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beth01

Finally Broke Down And Filed A Complaint

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I finally called and discussed my total lack of quality care with someone at the hospital and filed a complaint.

 

I had my labs drawn Monday and looked at my TSH on Monday afternoon and noticed it was elevated, over the normal range.   I called to ask about upping my dosage to 200 mcg from 150 and no one called me back. I was on the 200 but my TSH was 0.5 and they didn't want it that low.  I do a lot better hyper than hypo, so I asked to be bumped back up.  I have called multiple times all week and no one is calling me back.  I also had Walgreen's fax in a refill request 3 times this week for my depression meds and that also hasn't been addressed so now I am days without my meds which is not a good thing quitting those pills cold turkey.  When I called the other day and talked to a receptionist expressing my concerns about leaving a message since no one was returning my calls, the woman cut me off in midsentence and put me on hold.  After I talked to a patient advocate this morning and got her reassurance that my med refill would be addressed before the end of the day, a nurse called me to ask me what was going on.  I was explaining it to her and she cut me off and said " I really just need the name of the medication".  WTH?  I learned my doctor has been on vacation and that's why my concerns haven't been addressed. I guess he is the only one that works in that department, the other 18 doctors and residents are just for looks. I swear they have my file tagged with " let's see how we can fubar this woman".

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I'm sorry for the rude behavior. In my experience it usually takes 3-5 day for the pharmacy to get a hold of the Dr. and get a refill. Yes, some are much faster and yes there should be someone covering for the Dr. but it sounds well within the norm on the time.  As a patient there are things you need to do to be sure you get what you need as well as responsibility of the Dr. Again, sorry they were rude. That is not acceptable.

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I have never had to wait three to five days for a refill because it's supposed to be taken care of the same business day as long as it's received before 4, even says so on their voice mail message - " any prescription or health concerns will be addressed the same day as long as they are received before 4 pm, if this an emergency please dial 911".  I'm seen in a resident clinic so there is supposed to be someone to address these things if your primary isn't available. I also had my scripts transferred to another pharmacy last week, which the nurse that faxed my info faxed it to the wrong pharmacy, which is why my refill order was late - I didn't wait until I was out to get a refill.  That also took multiple phone calls.  I do what I need to do to get things done and take care of my responsibilities and I'm not sure if I should be offended, because to me it sounds like you're saying I haven't. Them being rude isn't the only unacceptable thing that happened.

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Ohhh I'd of been ticked about that also. They have Drs. to cover if a Dr. goes out of town. Thats just not right for them to cut you off like that. I tell you I'd sure let the Dr. know as soon as he got back ,thats for sure! So did you ever get your meds?? My goodness!!! 

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It sucks that the ones who need the most help get bungled the most.  Just a useful FYI, if you can deal with doing it, I am also in between synthroid dose ranges.  Too low with 88 mcg and too high with 100 mcg.  So my doctor has me taking them both, alternating days.  I use a 7 day pillbox and I have one cap with "first" written on it, so I know which to use first on the next week.  works well since I am right in the middle!

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My doctor did not want to up my synthroid but I was still hypo so I warned him that I would be upping it myself.  I started breaking my pills and taking more.  I warned him I would need more frequent prescriptions.  He went along with it until I finally found a better doctor.

 

I feel for you.  That is a tough spot to be in.  I hope it never happens again!  Good luck.

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Thanks you guys.  I finally did get my meds. I wouldn't be so upset but it seems like things like this keep happening.  They let me walk around with chronic appendicitis for almost five months and I had to force an ER doc to admit me two days before I had the surgery.  She was going to send me home.  It's like since we don't fit the "normal" way disease processes usually go, they dismiss everything and contribute it to Celiac.  In two trips to the ER that night they gave me over 4 liters of fluid and I didn't pee once, that's how dehydrated I was and they were still going to send me home.  The doctor was adamant that I was puking 20-30 times in one day because I got glutened, even though I told her I knew for a fact I hadn't.  Got to stop with that subject, no use getting all worked up today.

