This week started off well with my Orthopedic surgeon agreeing that it was time for a knee replacement. One of the things he required was a statement faxed to him from my Urologist and my Primary physician that I was okay for surgery. Makes total since because he doesn't treat me like they do on a regular basis.
My Urologists office was fantastic, they did the fax that day. My primary doctor office is where the week from hell starts.
I called my primary's office to talk to the nurse. You see I'd just seen my primary on Feb 14th and had blood work, in my mind I had a recent appointment in which I went over my meds, did the physical thing, etc so I should be good to go. Well my primary was out of the office till the 21st of the month. I asked the nurse if another doc could review her notes and my blood work from that Feb appointment and sign off. The nurse called me back to say that the other doc's in the office were not comfortable with that and I'd have to schedule an appointment with a "mid-level" - meaning a PA in the office. I was not really happy about that, but sometimes you have to play the game to get what you need. So on Wednesday afternoon we drove up to Spokane (2.5 hour drive), to see this PA and get it taken care of. When her assistant took me back to a room, she said so you are here for a pre-op, I said no, I believe my surgeon will do the pre-op, I'm here for you to look at me, look at my primary's notes, recent blood work and agree I'm healthy enough for surgery. Nope, they insisted I was there for a pre-op and they'd be doing an EKG. At this point I started to get a bit spun up. That is not what the Ortho was asking from them. So there I am, very tense at this point, and the assistants come in with an EKG machine. There were two assistants, I don't believe they were even nurses, they hooked me up and not uniformly and did this EKG. Neither of the 2 assistants impressed me as knowing what they were doing, nor did they look clean and professional. Then the PA - Mary came in and goes over all the things I reviewed with my primary in Feb like she hadn't read the notes or anything, that got me more frustrated. Then she tells me that my EKG had issues and she'd have to talk to a cardiologist and have him review it and get back to me, so until then there would be no clearance for surgery. Now I've had many EKGs thanks to cancer surgeries, so I know that I've never had a problem and I know that they didn't do it correctly, but I kept my mouth shut trying to be polite and see what the other doctor had to say. In the meantime during this visit, she asked me why I came up to Spokane for my primary doctor rather than staying at home. I've been seeing my primary for a few years now and quite honestly that was none of her business and I thought it was intrusive. I remained polite and explained why and then she said to me - well then do you trust this surgeon in your area for the knee replacement. Well that almost set me off - of course I trust him, I wouldn't hesitate to go out of town if I didn't trust him, he's a very good surgeon. I was so pissed off I couldn't wait to get out of that room cuz I knew one more question and I just may blow up and I really try to be polite. I then had to go downstairs to the lab to get non-fasting blood work (remember I had blood work in mid-Feb). I get to the lab, they come out and say - have you been fasting, I said no, she said that it was supposed to be non-fasting blood work. Well she'd sent the order down incorrectly so I had to wait for her to send the right order so they could do the blood draw. I am normally very patient and understanding with medical staff, they have a busy patient load and they have rules and regs they have to follow and I don't want to make their job any harder, but this PA is someone I never want to see again, I just don't like her at all!!
So all that was on Wednesday. On Thursday I got a call from her telling me that the cardiologist has reviewed my EKG and I most definitely need a stress test (with a bad knee - really?). I told her no, I wanted a 2nd EKG because I didn't feel her assistants did it correctly. I could tell that she was not pleased that I was questioning her and her staff. She said if that's what I wanted then I could have the surgeon contact the hospital where I was having my knee done and have him order it. I said to her - will you then send him something to proceed with surgery, she said no, you need a stress test. So I said then you will need to order the 2nd EKG, you are the one who needs it, not the surgeon. Then she had the nerve to ask me for the fax number for the hospital, I said I don't have that, I don't fax them, then she said do you have their phone number, again I said no, don't you have a database with that information (cuz usually they can access it very easily from my experience). She said she didn't have it, I said okay if you can hang on for a second I'll look it up on internet, then she decided she could get the info faster than me, give her 20 minutes and go get the EKG. She was testy and so was I at that point. But I felt an expensive stress test would be a waste of time and money - and guess what, I was right. I went to the hospital and got that 2nd EKG, and you know what, I was perfectly normal, there wasn't a thing wrong with my EKG!!
So after all that, I needed to de-stress and have some fun. My friend Kelly and I went to Portland for the day and went fabric shopping - stay tuned I'll share pictures of my bounty tomorrow. While in Portland, surprise, surprise, I got a call from the PA that my EKG was fine and she'd be sending a letter to my knee surgeon that I was cleared for surgery. She said all those EKG machines are different so who knows what happened on Wednesday, hmmm I know, incompetent staff for starters.
So I'm now cleared for knee replacement, I should hear in couple of days what my surgery date is. Friday was a gorgeous day in Portland, sunny and warm and the fabric shopping was divine. It was a wonderful way to forget about all the medical B.S. that had me seeing red.
So I hope your week wasn't as stressful as mine.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,