Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008 - Not a Happy Camper!!

Dear Bloggy,

Well, now I'm po'd! The Lung Ablation surgery was canceled and rescheduled :/ Apparently an emergency came up and, of course, as we all know (and I certainly don't disagree with it), emergencies get top priority. If I was the emergency, I would hate to bump someone's surgery but would be ever so grateful that I was getting treated because it was something that required immediate attention. But what I DO have a problem with is that the departments within the hospital, that supposedly should be working together are working in total isolation.

Before I could have this procedure done, I needed to have a pre-admission appt. where they do the paperwork, and do the tests that the radiologist has ordered. I needed bloodwork, a chest xray and an EKG, as well as a consult with an anesthesiologist, and a consult with a nurse. All together, this took about 2 1/2 hours and I had this done yesterday, in preparation for today's procedure. At no time was anyone I saw yesterday aware that there was, or might be, a cancellation of the procedure.

While I was going through all these various tests that had been requested, the interventional radiology dept. was trying to reach me at home to tell me that the procedure had to be rescheduled. While they were calling me, I was actually AT the hospital that they were calling from. Not only was I at the hospital, but I was in the radiology department for awhile at one point getting my chest xray done.

This is what has irritated me more than anything. How can a system be so lacking in communication that the patient they are rescheduling is in their department doing what had been requested... not only there for the pre-admission appt. but actually in their same dept. getting the tests done that the radiologist had requested for the procedure? But the right arm doesn't know what the left arm is doing... and to me, that is scary. I am no wizard, and certainly am not a doctor, but I KNOW if I were to observe what their current systems are, I would be able to tell them exactly what was falling between the cracks and could come up with a system myself that this kind of simple lack of communication could be corrected.

I KNOW they are busy. I KNOW that working in a hospital can be stressful. And I KNOW many patients are not the most fun to work with because for whatever reason they are there, it makes them irritable, cranky and sometimes downright gnarly. But there is no reason something like this should ever have happened when I was right there on the premises for 2 1/2 hours. Had I not been at the hospital and say was just out yesterday, so they couldn't reach me by my home phone and maybe I had left my cell phone at home, then I could understand it and would have been disappointed but perfectly ok with it. But I WAS AT the hospital in the same department and I DID have my cell phone with me and it was fully charged!!

I was just talking to Dr. Halkier's administrative gal just now to get the time for the new date and I asked her why she didn't call my cell when it was obvious I wasn't at home when she did call. She apologized and said that she didn't have a cell number for me on my chart, which I told her that not only did I give it to the pre-admissions clerk yesterday so it would be in the computer, I had also given it to the radiology clerk a couple of weeks ago when I went in for my CAT scan and consult appt. with Dr. Halkier. But, for whatever reason, it was not on my file that she had.

Anywho... I am very disappointed. I was looking so forward to getting this procedure done, and let's be honest, getting it over with. I'm not nervous about the procedure itself... it looks like there's a good chance they are going to put me under a general anesthetic for it and not the conscious sedation. They might start out with trying the conscious sedation but I am going to have to hold some positions for a fairly lengthy time, like with my arms positioned out of the way, so the anesthesiologist said it might end up being more comfortable for me to be out for the procedure (also, depending on how long the procedure will take).

I guess one of the positive things I can look at... the fact I was bumped, my situation is not considered life and death. With cancer, you never know, and too often the doctors do seem to talk doom and gloom... whereas I refuse to look at the doom and gloom side, I will only look at the positive side. Another positive... I really, really liked and clicked with this anesthesiologist, but he was scheduled for another OR area of the hospital for today. But maybe one the 20th, he will be my anesthesiologist and that would make me very, very happy. I'm sure the other ones are great too... but since I've met this one and like him, I want him to be in the room :)

So, January 20th is 3 weeks today... it's really not that far away, but it was a kick in the gut to go in this morning fully expecting to have the procedure done and then to find out it isn't going to happen. Thank goodness I have a good friend, Nancie, who was just a doll... having me stay over at her place overnight so that I'd be close to the hospital and not have to worry about the weather, I could bring Bridget with me and she will take care of her while I'm in the hospital (and took her for walks when I wasn't), drove me to the hospital and back both days... and took the time off work to do this extra running around. The doll is actually going to have me back on the 19th and we'll do it all over again for the 20th!!

Ok... just thought I'd let everyone know the latest update and why it hasn't been done yet. Yes, I'm still grateful that I have the opportunity to be a candidate for Dr. Halkier to do the procedure, but there definitely are some drawbacks when he is the only radiologist in BC who does this procedure. Should an emergency come up, it's not like someone else can take over and cover his Lung RFA procedures.




Anonymous said...

You have every right being po'd!!! I am not a happy camper either. grrrrrrrr Someone should have realized, you were in the hospital doing your pre-admission, good grief.
I know emergencies happen, but I feel with everything you've been through, you should have been top priority today.
Cheryl, keep your positive thoughts. Do not listen to anyone, to include a doom and gloom doctor. I feel everyone that deals with a cancer patient should have a positive attitude, or they don't need to be taking care of them. You do NOT have an expiration date on you, no one does. Upbeat and positive attitudes have defeated many evil illnesses.
I'm sorry you have to wait until Jan 20, good grief, why so dang long? I don't care how busy he is, your appt was cancelled, not due to anything you've done. They should have rescheduled you for surgery this coming week. That would be the right thing to do.
Hang in there lady! Keep those positive thought flowing.

Hugs, Maryann

Bonnie said...

Cheryl - I'm so disappointed for you!! Dang!!! Sigh. Gosh darn it! I am so sorry, and hopefully the next 3 weeks will pass quickly for you. Keep the faith, it will all work out as it was intended!