 

Laura and Nicole, They haven't addressed my med dose change so I am doing it on my own.  Alternating days is something I did up until my first normal TSH after diagnosis.  I think I am just going to tell them I want to go back to that just at a lower dose than I was before.  I am way more compliant with my meds now that my brain fog isn't so bad, that and my BF watches me like a hawk.

 

One a brighter note, I was at the GI this last week and my antibody levels are down to 8 and most of my vitamins have improved.  Not quite normal, but better.  I haven't managed to gluten myself in over a month, so that is good too.  I only lost two pounds so the weight loss is slowing, or I have just been eating way more.  Things are looking up.  The only bad things is I seem to be getting arthritis in my hips and knees and they are hurting awful bad. I have also kind of been overdoing it a lot lately, we are moving in a month and I have so much work to do on the new house first.

 

The whole thing that sucks about this doctor situation, is that I have no where else to go.  There are two large hospitals in the nearby town, but I have been to both of them. The other one I was a patient at for 26 years.  There are so many inaccuracies in my file it's ridiculous.  I was sent to an allergist that never even tested me for food allergies when I had symptoms of them.  I won't go back there.  I actually like my GP, he has always tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  If he is around, things get taken care of.  It's all the other people in that place that mess things up all the time.  I have been sent home twice with broken bones after an ER visit and they told me they weren't broken, to then get a call almost a week later when it was too late to set the bone.  I have a very crooked finger on my right hand and a weird shaped bone in my foot.  They both can't be fixed unless I want most of the bones in my finger and foot broken and then reconstructed. I looked at the x-rays of my finger when I went to see a hand surgeon and I could tell it was broken, there was a piece of bone chipped off.  LOL, I just noticed I am ranting again.  Might as well keep on.  When I was pregnant with my son, I had to go see an OBGYN since my GP couldn't perform my C-section.  The woman I saw says to me about ten minutes into my appointment " you really need to schedule non-stress tests every two days, because with the lack of amniotic fluid we believe your son is going to die". She then walked out of the room.  I sat there for a half hour waiting for her to come back.  She never did.  I then had to go out and schedule these appointments bawling my eyes out.  I ended up in the hospital two days later and was put on strict bed rest for two months, my blood pressure was sky high.  This same doctor started seeing me again a week before that two months were up.  I had to have daily ultrasounds because I was really low on the amniotic fluid.  The day my son was born, she comes into my room to do the US, finishes up and says to me" we are going to deliver your baby today but don't get your hopes up, he probably won't make it through the surgery".  My husband freaked and yelled at her to get the F!!! out of our room.  He was livid and I was hysterical.  That doctor didn't do my surgery that day and was terminated on the spot.  My son was born at 32 weeks and was only on oxygen for an hour.  He spent a month in the NICU, but is a perfectly healthy boy today.  I should also mention that my GP postponed his family vacation by a week to be there for my son's delivery and the to oversee his care for a week.  That is another reason why he is still my DR.  I have to stop or I could write a book.

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I have never had to wait three to five days for a refill because it's supposed to be taken care of the same business day as long as it's received before 4, even says so on their voice mail message - " any prescription or health concerns will be addressed the same day as long as they are received before 4 pm, if this an emergency please dial 911".  I'm seen in a resident clinic so there is supposed to be someone to address these things if your primary isn't available. I also had my scripts transferred to another pharmacy last week, which the nurse that faxed my info faxed it to the wrong pharmacy, which is why my refill order was late - I didn't wait until I was out to get a refill.  That also took multiple phone calls.  I do what I need to do to get things done and take care of my responsibilities and I'm not sure if I should be offended, because to me it sounds like you're saying I haven't. Them being rude isn't the only unacceptable thing that happened.

