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Unfiltered Story #235479

, , | Unfiltered | June 1, 2021

(I am having an operation in a city 3 hours away from my home, as I live in a very rural area. I am having it done by the only specialist in my disease in the state, but I have another very mild heart problem completely unrelated to this surgery. I am checking into the hospital the day before surgery and getting bloodwork done. I have had this same surgery done multiple times before, since I need it every six months or so; however, my specialist has moved to a brand new hospital.)

(I go to the receptionist at the new hospital for the first time.)

Me: Hello, my name is [My name], and I’m having surgery here tomorrow. I need to have my bloodwork done and check in with one of the nurses, but I’m not sure where to go. My appointment is at 14:00 with (Nurse).

Receptionist: (without looking up from her computer) Here’s a pager, go sit in the waiting room until someone calls you up to the window.

(I sit until I hear someone yell my name, although the pager never went off.)

Counter lady: Let me look you up in the system… Oh, wait, you’re (my name)?

Me: Yes, you just called me up here.

Counter lady: Didn’t you remember you were supposed to go see (Nurse) at 14:00?

Me: Um, yes, I asked reception to tell me where to find her, and they sent me here.

Counter lady: Well, you’re in the completely wrong place! Pay more attention next time! I’ll just call (Nurse) to come get you so you don’t get lost again. (Leads me back to waiting area and takes my pager.) How did you get one of these? Well, it doesn’t matter. OK, sweetie, all you have to do is sit in this chair and wait for (nurse). Do you think you can do that?

(Not a great start, but OK, I’ll wait.)

Nurse: (my name)? Hi, I’m (nurse). Don’t you remember talking to me over the phone? You were supposed to come see me as soon as you got to the hospital.

Me: I knew that. When I asked reception where to find you, they sent me to wait over there.

Nurse (sneering): Whatever you say, sweetie.

(We arrive in her closet of an office. I am the only person she’s scheduled to see today. She begins by taking my vitals: blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc.)

Nurse: Are you nervous, sweetie? Your heart rate is up a little.

Me: No, I just have (heart condition). Thankfully, mine is so mild I don’t have to take any medication for it.

Nurse: Well, you definitely aren’t having surgery tomorrow then, are you?

Me: Umm… yes, I am. I have had this same surgery multiple times in the past, so I know I can handle general anesthesia well. However, you could always get (doctor performing the surgery) to send you my cardiac clearance they have on file, or request the same thing from my cardiologist.

Nurse: Nothing in your file reflects you having past surgeries, so I can’t confirm that.

Me: Well, I actually brought a full copy of my medical records with me with pictures and written documentation of exactly what has been done on my previous surgeries, if you want to make a copy for your records.

Nurse: Sorry, I can’t confirm that’s accurate. I’ll have to call (doctor performing surgery)’s office.

(The doctor’s office confirms everything I’ve told her and offers to fax her cardiac clearance immediately. She tells them this won’t be acceptable because the hospital needs one directly from my cardiologist. She faxes a release form to my cardiologist.)

(Once she’s off the phone, she starts trying to continue through the yes or no questions [do you drink, do you smoke, etc.] as if nothing is going on)

Me: Sorry, but are you honestly saying after booking my hotels and getting everything ready for surgery tomorrow, I still might not be able to have it? I have worked with this anesthesiologist and surgeon in the past, and I know they can confirm my heart will be fine, since they both have cardiac clearances on file. I’m sure they would be content with a normal EKG in the morning, if you have trouble getting a hold of my cardiologist. But just so you know, this type of condition does NOT require cardiac clearance for surgery.

Nurse (backtracking): Well, I didn’t say you couldn’t have it. Just that we need cardiac clearance from your cardiologist dated in the last 6 months before we perform surgery. Until then, we’ll just pretend like you’re having surgery tomorrow, even if we don’t know for sure yet. Here’s the paperwork for you to get your bloodwork done. Just go down the hall, take the first left, and press the white button on the first door on the right.

(I leave her office, distressed. Coincidentally, I run into (doctor performing surgery) and tell him about (Nurse) who says I might not be having surgery tomorrow. He goes into her office and complains a bit, knowing my condition doesn’t require cardiac clearance, but she says anything less is absolutely unacceptable and he can’t perform surgery on me in this hospital unless they have it. He advises that I call my cardiologist just in case, because (Nurse) refuses to call, only communicating through fax. Thankfully, I have my cardiologist’s nurse’s number. I give her a call and let her know what’s going on. She says she’ll fax the stuff over ASAP. She mentions, as she does every time I go into their office, that my condition does NOT require cardiac clearance for general anesthesia or any type of surgery. I assure her that no one ever believes me.)

(The next day, every doctor and nurse there confirms that I don’t need cardiac clearance, and it was crazy for (Nurse) to put me under so much stress the day before surgery. My surgery went perfectly, by the way.)

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