The four months leading up to the doctor’s diagnosis of cancer, my life revolved around pain. At fist I thought I had strained some muscles in my back from playing drums, working out or chasing and lifting my sweet and active Grandson, Hudson. As the months passed the pain became unbearable. and nothing could stop it, not even narcotic pain medication. I made it to work out of sheer will. I sought relief from doctors, yoga, a physical therapist, chiropractor, tens machine and a shiatsu massage pillow. No one cared about helping me find the cause. I was losing hope. My life had been reduced to finding the next fix.
The breaking point happened on a rainy Monday morning. I showed up at my doctor’s office without a formal appointment. I told the receptionist he had given me verbal permission to come in if the new medicine he had me try did not work. The receptionist understood and called my Doctors personal assistant. I felt relieved knowing help was on the way. Relief turned into panic when I saw my Dr’s assistant puckered up face, she was not glad to see me. I tried to explain to her what I needed, and she became condescending. She told me “I had been given prescriptions for pain and there was nothing else they could do for me, except follow my Dr’s instructions and go to physical therapy.”I gripped the reception countertop…tears streamed down my cheeks. I fell to the floor, and my 78-year-old mother reached down to help me. Between tear drops and heaves I yelled at the assistant. “I went to physical Therapy” and the Doctors assistant replied. “One physical therapy appointment does not qualify.” My mother,disgusted, demanded that someone bring me a wheel chair.” Help arrived. They poured my twisted body into the chair. I gave up the fight while a nurse, whom I had never met, wheeled me down a hallway to an empty examination room. My Mother never left my side.
I knew I was not going to leave my doctor’s office without the test I needed, an MRI. So far, the insurance company had refused to approve the test. I had reached the point where I could not go on. Something was seriously wrong with me despite what the doctors thought. Mom and I were at our wit’s end. Never had we been treated in such a unprofessional manner, and the Doctors assistant was giving me medical advice? That is a serious breach of ethics.
I had completely lost my sense of humor. I was done being Mrs. nice gal. My girlfriend had told me about her husband receiving the same type of treatment at his doctor’s office, and the only way they would listen to him was to throw a temper tantrum.
I had an idea. I turned to my mother. “Plan B.” My mother took out her cell phone. understand, my Mother and I believe you get more with honey than vinegar. She raised me and my sister to act as ladies at all times; unfortunately, being nice and ladylike was getting us no where. I could die waiting for my doctor to do his job. I stood up and like the character “Honey Bunny” from Quinton Tarantino’s movie Pulp Fiction, I yelled. “If any of you urgent care patients expect to receive good medical treatment here. I warn you… these doctors don’t know what the heck they are doing… and I’m calling an ambulance.” My mother chimes in ” I’am calling a lawyer.” My Doctors assistant came running over “The Doctor will see you now.”
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