Thursday, December 22, 2005

You're Fired!

The comments from my last post affirmed my instincts, which was super. That advice about staying with your gut apparently translates to more than success on multiple choice exams. I thought I should try and call Dr. BusyBusyBusy to press for more answers than I got from the nice, but vague nurses. So that's what I did yesterday morning. The twelve year old who works in reception answered the phone and she has already forgotten who I am. I used to be able to just call and say, "Hi! It's Katie!" and they'd be gushing and asking what they could do for me. This morning I got, "Are you already a patient of Dr. BusyBusyBusy's?" Um. Yes. I brought you cookies. And cake. Damn it. To be fair, it's quite possible she's a new twelve year old, and the Libra in me likes to try and be fair. In any case, I said I wanted to either talk to or leave a message for Dr. BBB. I told her my story, in brief.

"So, you want to talk to a nurse?" she said.

"No, dearie. I want to talk to the doctor."

This is what she told me: "The doctor doesn't really take messages from patients." What? Excuse me? I gripped the phone tighter. The doctor doesn't take messages from patients? What kind of clinic am I going to? What kind of doctor does not take messages from his patients? He's always saying to us, "Just call me if you have any questions or concerns" in his darling little accent. Does his reception team know that he says this? Is there a password I need to get to his voicemail? Open Sesame! Skinamarink! Hm. No. She asked me to hold when I insisted I wanted the doctor. I held for a long time. This is a trend in my life lately.

When she came back on the line she reiterated the fact that the doctor does not take messages or calls, and that questions or concerns go through the nurses. I interrupted. "Listen. I know Dr. BusyBusyBusy is a busy man, but the thing is, I am coming to this practice to see him, not the nurses even though I think they're lovely and knowledgeable. Ultimately, it is the doctor I am seeing, not the nurses. It's absolutely unacceptable to me to not be able to talk to my doctor, and I even think it's unprofessional. I want to talk with Dr. BBB, so as much as I can appreciate you are telling me what you've been told to say, you're going to have to figure out a way to get a message to him."

And then she agreed she'd try and get a message to him. But she told me about fifty times how busy he was, and how he had a full clinic and she couldn't say he'd call me back because he was so busy. Busy, busy, busy. Yes, I get the idea. He's busy. But I knew that already.

I honestly wondered if he'd call back, but oh, ye of little faith! He called me himself at four in the afternoon. (Is his busy day really over at four? I could have a busy day like that. My busy day at the office went until 8:00 pm.) I told him our story. "So, even if we were supposed to take the depot Lupron shot on the 28th, it appears it wouldn't work since we'll be starting stims the week we are gone at the builder show."

"Yes," he agreed, "that's correct. You are right, of course." (He always talks this way, making me feel like an expert.)

"But when I talked to the nurse, -- wait, by the way, part of this problem I am telling you about comes from the fact that our nurse isn't there anymore. We feel like we've slipped through the cracks a little and that the other nurses don't really know our story. What happened to our nurse?"

"She's no longer with us," the doc intoned. "It is a long story I will tell you sometime."

"Well, it's really none of our business--"

"It's okay. I will tell you. She was fired."

Silence. She was FIRED? Every atom in my gossipy being wanted to know why why why? I had to stop myself from going into girlfriend mode which would have sounded like this: "She was FIRED? Oh my GOD!! You are kidding me!? Why? What happened? What did she do? Oh my GO-OD! I can't believe she was fired! Shut up! But now tell me WHY?" This is not what I did, instead I fought off my internal gossip monger and tried to be professional Katie, the knowledgeable, but fun-loving patient:

"Oh. Okay. Fired. [Silence-- get down gossip monger, down!! Now, HEEL. Good girl.] Well-- back to my point, if we just extend the pill pack we can have the Lupron shot on the 4th of January, and that way when we are gone we'll just have the last light period and be ready to stim on our return, depending on when the procedure week is." But of course all the while I was bursting with the news our nurse was fired and I was giving the piercing eye look to Partner who sitting across the room from me. You know that look-- the one that says 'I-have-huge-news-but-I-can't-say-anything' look? That one.

