The Cure Is More Painful Than The Disease

| Working | February 8, 2016

(I have a condition which causes terrible pain for a couple weeks, and inevitably, lots of lost work and medical fees. The treatment is simple, but I can’t get it without a diagnosis, which can only be done with a test when I’m symptomatic. I figure that if I only have to go through one more terrible fortnight of vomiting, pain, hospital visits, and being near broke, it would be worth it to never go through it again. I call the doctor’s office.)

Me: “Hi, I’ve been calling about that test. Is is back yet? It’s spelt P-O-R-P-H-Y-R-”

Receptionist: “Uhhh, yep. Found it; it’s back. Would you like to book an appointment? We’ve got this morning available, at 11 am?””

Me: “Absolutely. I’ll take time off work. See you soon!”

(When I arrive at the office, my doctor tells me it’s not back after all, and tries to stretch out my fifteen minute slot. As I’m paying, I speak to the receptionist who I suspect made the mistake that morning.)

Receptionist: “That will be $88. Thank you. Swipe here.”

Me: *while swiping my card* “You know, I called this morning to check if a specific test result had returned. I certainly wouldn’t have wasted the time and money to cut a shift short to come in if I’d known it wasn’t. Can you please clear up the correct procedure with your staff members, so everyone knows what they’re doing, and this doesn’t happen again?”

(The receptionist doesn’t acknowledge anything I’m saying, and keeps her eyes trained on the computer.)

Receptionist: “…and now, swipe a savings card, please.”

Me: “Did you hear me? Are you going to speak with your team?”

Receptionist: *finally giving me a deadpan, unconcerned stare* “Sure. Next, please.”

(Later that day, I get a call from the pathology lab, after having been asked by my doctor why it’s taken so long.)

Pathologist: “So, uh, can you come in tomorrow morning to give us another sample?”

Me: “What? I can’t! I’m better now. The results will be normal. What happened to my test?”

Pathologist: “It was damaged by light. You know, you’re supposed to protect it from light.”

Me: “I KNOW! It was wrapped in foil at the lab where I gave it, right in front of me. I saw the guy put in fridge. Who the h*** unwrapped it, and left it in light?!”

Pathologist: “Yeah. I don’t know. You can come by tomorrow morning, or you can choose to take the test when you experience the symptoms again.”

Me: *devastated, begins crying* “What? Fine, I’ll come in tomorrow. Maybe there’s some chance they’ll still show the results I need.”

Pathologist: “Great. Each one is $80, by the way.”

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