Over the last few months, I have lost some mobility in my right ankle, and I can’t move it around and around like I can the left one. Just a little to the right, a little to the left, and up and down as in point and flex, and the “flex” part hurts like hell. When I saw the doctor a few weeks ago, he didn’t seem too worried, thinking it is just part of the M.S., but if I wanted to get an ENG (nerve test) or an x-ray, they would schedule it for me. I told him that I wanted to wait and see. So, for the next two weeks, I soaked my foot in Epsom Salts, wore a light elastic brace at night, and sat with my foot up on a pillow whenever possible. All of the pampering hasn’t helped, and my foot is way worse. Last Saturday (and again yesterday) my ankle swelled up like a balloon, and if you touch my ankle on the inside of the foot it screams in terror.
I called the doctor’s office (Monday) to request an order for an x-ray, and the doctor called in a request for an MRI. It took the insurance exactly 3 hours to deny the MRI with the understanding that if an x-ray is inconclusive, then they will definitely pay for an MRI. I called the doctor’s office to tell them, and it took them 4 days to get back to me with an order for an x-ray. They are usually so responsive that I’m having a hard time figuring out why this took so long. They phoned in the order on Friday to a radiology office that’s on my insurance plan, and just happens to have an office 5 minutes from my home.
Not too frustrating yet, right? Well, here goes:
Friday @ 10:00 am: I called the radiology practice to see if the doctor had phoned in or faxed the order for my x-ray. They had no record of it yet.
Friday @ 2:00pm: I called the radiology practice again, and they said that it had been faxed in and that I could go to any of their offices for an x-ray.
Me: So, I can go to any of your offices? What about the one near my house?
Scheduler: Yes. Any of the offices. The one by your house is closed on Saturdays, but you can go to the main office, but you’ll need an appointment.
Me: Ok. So, the office by me does x-rays as a walk-in, but not on Saturdays because they are closed. The main office does x-rays but you need an appointment on Saturdays?
I stopped by the nearby office on the way to work Friday, and was told that they ARE open on Saturday, but they can’t do x-rays on a Saturday, and that I don’t need an appointment anytime for an x-ray. Oh, and by the way, we’re too buy right now, so come back on Saturday. But, wait a minute, you can’t come here on Saturday for an x-ray, so you’ll have to go to main office, but you will need an appointment.
Me: Can you call and make me an appointment for Saturday then?
Lady at desk: We don’t do x-rays on Saturdays.
Me: I KNOW. You just said that. Can you make me an appointment at the main office for Saturday (tomorrow) morning then?
Lady at desk: Sure. Hold on.
Lady at desk: Ok. You can go to the main office tomorrow (Saturday) as a walk-in as they don’t take appointments for x-rays.
Me: But you just said that I needed an appointment.
Lady at desk: I know. That’s what I was told last time, but they must have changed it so you can definitely go tomorrow to the main office and get your x-ray.
Me: Will they have the doctor’s order?
Lady at desk: Yes. The main office will have it in the “system” since your doctor phoned it in.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here? I went off to work on Friday, got up early on Saturday morning, and drove 35 minutes to get to the “main office” to have my x-ray done.
Upon arrival at the main office:
Main Office Desk Lady: Yes, sure we can get you right in for an x-ray, let me just check the fax orders. Hmmmm. What’s your name again? Hey Other Main Office Desk Lady, can you check and see if you can find her name in the computer? What’s your name again? Spell that for me, will you? Are you sure your doctor faxed in the order? Here she is in the computer it says “PO” which means phone order, but how come we don’t have a fax? and she turns to me and says,
Main Office Desk Lady (MODL): Exactly where did your doctor fax the order to?
Me: To the number that your main switchboard gave me.
MODL: Well, what number was that? the scheduling office? if so, they’re closed on Saturdays and we won’t be able to get a look at your order until Monday, so you’ll have to come back then.
Me: Are you freaking serious? I spoke to your office yesterday, and at the office by my house, and they said I “was in the system” and that I could come here without an appointment and get my x-ray today.
MODL: Who did you speak with? Who told you that?
Me: The woman at the office near my house, called here and spoke with Dee Dee and she said I could come in first thing on Saturday for my x-ray without any problems.
MODL: I’m Dee Dee.
I just want to add, that my mother said she was very proud of me for not losing my temper and screaming at these people. And, she might not be to proud of me on Monday after I go to the office by my house, first thing in the a.m. without an appointment. Just saying … things might get a little loud.