If you have never had to wait for 3-5 days for a Rx refill, consider yourself lucky and don't expect that to be the norm. Doctors offices are generally understaffed and now that a flood of people have been added to the insurance rolls, expect things to grind to an annoying halt in future. Also, if you call too much, they view you as a pain in the ass and will ignore your calls or push you to the bottom of the list. Not right, but these people are overworked and understaffed now, and are only human. The rudeness comes from all of the above and it's not right but will be the trend in future.

I have heard from many in the medical industry, including a lot from family members who work in that field and they are as exasperated as patients are. Doctors are notoriously cheap with hiring so most offices are just not staffed to handle the influx. I am old enough to remember when medical care was great in this country and now? Crowded, long waits for appointments and you are lucky to get a call back within 2 days from many offices. I always give them a full week because it isn't going to happen any sooner than that. Unless it is an emergency, it's the hurry up and wait thing. I'm sorry you had this experience but I don't see things getting better. The only thing you can do is look for another doctor and hope they aren't the same.

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The reason I haven't had to wait 3-5 business days for a refill is due to a written policy that any prescription or medical concern received before 4 p.m. is addressed that day, at least a phone call to the patient for reason as to why it hasn't been addressed. I don't expect it to be the norm anywhere else, but where I am seen. It's THEIR policy, something they have lead me to expect. I also don't have to wait very long for appointments because I am one of the few patients my doctor still takes appointments from.  He is the head of the resident clinic and has 18 residents working underneath him that he precepts.  I don't have a problem with my doctor, I have a problem with the support staff and they aren't going to change if I switch doctors, it's still in the same facility.  They can view me as a pain in the ass all they want, but if they aren't following written procedure and protocol, it's on them not me. It's something they can be written up for and potentially lose their job over. I shouldn't have to file a complaint to get someone to do their job, it's called standard of care.  Something you would expect to be of better quality being seen at what is supposedly one of the top rated medical organizations. I'm not seen in a small town hospital, but a branch of Mayo.  Beside, I highly doubt they are overworked if they can shut down their department from 11:45 to 1:15 to make sure everyone gets their lunch breaks.

 

I worked in health care for 16 years and understand what it's like to be understaffed and over worked. In the lab that I worked in on the p.m. shift, we did more work than the day shift with less than half as much staff, and not nearly as many errors.  If it was too busy to take breaks, we didn't take them.  I didn't push a patient to the bottom, or make up my mind on what work I wanted to do. That doesn't mean I dropped my work ethics, you have to adapt.  It's not like working in a fast food joint where if you screw up and someone didn't get their order correctly, people's lives are at stake. "oops. sorry O- patient, I am overworked and don't feel like addressing you so I will just give you A+ blood, good luck with that transfusion reaction."   

 

I was called by two nurses today.  The first called me to let me know that my TSH was high but my FT4 was normal so they weren't going to up my dosage.  I told her the exact same thing I relayed to a nurse last week, I don't want my TSH to hover around 5 even if my FT4 is normal, I want my dosage upped.  She then asked me about my refill which I explained to her was already taken care of.  They had no clue someone had already taken care of it.  She said she would send a message to my doctor and get back to me by the end of business today.  When my phone rang at 4:30, I was excited.  It's a nurse calling to inform me that my TSH was high but my FT4 is normal. ?????????????? I had someone already tell me that, did you call in my prescription for my dosage change? Nope.  There is no excuse for this no matter what, overworked or not.  I wonder how long it will take someone to call me back this time?

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I understand your complaints and agree with most of what you say but there is this thing called reality that always gets in the way.  Your work ethics have nothing to do with what everyone else does.  It isn't right and does not bode well for the future but that is what you are dealing with.  There is not much in the way of customer service or patient service today and I'm afraid it isn't going to get any better.  You may have to keep searching for a doctor and office which better suits your needs.

