Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Always Trust Yourself [C]


Hi. I went in for what I thought would be my quarterly CT scan and ran into a "comedy" of errors, lack-o-communications, and professional condescension/you're the confused patient attitude. All at the beautiful Lombardi Cancer Center.

I made an appointment a month ago for a CT scan. Then made an Onco appointment and asked for the Dr. CT order. They never send it but I ask for it anyway. Today I go in to Lombardi and ask for my Order. I'm handed an Order form I've never seen before. Maybe they updated it but it calls for a scan and doesn't clarify with or without contrast. I always get contrast.

I tell the secretary and she tracks down the Dr. The secretary comes out with the form marked "No IV Contrast." i say this is wrong and she goes back. She comes out and says "that's what your Dr. wants". I explain I've always had contrast and she goes back in. Out she comes saying no contrast required.

We give up and head down to radiology. Reluctantly. As we were walking, I told Dani I should have left it alone or marked "with contrast" myself.

Once down there we talk to radiology. asking them if they can just give me "my usual (LOL)". They look at the Order and say they have to follow procedure as Ordered. I start to fill out the radiology forms. Reluctantly. Dani and I don't like this. Why change procedure? especially without informing the patient? And what good is a CT scan without contrast for blood cancers????? Might as well palpate me for tumors

We head back over to Lombardi. I tell my Dr.s secretary that I'm really uncomfortable with this. Back she goes.

A Nurse comes out and starts off the wrong way. Just very condescending. We start arguing. She insists I'm here for a PET not a CT. We go back and forth with Dani getting more and more agitated. The Nurse decides to get the Dr. (she is in clinic so very busy with patients)


Out comes my Dr. We start arguing. She thinks I've confused scans. That I've been having PET scans all along. I don't back down. I insist otherwise. Then it hits her.

Although PET scans are the preferred method to track my type of issue, my old insurance refused to pay for them. So SOP is to fall back on CT scans. She forgot. Nice. So I canceled my CT scan, had to go to Nuclear Medicine and schedule a PET scan and reschedule my post-scan Dr. check up.

I wanted to do the "You were wrong/I was right" dance on all their faces!

So my Dr. Ordered me a PET scan, forgetting I was still getting CT scans. I schedule a CT scan because that's what I was told to do after my last one.. Radiology was going to accept a PET scan Order and give me a CT scan without contrast. Is it deadly? No. But a CT scan without contrast doesn't find much in the way of Lymphoma/Leukemia.

Never back down until things are spelled out. No matter how many higher degrees you're fighting.

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