Monday, January 20, 2014

What happens when you cancel in fewer than seven days

So you all know my health issue, and we know it can be cured.  No one ever died of a hemorrhoid, or three.

Well actually, I have a great, great aunt who did.  Really.  Her son in law, a surgeon in Columbus in 1906 did the surgery.  He found necrotic tissue.  It was grisly.  I have the death certificate.

But I digress.

Well I was supposed to have a colonoscopy tomorrow, but something came up when my beloved Mother in law fell down and broke her hip.

Mom is 90+ and very frail, so this was really, really serious.

Well, the minute we found out it was Mom who moved to the top of our lists and despite the husband protesting that I would miss my appointment, I put my foot down.  A colonoscopy can be rescheduled. Your mother, or your husband's mother, in a time of need, cannot be postponed.

So one of the things I needed to do was cancel the "procedure".  Immediately after the tickets were purchased, I called the doctor, asked for the scheduler, and told her why I was calling.

Scheduler then tells me that they will bill me for $300.  Say what?

"If you cancel without seven days notice, then you agree to be billed $300," says she.

I look through the paperwork and and see that, but I also see "emergency cancellations will be handled on a case by case action."

So I inquire as to this emergency dispensation, and we go around and around.  I mean, my mother in law had no idea she was going to fall, so how could she plan it for this office's convenience?  Silly me for thinking that a broken hip on a 90 year old woman with breast cancer wasn't important.  Right?

"Can't your wife visit her mother on her own?"


"Well why not?"

"Well for one thing, my husband is a man, not a woman and..."

I thought about this, and it could have been a teaching moment.  Or I could have gone all Julia Sugarbaker on this dim witted twit.

But I swallowed my disbelief and simply said " place is at my husband's side. And if the doctor can't understand that, then maybe its time to find another practice."

"Well, if it can't be worked out, fine, I will find something to tell the doctor."

Tell him the truth you stupid bitch, I thought.  But it didn't leave my mouth.  You can't open the mind of someone who doesn't have a mind to open.  And, After her boss is explore the resources my rectum like Lewis and Clark explored the great Northwest.  So if she's stupid and vindictive, I could get a 5PM colonoscopy scheduled, and who wants that, right?

We rescheduled my procedure, which will happen in two weeks if all things remain constant.

Do I want to be sitting in a 90 degree nursing home watching a woman who I love nearing the end of her life?  Or do I want to see the pain in my father in laws eyes as the woman who has been with him every day for 66 years slips a bit further away with each tick of the clock.  No.

But I want to be there because it makes their hearts feel stronger knowing that they are our priority, and they are.  As it should be.  Because I love them.  And I am annoyed by the nurse.

Maybe the scheduler doesn't have anyone to love, or has never been able to let someone love them.  Maybe this was her way of putting up with one more person canceling at the last moment.  Maybe.

So here we are.  Sitting.  Holding a hand.  Smiling.  Hoping.  And praying.


  1. Oh dear, I hope your Mother -in-law is recovering. If I can be of any help while your back in town let me know.

    1. Thanks dearie. We head home tomorrow, hoping to beat the snow. If things take a bad turn, I'll let you know.

  2. all they care about are their fucking procedures.

    1. My experience is that proctology practices, administratively and procedurally speaking, are not about relaxed carefree versatility. If medical science were based on national identifiers, Proctology is the most Germanic of the lot.

  3. Talk about adding insult to injury. You have had your share of serious problems lately, and these annoyances are exactly what you didn't need.

  4. Of course you need to be with your family. I don't know that I would want to go to a practice that didn't understand what a real emergency is. Hopefully, it's just the crazy scheduler.

    I hope your mother in law recovers well. The mother of one of my friends here broke her hip on Christmas Eve, and healing is all about attitude. They replaced her hip, and she's up and around on a walker-- pretty good for 93.