Friday, I was supposed to have an appointment with a new oncologist. The insurance, without my consent, chose my doctor and told my primary doctor to have me call for an appointment.
I did and told them I don’t see male doctors (which of course, that’s who they selected because they can ignore my preference; by law). I let the office know I needed a female oncologist.
After the new patient coordinator made a condescending remark about, “I should be able to understand her”, the appointment was booked. I updated my phone number so they could call my cell phone if they needed to reach me.
Five minutes before I was to leave work for the appointment, a 45-minute drive from my job, I received an email cancelling the appointment. They called the home number as my cell number was never updated (sigh + eye roll + not surprised). They told me the staff wasn’t aware of the special conditions of my appointment.
After I called them unprofessional for pulling this stunt at the last minute, the Office Coordinator was nice enough to put in writing some clarification points. Apparently, only one doctor agreed to see me. It’s common practice all doctors in an office will see a patient and are backup to the primary oncologist. Not in this case. It would seem because of my ‘history’ only one doctor would agree to see me.
My ‘history’ turns out to be one of non-compliance. I didn’t let that one go. I am not non-compliant; it doesn’t exist. What exists is a patient’s right to choose his/her treatment. I have not completed several tests ordered because the doctor left out crucial information that negated my right to informed consent.
I couldn’t complete the CT scan that had been ordered because the facility, that is able to start an IV and add a contrast dye was unable (more like unwilling) to numb the arm before the IV was inserted. It takes anywhere from two to four attempts to start an IV in either of my arms. I will not be a pincushion because it’s easier for them not to inject an additional needle in my arm.
I still have no care. I requested yet another oncologist to see me. Now, I have to wait an additional 7 to 10 days for that approval to be reviewed. Then I have to see if the oncologist I chose (an hour away and a bridge toll) will see me.
Patient care, especially with a life-threatening disease, should be taken seriously and doctors should only receive the patients file with diagnosis and current treatment. All other matters are completely subjective. This subjective documentation has cause a lapse in care.
If you have a moment, please click HERE, sign my petition and share it. So many people are affected by cancer and we need to stop the health care industry from villainizing patients for choosing that best suits them.