Are we patients or customers?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Today was quite possibly the worst morning of Landon's life. He woke up incredibly sick to his stomach. He was mentally upset, thinking he was sick due to having ulcerative colitis. He called in sick to work, then the doctor's office called (I had called last night when Landon was doing so poorly, and the on-call physician I talked to let the office know they needed to call us first thing to make an appointment). I was irrate by the time I hung up the phone with the scheduler who called. They were asking detailed questions about Landon's history with UC ranging from questions about the day he was diagnosed to his symptoms of UC over the course of the past month. I wanted to scream at the scheduler to pull his chart, but when I questioned him about why he needed all this information, he said he had to ask these questions for the on-call physician. Nice answer. Way to make it easier for the doctor (not having to pull a chart), and more difficult on the patient. Anyway, after waiting all day, the scheduler called back and said that the doctor recommended rest & lots of fluids. Whatever. Some service! We didn't care, though, because by this time, we had realized that Landon's symptoms weren't from the ulcerative colitis after all, and that he probably had the virus Samuel was fighting for the past week. Whew, in a way, that was a relief to realize, because Landon was getting really upset with the thought that he might be experiencing a whole slough of new symptoms he didn't realize would be part of having this disease. It was so overwhelming until he was able to separate yesterday & today's illness from his ulcerative colitis. Once he did that, he realized that his ulcerative colitis symptoms were getting much better (heading into remission once again), while this current bout of nausea, vomiting, hot/cold flashes, and weakness were related to Samuel's virus. I'm just glad the answer came to us, because the doctor's office was no help at all today, unfortunately. I've just about had it with corporate health care!

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