Friday, May 15, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened...

Maybe it's not funny but could be a bit amusing if it wasn't true.
Perhaps this is just about one particular physician or maybe it's about a lot of them.
Either way it's a true story.
If it ends in a bad way it's a horrific story. I'm sure that many of these situations do end badly but we never hear of them.
Sorry, this is another blog about the cancer issue.
Anyhoo, a couple of years ago my mother asked me if I was having examinations for cancer considering the recent eruption of it within my immediate family.
I admitted that I had not thought about it but would look into it.
I also have to keep in mind that my father's older brother passed away several years ago of cancer.
Additionally, my father's uncle, my great-uncle has had a recent bout with the disease over the past couple of years.

Mom spoke to her doctor who advised that I should be having a colonoscopy done as soon possible.
I made an appointment with my family doctor, Dr. K. to talk about it.

For those reading this not familiar with the New Brunswick situation finding a family doctor is insanely difficult teetering on frickin impossible to get a family doctor here.
When we moved here from Ontario we were able to get in to Dr. K by default since my family here were his patients already.

So Dr. K. and I sat down to discuss this.
He was pretty casual and light about it. He made a joke about how weird it is that someone WANTS one of these things.
Ha freakin ha. Big laugh riot. He didn't think it was really necessary but would look into it.
Dr. K. said it would be at least a year before getting in. That's just the way it is here. Plus, he didn't consider me "high risk".
I guess he knows. He's the expert after all, right?

Mom was constantly asking me about this so I told her what Dr. K. had said.
She was not happy.
Hayley also started expressing her concerns about this.
At one point mom became so upset that I couldn't have an immediate test she wrote a letter to Dr. K. expressing her displeasure.
Nothing changed. Several months passed and I didn't receive an appointment date or even an acknowledgement that I wished to have one.
My understanding is that Dr. K. needed to send a reference letter to the other doctor requesting an appointment for the colonoscopy.
My mother's doctor felt so strongly for my need for this test that he also sent a personal letter to Dr. K. speaking of his concern.
Now I KNOW that Dr. K. had these letters.
A few times along the way I would be at his office for one reason or another and saw the letters.
I asked him repeatedly and was told the same thing each time.
That I would be contacted when an appointment was being made.
About a year or so later I called Dr. K's office and spoke to the lady at the front desk. I asked for the name and number of the doctor who would procedure. I called and was told that my situation was not considered a priority and I would be contacted "sometime".
I suppose when I was crawling in pain or a growth becomes clearly visible protruding from my body.

Mom tended to be somewhat emotional in her correspondence.
Hayley, on the other hand was very fact oriented and detailed the facts clearly when she decided to write a letter on my behalf.

No change, crickets chirping, all was quiet. No appointment forthcoming.

When mom was in the hospital she had me calling and looking for a private place that would do the colonoscopy. She was willing to pay herself for me to get it done.

As you know things got very busy and shaken up so I never did locate a private clinic to schedule anything.

Hayley left us.

When I was in the hospice with mom before she went to sleep she insisted one last time that I push and get this goddamn thing done!
I promised her that I would.

A couple of months ago I attended Dr. K's to talk about some stuff.
I said "Mom and Hayley are gone now. Can I get someone to take my colonoscopy request seriously now?"
I think the tone of my voice said what I wanted it to.
He opened the file and looked. "it's only been 8 months that you've been waiting. "
"Look at the YEAR on that letter!" I replied.
Oh, a year and 8 months. I'll follow up on this...
No kidding... Good call.

A couple of months ago I finally received a letter in the mail confirming my colonoscopy on May 29th at Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital.
I'm telling you, it most likely will not happen but if anything unusual is discovered that could have been dealt with a year ago, there WILL be hell to pay. And the hell will not only be mine.
It's certainly not something I am excited to have done but it will give a certain degree of peace of mind finally.
It would have eased a couple of other minds very much too if they were still here with us.

Funny how these things happen, isn't it?

Stay well,

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