Healthcare and Waiting in Line Don’t Mix

This week I had my own health scare. I will admit that though they were bogged down with a tremendous amount of paperwork, the ER that treated me last Sunday for my heart was quick to see me, closely monitored my situation, and as the cardiologist said in my follow-up appointment, could not have been more thorough in trying to diagnose what was wrong.

On the other hand, the cardiologist group that I was referred to was completely swamped with patients. When I called to set up my initial follow-up after leaving the hospital, with a recommendation to see them ASAP on monday morning,  the receptionist originally tried to book me an appointment for Thursday. She was apologetic claiming that’s all that was available. I put my foot down and said no way, I’m not waiting that long, feeling anxious and worried about myself. Her next answer was that I could just go back to the ER. Well as if that’s not more stressful, ultimately more costly, and wasteful if not necessary. I asked to speak to one of the nurses or doctors so I could address the paperwork I had stressing the need for me to be seen on Monday, all of a sudden, an appointment opened up!

Once in the care of my cardiologist he ordered more tests to be completed this week, as he kindly put it, for my piece of mind, as well as to protect himself in definitely ruling out everything bad. When I went to make the appointments, this time his staff tried to book me out two to three weeks! I looked at her and said, sorry that won’t work, the doctor said I need them this week. She was not unkind, but very stressed at the prospect, when I wouldn’t budge on it, she went back to see my doctor, and came back and told me okay, we will fit you in over the next two days.

Though I live in an area with quite a few hospitals near by, most medical groups attached to them by specialty are already over burdened. Thankfully, as taxed as I was feeling about my health, I was still able to politely but firmly advocate for what I needed.

I can not stress how important the piece of mind of knowing my actual prognosis. Though I still don’t have the Echo Sonogram results in, and am not happy about having to sweat it out over the weekend waiting, I can not fathom a healthcare system designed like Canada’s or the UK, where I would be in a horrid limbo state.  Without the same protocols initially run at the ER and with my stress level on the rise as I would have no choice but to wait for the next spot in the queue. It is hard enough with insurance, with a major metropolitan area near by, with choices.

In this same frame of reference, there was a great op-ed in the WSJ today by Sen. Ron Johnson, ObamaCare and Carey’s Heart. Worth reading, I empathize with his point of view as a parent, as share his frustrations logically as well.

***got my results! all is good!!!

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