umbluemusic (umbluemusic) wrote in bad_service,

I don't know why it is so hard to find a good endocrinologist office in this town. I mean, seriously. I find perfectly capable doctors, but the offices are all dysfunctional.

I have been going to the Falk Clinic based out of UPMC Presbyterian since June of 2009. It was recommended to me by a friend, because she had a really good doctor, Dr. B. Fine, great, I'll switch. I went to my appointment, and other than the fact I had to wait for awhile to get things done and she made me see the nutritionist and diabetes educator (who actually said that she wasn't sure why she was talking to me, since I probably new enough about it to be one myself) I left with an appointment for three months later with the same doctor. No big deal. I also schedule an appointment to get an ultrasound on my thyroid, and a couple follow up visits with the nutritionist.

Except I then get a phone call that my doctor has left the practice, and I need to schedule a new appointment with someone else. So I call, and of appointment date is now pushed back from the end of September to the end of November, because it is impossible to get an appointment within a month at this place. I have enough of my prescriptions that it won't really mess me up, so I agree instead of opting to call and ask the appointment scheduling line to receive a cancellation spot everyday, because I mean, really...who wants to do that. Obsessively call and then have to run down to the clinic for a same day appointment? Not my favorite idea.

So I meet with my new endocrinologist, Dr. K, and things go well. I really like her, I make an appointment for March, I get my prescriptions written out and submitted, and things are fine. March rolls around, and I show up at my appointment at 10:45am, because I had written down 11:00 am in my phone as my appointment time...only I find out that apparently, my appointment was at 10:00 am.

Well, shit. Obviously, this is my mistake, and I'm incredibly apologetic. The receptionist calls back to see if my doctor is still there and can squeeze me in anyway...and my doctor is gone. Has left the building for the day, and will not be coming back. Great. She tells me to call the scheduling line to get a new appointment, so I go outside and do that and lo and behold - I can't get an appointment until June. Surprise! He says he isn't sure why she didn't look to see if any cancellations had occurred that she could fit me into, but he says he'll forward me to a number where I can leave my name and doctor and they'll work me into the schedule in less than 3 months. So I leave my message, I go home, and I still have enough medicine refills that it isn't a huge deal.

Another mistake on my part - I wait for them to call me, and I subsequently forget about it due to the fact that I was dealing with personal issues/breakups/horrible jobs at the same time. But by the middle of June, I have realized that - oh shit! I still don't have an appointment, I just picked up my last insulin refill, and I need that to live. So I call at 12:30 pm, I schedule the next available appointment for September 12th, and I ask to have a prescription refilled. I also find out that Dr. K has left as of June 30th, so I will have to meet with a new doctor. The scheduler says that isn't a problem, she takes my medication information and everything and says it will be called in within 3 business days. Great! Thanks!

At 4:30, I hear my cell phone ring and I miss a phone call. I run over to check the voicemail, and guess what? It is someone else from the Falk Clinic (an endocrine nurse, I think) who said that since I hadn't seen anyone since June when I saw Dr. B, I couldn't get a refill. She said to call and try to get my appointment moved up so I wouldn't run out of medication. Oh, really? Its just that easy? And the kicker was that I had seen a doctor in November, Dr. K. I instantly call back at 4:32pm, and oh, guess what? Their office has closed for the day! I can leave a message! So I do, and I give the exact date I met with Dr. K.

Next morning - I receive a phone call from a nurse again, and oh! They found the paperwork that said I had seen Dr. K. I'm not sure how it wasn't in my electronic file to begin with, but whatever. She gets my prescription information, and says she will call it in. She says it could take up to three days to process it, which is fine. I have enough insulin for three days, not a problem. With my work schedule, I don't make it to the pharmacy until a complete week has passed, and when I get to my pharmacy, there is no record of any prescription being called in, faxed, nothing. I asked if it had been sent to another location of their pharmacy, because I used to fill my prescriptions there, and they said it hadn't because it still would have shown up in their system as being filled at the other location. Of course, all this happens after 4:30 since I have a job, so I called and left a voicemail on the Falk Clinic's line. The next morning, I call when the clinic opens at 8:00 am and I leave a message on the prescription refill line, and I wait about a half an hour. No call. So I call to speak to the medical secretary, because once again - I need to go to work and I basically only have an hour and a half in the morning where I can handle this stuff with them. She said their records show the prescription had been electronically submitted already, but she'd get a nurse. I hold, I talk to a nurse. Apparently they submitted it to "Giant Eagle-NR" instead of "Giant Eagle-MT", although in the system she said they show up as the same pharmacy, but they had different phone numbers I guess? I don't know, I had told them on every prior phone message/interaction that my pharmacy was in MT, so I'm not sure why they chose the NR number to call.

Anyway, lather, rinse, repeat. Now I'm dealing again with the pharmacy saying they never received it, she is calling AGAIN even though I offered to come get it, and oh. I'm down to my last bit of insulin because this has been drawn out now for almost a month and I'm using insulin from 2003 now. It was a brand new bottle that had been chilling in our fridge for 8 years, but still. This is pre-second-term GWBush insulin.

So here is hoping I finally get my prescription today. My pharmacy opens in 10 minutes, I'm supposed to be at work in an hour and ten minutes, but whatever. I called and let my manager know that I'm not making it in without some damn humalog.
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