I made an appointment to have my 4 pills per 24 hr period increased. This is for severe osteoarthritis. The Nurse Practioner whom my rheumatologist delegated me to had been responsible for my refills for over a year.This was until she literally "copped" an attitude. I had stated that I understood why a larger amount would be worrisome considering drug abuses these days. Moments later, as I was speaking to my husband, she says "I didn't state that you were drug seeking.." and continues in a most sarcastic manner as to liver damage concerns. Not wishing to engage in a matter that she knew nothing of, as not even a person I had a choice in seeing, I assured her I had recently underwent a surgery where my liver was just fine. She had the most snide look on her face, I'm surprised she didn't make a verbal insult.
As I left the clinic, I told my husband that I knew something would go wrong with my refill for the next month. He, being a doctor as well, told me I had nothing to be concerned of. He was sure it was nothing to be concerned of.
The week I spent in pain proved otherwise. After two pharmacies repeatedly faxing the clinic, my husband frantically calling for an answer and I leaving messages as well..over the course of ten days (beyond my month waiting period), there was no response. We even tried to have my original doctor call. Still, no response.
I finally decided to go to the clinic personally to speak to someone in "charge". At first I was told no one from the Drs. office was still there. I stated by legal counsel, I was to speak to a manager. The elderly woman who came out to see what I needed asked what happened. I explained my pain refill requests were being ignored. When I tried explaining that I was afraid this was going to happen because of the NP's attitude, she put her hand up and abruptly told me that the nurse had nothing to do with my refills. She said it was the Dr. I was absolutely shocked and embarassed that I was dismissed as if I was a child or an ignorant annoyance. Within minutes a broadly smiling young lady came out with a written prescription. She told me they "knew it was me", thus the ready prescription. When I asked which pharmacy had failed to fulfill the request (due to business travel, we contacted two), I received a slight shrug and a giggle and a firm "I don't know".
Once again, my husband was positive that now there would not be any more problems.
Once again, as I write this, I am left with the fear of the pain returning with no access to the medicine I need. This week's faxed request came back as "patient unknown".
Aside from the rest of my family, I pay several thousands of dollars for my own health insurance. I have never been late in paying a bill. I have always made appointments. I have never engaged in unpleasant or rude behaviour to any of the staff. To endure such rude and adolescent 'game playing' is more like a nightmare akin to a high school lunchroom than a so-called professional medical facility.
I will not explain the tears and difficulty I had in barely walking at my business, taking care of my young child. To understand there existed such inconsideration of a human being's quality of life brought more rage than sadness.
I have been left wondering why even the most simple code of ethics was blatantly ignored to ensure that I remained in pain. Was it because I am only in my 40s? Was it because I'm a minority? Were there many more patients who had been dealt this shabby and disgusting behaviour? The questions go on. The bitterness is even more sharp as I am an outspoken citizen against the upcoming healthcare laws which will see many practitioners suffer. It has taken all of what I have learned in decency to not thoroughly enjoy the thought of this batch of horrific "professionals" suffering themselves. I know this to be the wrong end of thought. However, in the days of feeling as if my feet are broken and pain coursing through my legs like broken shards of glass..the effort is unattainable. It is downright sad.
I do not know what will happen in the upcoming days. I don't know what further insults to my intelligence these souls have in store for me; what laughs or snickers they plan to enjoy in their wretched actions. I do know, however, this is undeniable infraction (at the least) of the patient advocacy nurses are supposed to adhere to. It also stomps in the face of treating a patient with respect and dignity;also mentioned in the ANA codes.
I realize this is not a common practice ( I hope) with most places, but to even risk such a situation happening to another without knowledge of this would be devastating. Several days in unrelenting pain may not mean anything to this crew of which I spoke, but to those who have loved ones they'd rather not see in agony, it would be very wise to rethink giving your hard earned money to another facility. VERY wise.