conversation in the morning!
On Monday, I called my doctor’s office and frankly, was frustrated that no one was available to talk to me. The receptionist heard my issue, was kind, but all she could do was make an appointment for me and tell me, “someone will call you later”. I seemed to be the only one feeling an urgency. My appointment was not until Thursday afternoon. When Thursday finally arrived, my doctor said the mass had “several tendencies” and that was good. She scheduled a diagnostic mammo for the following Monday. I couldn’t go to my normal place in town, as they were booked, so she was going to send me to a place in Tulsa.
Monday afternoon, my hubby cleared his schedule so that he can take me to Hillcrest Medical Center. It was a women’s center, so they could really cater to my specific needs, right? It’s near downtown Tulsa, parking is sparse. But we did locate the building and once inside immediately saw the Women’s Breast Care Center. I was expecting pink and fluffy and caring people to great me in my despair. Nope. Not at this place. What I found was the sign-in sheet and no one there to greet or direct. Eventually though, a militant woman in purple scrubs screams a name and says “Hall on the left, second chair.” And if you don’t respond, she yells it again. I was fortunate enough to get a lady that was filling in that day for my registration. Once I engaged her in conversation, she was very sweet. But we witnessed two employees being so rude and just plain mean to patients in this outer area. Why? It was all so unnecessary. How hard is it to change your tone and smile? Really? Did they really think any of us wanted to be there any more than THEY did?
My assigned tech was an absolute sweetheart. Since we were up close and personal (!) I was glad for that! We talked about her little girls and my big boys and how tough it is to raise children. After the radiologist read the film, he had them do an ultrasound. A little later, the ultrasound tech came to tell me what the radiologist said, “It is probably a cyst and more than likely benign, but we need to do this again in about six months to compare films and check for changes”. Would that set your mind at ease? It didn’t mine, either.
So an hour and a half later after walking into this place, I walk out to the now, almost empty, waiting area where I can tell my hubby is imagining the worst. I tell him what was relayed to me. I feel his unease, too. I tell him I never want to come back to this place. He assures me that no matter what, he will take me every time. That I will not be alone.
My doctor received the report and I talked to her yesterday. I told her how rude and unwelcoming they were at this place and that I wanted future appointments at our regular place. She apologized and said, “Maybe it was just an off day for them”. You know what? It was an off day for every one of us that had to be there that day. I didn’t go in mean and unpleasant, though. I was looking for a bit of professionalism and some reassurance.
I am healthy. I have not had a lot of dealings with the medical profession. The ones that I have had, with a couple of exceptions, have been good. The medical field should not be without accountability and should also practice good customer service. I CAN go somewhere else.
Please understand that this post is not written asking for any sympathy or “oh-no’s”. I get that this is common and I am not alone in it. I am writing out of pure frustration because I know that many of you out there have dealt with crummy health “professionals” or could be dealing with them now. We may not always get the “warm and fuzzy” treatment, but we should at least expect common courtesy and kindness. Do you think that is asking too much???
(COMMENTS ENCOURAGED ON THIS POST!!!! )
So again I say, Be nice to people. We never know what they may be going through ~ ♥