Thursday, December 4, 2008

No...you still have to see OUR Doctors

Today I went to the hospital for my pre-admission/pre-assessment tests. As I may have mentioned, I have the pleasure of being scheduled for wisdom teeth extraction just a couple of days before Christmas. It's a drag, yes, but it was either a few days before Christmas or 1 day before school starts. I'll go with a few days before Christmas.

The entire appointment took about 2 hours. I did some blood tests, spoke to a nurse, and spoke to an anesthesiologist.

Everyone was really nice to me. The blood tech really liked my necklace and commented on it. She even called someone else over to come and look at it. She mentioned that she doesn't really pay attention to jewelery nor does she wear it very often, but she just had to comment on my pendant. It being my first meeting of the day, it definitely made me smile.


After getting my blood drawn, I went back to the waiting room. The second appointment would be the nurse. She was also very nice. She took my weight and my height. She also looked over all of my medications which I was required to bring in their original bottles. On November 27 I went to see my rheumatologist. At that time, I had him fill out this form that was given to me by the dental surgeon. It basically outlined the fact that I had Lupus, I'm on dialysis, medications I'm on, etc. I explained to Dr. Fortin that I'd be having this tooth extraction surgery. He reminded me to lay off the heparin prior to and after the extraction.

When the nurse went over my information and entered it into their computer, she asked me if I had seen the doctor here. I told her yes, I saw the doctor who'd be taking my wisdom teeth out, Dr. Slavkin. She said no, did I see any of THESE doctors, and she mentioned a couple of names. I said no. She said that I'd have to see one of these doctors to before the surgery. I asked why, since I was given a document for my own doctor to fill out. She mentioned that it was some sort of policy.

I was slightly irritated to say the least. Does that mean that I'll have to be here longer? No. It'd mean that I'd have to trek my butt back up here on another day before the surgery in order to be seen and "cleared for surgery" by one of these doctors. Why why WHY?? MY doctor who knows me, took my blood pressure, checked my eyes, checked my heart, checked my EVERYTHING answered all of the questions on the document and had no objections to me having this surgery. I was confused. Why did I subject my doctor to all of this writing and answering of questions if it meant nothing anyways?

It reminded me of my trip to Florida with my Dad around this time last year. I had to get all of this information and fax it to the dialysis clinic in Florida prior to being allowed to dialyze at the clinic. My nephrologist had to write a summary of my condition, how I was doing, bla bla bla. He said I was fit to travel and fit to dialyze. Fine.

Then, when I got there, I found out that it was mandatory for me to go and see THEIR nephrologist if I was going to be dialyzing in their clinic more than once. To make matters worse, I was only going to be in Florida for 7 days, 3 of those days would be spent dialyzing, and I had to go see this doctor on a day that I wouldn't even be in the clinic. So that's 4 out of 7 days essentially being wasted! When I got to the clinic and waited for about 45 minutes or so, I was called in, had my blood pressure taken by a nurse, then waited some more. The doctor came in, checked my ankles, checked my pulse, and sent me on my way. This meagre visit cost almost $200 bucks!! What a waste! Did they think that my doctor was LYING when he said everything with me was ok and when he wrote down my blood pressures for the past month?

Anyhow, back to this pre admission thing. The nurse called Dr. Slavkin's office and informed them that I hadn't seen one of their own doctors. After they hung up, the nurse told me that Dr. Slavkin's secretary would contact me. I said fine, as there was now no use arguing. Other than that, this nurse was really very sweet, encouraging, and spiritual. I appreicated her and that she was simply following what was a silly protocol.

After that, It was back to the waiting room. I appreciated the fact that all of these people I had to see were in the same place and I didn't have to venture all over the hospital.

The anesthesiologist called me. He asked me how I was and lead me into a room. He told me that this would be quick. I was happy to hear that as I was reaching the 2 hour mark.

When you meet new people in the medical field who know nothing about you, it's kind of funny seeing/hearing their reactions to the things you say. When I mention I have lupus, I'm on dialysis, I had a perforated sigmoid colon...the hums and haws and sighs that come out of them are priceless. He did say that he didn't have any worries about me and that he'd see me on the date of the surgery. Super!

A few hours after I got home, Dr. Slavkin's secretary called my house and informed me that my doctor's assessment was just fine and I didn't need another one. Thank GOODNESS!

I've had many a surgery in my life...why does the removal of my wisdom teeth make me SOO nervous???

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