Anyhow, the decision was reached that we'll do exactly what I proposed and he'll tell the nurses, but I should call them and ask for the calendar and etc. (And thank you all again for encouraging me in this proactive fashion) So this morning I did ring the nurses and left a garbled message. It felt quite awkward because really what I did was go right over their heads to the big guy in order to get my way. I don't necessarily feel like this will get us off on the right foot with our new nurses, but nonetheless, I'm still happy we're not canceled. Just delayed. Delayed is much better than canceled.

...But still-- fired-- I'm dying to know why.


Blogger Pamplemousse said...

The nurses will get over it!! Yay for you being all masterful and assertive and a Libran to boot. This Libran struggles with that on the phone!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Trista said...

Congratulations! I would like to say that it was the burning somewhere in his nether-regions from my voodoo doll that prompted his call back to you... but no! this is about you and your determination! You are going to make a brilliant mother who will never, ever let the system screw her kid around. excellent job!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Emilin said...

She's not even my nurse--it's not even my clinic!--and I'm dying to know.

Yay for delayed-not-canceled!

12:02 PM  
Anonymous CJ said...

That is absolute bullshit about doctors not calling patients. My internal medicine doctor calls me himself - ALL THE TIME. There is NEVER a nurse who calls. I may call and leave a message but its the DOCTOR who calls me back. I'm glad your doc did call you... :D There is hope.

Glad to hear that your getting the cycle started and going for it again.
Thinking of you!

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I soon as my eyes saw the word fired I immediately though, "OMG! Why?" My inner gossip monger is strong.

I'm glad you can still get on with this cycle. And for God's sake, find out why she was fired!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Fantastic news!! Not that your nurse was fired....but that you get to move forward with this cycle!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

Oh, SO nice that you can delay just a week instead of a whole month. Good for you for calling, and being insistent. Squeaky wheels and all!

5:37 PM  
Anonymous MFA Mama said...

Good for you! If there's one thing recent experience has taught me, it's that doctors and nurses do not always communicate, you can't always trust what you hear, and if you don't like what you hear and make enough noise, you often get results. I wish I'd learned this BEFORE I became a mom. You're going to be an awesome parent, and I can't wait to celebrate some good Wannabemom news in 2006!

6:21 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Oh, I know, I know! She was fired for giving the doctor, with whom she had previously been involved, oral sex, and then switching his semen with another patient's sample. Then the wife's eggs were fertilized with the doctor's semen. She did this to get back at the doctor for dumping her.

What, I'm the only one who watched the pilot for "Inconceivable"?

Nevermind, then.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Career Guy said...

At first I thought you were fired, then I thought you were going to fire the doctor, now it turns out the nurse did it.Or something. I've got my doctor's cell, home and pager numbers and I can use them whenever I need to, though I don't abuse it.
I agree--you are going to be a super mom with instincts like that.
Merry Christmas, Katie!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy holidays!

I hope the new year brings many blessings for you.

Love, Sassy.

P.S. Dr Busy better tell you the whole story.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous mamacate said...

Good for you. You might get the faintest hint of 'tude the very first time you speak with the first nurse you spoke to. But I doubt it. They'll totally respect you for getting through to him, and they'll appreciate, you know, actually having the information they need to do their jobs.

I had a doc like that that didn't take calls. Then I had a doc who gave me his email address and always responded within a few hours, sometimes initiating email contact, called me back right away, and kept in touch after the babes were born. Big, huge, academic-hospital, described-on-the-internet-more-often-than-not-using-the-word-cattle clinic, but nice doc. I'm just glad he called you back. Because otherwise I was wondering if you might have meant HE got fired. ;)

12:14 AM  

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