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I knew it was coming, but I wanted to pretend it was A) the weather, B) doing something stupid or C) just something else I needed to rest up from.
What am I talking about? My stupid back, of course.
I literally just finished paying off my last lower back epidural on Monday, I felt that all too familiar jolt of lightening bolt spasm/pain in not only my sciatic nerve but it was also in those pesky herniated discs otherwise referred to by my spine orthopedic as: L3-5, S1-2. Plus, my neck (known as herniated discs C1-3) was screaming at me as well.
It’s been unseasonably cold, windy, rainy, etc. here in the desert so I just kept saying: I’ll feel better when the typical temperatures return.
The problem with this form of stupidity is that we are about to leave on our anniversary trip and barring some kind of miracle-I won’t be getting that epidural before I leave.
Herein lies the reason (besides the constant severe pain and my allergies toward all medications that somehow are supposed to help the extreme hurt) for my wanting to scream: My specialists, in several different practices, have this frustrating problem-it’s called NO ONE PICKS UP THE STUPID PHONE!
I want to ask the rheumatologist a question, I leave both a voice mail and then send an e-mail through my “personal portal“. If I’m lucky, they call me on the wrong phone number and I play phone tag for a day or two. Once they actually replied to my e-mail!
The primary care doctor, while not a specialist, does the same! At least her office is a mere mile and a half from the house because, honestly, I’ve found it easier to get in the car and drive there and walk in to the office to set up an appointment. No one ever responds to my “personal portal e-mail” or calls back. Plus, the phone system never works. Seriously! A few times I used all available extensions and each one said, “you have reached an invalid extension” and hung up on me!
My shoulder/knee and hand guy are in the same practice and someone actually answers the phone there-I love them because they respond in a timely manner. Why don’t the others?
Now for the spine doctor. I love her-she’s caring, she looks at me and not her IPad and she does something WHEN I AM THERE. The problem is that the phone lines at that practice are just plain horrible.
I knew I should have called a few weeks ago, but kept hoping for some kind of miracle which didn’t happen. So Monday, after paying off the epidural I asked to be sent to the office to make an appointment. (Noticing that it is complete irony that someone answered the billing office phone in 2 rings)
As soon as the transfer was made I counted the rings -6. Then I got the dreaded recording: Please leave your name, date of birth and preferred phone number and we will call you as soon as possible. Do not leave multiple messages as this could result in slowing down our response. You matter to us, if we can improve in anyway please let us know as we are here for you!
Why? But I left the information and then snidely added, “you know what you could do to improve? Have a person answer the phone!”
That was fairly early Monday morning. Guess when I finally got a call back? Wednesday afternoon-2 p.m.
Another irony of the call back-they didn’t use the phone number I left. Nope, used the one I said not to use as it was a land line that I might not be at home to use. It was just fortunate I was there when they called.
No apology either. I’ll be bringing that up when I finally see her next week.
For now, I’m just hoping that she can give me some sort of booster shot to see me through until I get back from hobbling through our annual romantic getaway.
Should be so romantic with an inability to sit, stand, walk or lean for any real given amount of time.
I take responsibility for my share of this mess, but it would just be nice to be able to phone a doctor’s office and get a person to pick up a phone and say, “Hello, how can I make you feel better TODAY?”