Vee For Victory (13 April 2007 - 8:48 a.m.)
Yesterday morning, I placed yet another call to my doctor's office. Once again, the secretary apologized for Dr. Spine Specialist's failure to respond. I told her that, since he wasn't returning my calls, I wanted to make an appointment to come in to talk to him.
My heart sank when she informed me that he was tied up in surgery for the next two days, and wouldn't be seeing patients again until Monday. That would have been a full week since I made my first urgent call to his office. In desperation, I threatened to contact the American Medical Association, or look for a patient advocate group. The secretary put me on hold, and went to discuss the situation with the office manager. When she came back on the line, she said there was a chance that Dr. Spine Specialist would stop in the office at some point, and, if he did come in, they would do their best to get him to address this issue.
I thought to myself, ďI wonít hold my breath.Ē After waiting around all day Wednesday (I didnít even take a shower because I was afraid I might miss the call), I had lost all hope of hearing from the doctor by phone, and was resigned to waiting until I could get an appointment next week.
Shortly after I got off the phone with the secretary, I received a call from the physical therapist asking if I could come in earlier. (My appointment was originally scheduled for 3:30.) I agreed to go in at 11:15. When I got there, Ms. PT asked if there had been any progress in my attempts to communicate with Dr. Spine Specialist.
I broke down while I was filling her in on the latest. She was very kind and sympathetic, and even outraged on my behalf. She wanted to know why Dr. Spine Specialistís office staff hadnít passed my message on to his Physicianís Assistant, after the doctor repeatedly failed to respond. That was a darn good question. Two of my appointments were with the PA, so she is familiar with my case. I made a mental note to look into that.
Ms. PT went on to say, ďYou canít tolerate the physical therapy, let alone return to work.Ē Best of all, she offered to call the doctorís office to tell them the very same thing. I told her Iíd let her know if I needed her to do that if I still hadnít heard from Dr. Spine Specialist by my next PT appointment. In the meantime, I wanted to see if I could talk to the Physicianís Assistant.
When I got home, one thing led to another, and I didnít get around to trying to get in touch with the PA. At 3:15, my phone rang. (If my appointment for physical therapy hadnít been changed to an earlier time, I would have missed the call.) I couldnít believe my eyes when I looked at the caller id and saw that it was Dr. Spine Specialistís office Ė the Physicianís Assistant, to be exact. She heard me out, and said I could come in to pick up a note that would extend my disability leave until further notice. I am to finish three more weeks of physical therapy, and then return to the doctorís office for reevaluation.
Besides the obvious, there is another positive outcome to all of this. Since I donít have to go back to work, I can schedule my physical therapy appointments early enough to take advantage of the Dial-A- Ride service. Hurray! No more taxis!
That was a hard won battle, and I am SO glad itís overÖ for now, at any rate. Iíve been a nervous wreck. Needless to say, this situation has been extremely stressful. Among other things, it caused my IBS to flare up. Now I can relax for a while. [Insert huge sigh of relief here.]
Last evening, I went shopping with my sister. She wanted to buy a new outfit for a function sheíll be attending on Saturday, and asked me to go along. Besides physical therapy and pain management, walking is a prescribed therapy, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to stretch my legs, as well as spend some time with Michele.
Our first stop was TJ Maxx, and I was doing okay while we were in there. But, by the time we hit Dress Barn, I wasnít doing so well. I had to sit in the shoe department while Michele was in the dressing room. The same thing happened at Marshalls. If just browsing around a few stores was too much for me, how was I supposed to return to full duty at work? Thank goodness I donít have to worry about that again for a few more weeks.
After I got home from being out with my sister, I was so wound up (largely due to the tension of the past week), I couldn't sleep. Consequently, I didnít go to bed until 12:30. Getting up at 6:30 this morning to take Penny out was a bitch. My ass is really dragging, so Iím going to try to get some more sleep before I head over to my cousinís house. Itís time for another knitting lesson - I think I might learn to "bind off."
Hereís a shot of the sample Iíve been working on. Itís just a combination of all the stitches Iíve learned to do Ė knit, purl, stockinette and rib.
Have a good day!
Song of the Day: Till Victory by Patti Smith
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