 

I have Hashi's and go to a private doctor.  This doctor does accept insurance but my visits to her office are not covered.  I pay cash and get stellar treatment and she also doses not just by labs but symptoms.  So, if I need to up or lower my dose, she is fine with that as I have been doing this for over 20 years.  It was the only way for me to find a doctor who would do so and not refuse me thyroid hormone when I was highly symptomatic. Thyroid specialists suck.  They hold you hostage over hormones you need and I won't go down that road again.  I do understand your b%$@#.......it is beyond frustrating.

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If anything ever happens to you again that happened with the appendicitis, and you are in serious pain (obviously, you were, I'm just saying for others who may have problems in the future) or for whatever reason you are in a hospital and they aren't treating you properly and you know something is wrong I have a very simple solution that has worked for both my Mother and I.

 

Start screaming. And I mean screaming. Have you ever wanted to vent all your earthly frustrations like when you were a baby? Do it. I waited over 3 years for a referral to a rheumatologist. My GP (at the time) wouldn't give me one, no walk-in clinic would nor would anyone at a hospital (and there were no new GP's around). Fastest referral I have ever gotten, and he actually figured out what was wrong with me (not the Celiac disease mind you, but sorting out the nerve pain condition was good enough).

 

If you are in trouble and no one is listening, then you have to be louder. You don't have to be rude but you do need to advocate for yourself. In Emergency, if you don't have a visible representation of how bad things are then you need to tell them. 

 

Fun Fact: 2 Hours in my Dad found the Emergency doctor asleep a few halls over, on a bench. 

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Well, it get's better. I received a phone call this morning from a nurse that explained to me that my doctor didn't want my dose changed. "while your TSH is elevated, your FT4 is normal and he doesn't want change your dose at this time. I LOST IT.  Now mind you, I was a lab tech for 16 years and have had a thyroid issue for almost 12, so I know what I want.  My TSH is 4.76 and my FT4 is 1.0, 4.2 being the upper limit for the TSH and 0.9 being the lower for the FT4.  Normal my ass, it's 0.2 from being low.  I asked the nurse why it wasn't important what the patient wants based on the way they feel?  She told me she couldn't say.  I asked to speak with someone of authority, and without even pausing, she told me know one was available. She did offer to get me an appointment with my doc, I asked "today"? She put me on hold after asking if I wanted her to call me back ( ha, like anyone else calls back), I told her no, I would wait.  I should add that I told her about my depression meds last week during all the yelling.  She came back to inform me that my doc could get me in of Friday and also informed me that the reason my refill was never addressed last week was because I haven't been on the pills since a few years ago and I would need to be seen to start them again.  OMFG?????  I, not very calmly, explained to her that I have been on the meds for the last three months. " According to your med list you aren't taking them".  I told her once again that I have been on the meds, I might sound crazy at the moment but that's because I went too long without the meds and my TSH is too high. She again tried to tell me that I wasn't written a script for them from their office.  Stated right in my notes from my appointment on June 11th " patient has resumed Wellbutrin within the last month and feels like they are helping", signed by my doctor himself.  I asked her if she knew how to read, might not be in my med list but it's listed as a new med prescribed in May and listed as meds taken in all my notes.  I guess it's my fault someone deleted the wrong med.  I asked her how I could get a new doctor and she says to me " so you don't want the appointment on Friday"?.  I hung up.  She called me back and offered to transfer me to a new department, they got me in today, saw a new doctor who is flabbergasted about them even lowering my dose two months ago and was rather upset that they refused to up my dose now.  I love her.  Switched my children to see her also and my son had a full Celiac panel drawn today, much to his dismay. I also called and filed another complaint.  I might have brain fog but I think I know what meds I am on.  On a side note, I went to the previous doctor's office to pick up my daughter's 504 ( that I was told would be signed today by noon" and it wasn't).  I told them not to bother, I would have the new doctor sign it. 

 

 

 

Breathe, I think I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

 

Gemini, I would love to see a private doctor, but being a single mother with two children and no job right now it would be impossible.  I do think I found a keeper this time.  Hope it stays that way.

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