Ride the piggy! (dr4win9f00l) wrote in bad_service,
Ride the piggy!

Oh hey, is it terrible medical experiences week?

...because we should have a parade or something. Maybe cake and balloons.

My mother is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, and everyone's been wonderful and helpful...

...except for her oncologist, who is more than making up for our great experiences everywhere else.

When we first went to her office to meet her, we were both impressed by how knowledgeable and professional she seemed. She had handouts on everything, described everything in depth, answered all our questions and was friendly and courteous. Mom picked her treatment plan, and all seemed well.

Fast forward a few weeks, after Mom started chemo- it's apparently fairly common to have mouth sores during treatment, and she was having some real difficulty eating and drinking from the pain. She called up this doctor's office early on Friday, wanting some kind of help before the weekend happened, since there would be no-one to help her then. She left a message, and waited for a while.

Afternoon comes, and she's heard nothing. She calls up again, and gets one of the receptionists who seems to have an attitude problem, and snaps that they have 24 to 48 hours to respond. Mom hadn't ever been told this, and the woman's attitude was pretty terrible. She winds up going to the cancer center (a different office than this oncologist) and gets a mouth treatment without ever hearing back from the oncologist. As a note, the oncologist was the one who told us to call her in case of any problems like this, so it's not like it's something they don't handle.

All seems to go well for a while, though our opinion of this office has kind of soured a bit. Then Mom has to go back to work- still on chemo- in order to keep our health insurance. All this doctor needs to do is sign one letter saying that she's okay to go to work. We give it to her, and hear nothing back.

Apparently, neither does Mom's workplace- and her short-term disability is running out. We call. And call. And call. And find out that instead of taking 30 seconds to sign the letter and hand it off to a secretary to fax in, she skipped out early and went on vacation for a week, leaving us in the lurch and praying that Mom's company will turn a blind eye to her missing out on a few days, instead of cutting us from their insurance and halving Mom's paychecks.

Thankfully, all goes well with work, they are understanding and sympathetic(which, actually, is a huge deviation from the norm). And now neither of us particularly want anything to do with this doctor again, but appointments have been made and Mom didn't want to rock the boat too much.


A couple of weeks ago, Mom started in on the second chemo drug she's going to be taking, which has different side effects. She talks to the oncologist, who tells her to continue to take a pill she'd been taking through the last drug, and doesn't mention anything about the shot she usually receives afterward. Mom asks about it, and the doctor says it's not necessary.

Turns out this doctor is completely full of it, because the pill she told her to keep taking is a steroid that's doing absolutely nothing useful (according to Mom's NEW oncologist), and the shot was to keep her from getting an infection in her chemo port.

Which- guess what- she's developed! Fever, rash, tender area around her port, everything! How incredibly lovely!

So basically on top of that we recently found out that the terrible!oncologist is leaving(has been asked to leave? we don't know but we wouldn't be surprised) and Mom's got someone new, who so far hasn't screwed up yet, so at least he's got that going for him.

Basic gist: Mom's oncologist has grouchy staff, goes on vacation without filling out forms which nearly results in us losing our health insurance, then screws up medications to the point where Mom now has a lovely infection due to her immune system not being up to snuff. Then leaves. Finally.
Tags: *medical/pharmacy, bedside manners, first do no harm?
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