I’d really love to put the whole Attack of the Killer Gallbladder thing behind me, really I would. Sadly, I have to deal with the pesky stent that took up residence in my common bile duct during that pre-surgery procedure in early April.
That puppy has a best-before date. Three months from date of insertion, to be exact. That means early July or bust.
cluster-fuck gross inefficiency that is my local healthcare system, I called my G.I. specialist’s office the day after my surgery to try to secure a date for the stent removal.
Several voicemails later, I received word that I had been booked in on June 9th.
The unfortunate thing is, June 9th is also the date of son’s girlfriend’s university convocation ceremony.
Since I have, for all intents and purposes, adopted her as one of my own, trust me when I say that nothing will prevent me from celebrating this lovely girl in her cap and gown on that day. Nothing.
I called the G.I. specialist’s office yesterday, where I had the opportunity to speak to his ultra-bitchy receptionist (UBR).
Here is a transcript of the ensuing conversation:
me: Hi, I received a voicemail from you indicating that you’ve booked me in for an ERCP on June 9th.
UBR: Yes, that’s correct.
me: Unfortunately, I cannot make it that day.
UBR: Well, we are booked solid for a few months, so it has to be that day.
me: Yeah, no. I cannot do it that day. So, what are my options?
UBR: [shuffling pages – presumably in a paper calendar] We are looking at September.
me: Yeah, no. Dr. P told me this has to come out before July.
UBR: Well there is nothing available.
me: But it HAS TO COME OUT before July.
UBR: There are no openings.
me: Well, what do you suggest we do then?
UBR: There isn’t really anything we can do. This is a very specialized procedure and Dr. P can only do it when he’s on call.
me: Yeah, so… what are my options?
UBR: Well, you’re not an emergency, so we will just have to wait for a cancellation.
[JEEZUS H CHRIST!! REALLY??? ARE WE BACK TO THIS???]
me: Yeah, so, I’m not super comfortable with that, since this HAS TO COME OUT before July.
UBR: [Loud exhale] ARE YOU UNDERSTANDING ME?
[Picking myself up off the floor]
<editor’s note: Clearly this woman has no idea who she’s messing with. Now that I’m no longer distracted by blinding pain, I’m not shy about showing my claws.>
me: OH, I UNDERSTAND YOU PERFECTLY.
[pregnant pause to allow her to fully absorb my tone]
me: Do YOU understand ME? I’m an executive with a large software company. I travel frequently. I’m not sitting around at home waiting for your call. I could be in Timbuktu, for God’s sake, when you decide to call me with a cancellation. SO… WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST WE DO, SINCE THIS THING HAS TO COME OUT BEFORE JULY?
UBR: [Her aggression scaled back considerably.] Well… you will become an emergency in a couple of weeks, so we can then look to prioritize you.
me: Can I just get another G.I. specialist to do it?
UBR: Well, you could if you get a referral.
my inside voice: FOR SHIT’S SAKE? YOU WORK THERE. CAN’T YOU MAKE THE REFERRAL???
my outside voice: You know what, just let me know when you figure something out. [click]
I’m seeing both my surgeon and my family doctor next week, and I’ll ask one of them (heck, maybe even both of them) for a referral to another G.I. doc.
I am SO over it all. So over it. Done. Like dinner.
And the worst part is, I’m not cleared for heavy exercise yet, so I can’t even channel my frustration that way. Universe: please go pick on someone your own size.
***UPDATE*** I’m stoked to report that the universe must have heard me and taken pity. I got a phone call from UBR at 10:00 am, advising me that I’ve been booked in at 6:30 am on June 10th. HUZZAH!