The First Appointment

Another day, another frustration.  We get a call on Friday to be at the hospital for blood work and an appointment with the oncologist.  The appointment is set for Monday.  It’s Friday, be here Monday says the appointment booking clerk.  Monday?  Yes, Monday.  She says 8 a.m., I request 8:30 a.m.  It’s just too hard to get up, dressed, fed, and in the car for the half hour drive to the hospital.  She agrees to the 8:30 a.m. appointment and that’s that.

Well, today is Monday.  We went to the hospital for our appointment.  No one, I mean, no one was there.  The Cancer Care Clinic was locked up tight, everything was closed.  It is a civic holiday in Ontario and nobody is working.  I talk to the volunteer on the Front Desk, who takes me to Emerg to see if blood work may have been booked there, we go to the Lab to see if blood work has been booked there.  He’s a sweet man who has to deal with a very irate me.  The volunteer tells me that incorrect bookings happen all the time.  ALL THE TIME!  In some cases people travel much further than we have only to be turned away because the clerk mixed up the dates, or meant to cancel the appointment. 

My first observation is this, cancer gets a holiday?  So the civic holiday trumps the treatment of ill people.  I personally believe that with the money invested in cancer treatment and care, the Care Clinics should be required to run 7 days a week.  It’s just a prudent use of resources and investment.  My second observation is, where is the quality control?  This might have been a simple mistake, but when the volunteer on the desk tells me that this is a significant problem, then why isn’t it addressed?  My third and most important concern is, then when the heck is my husband actually scheduled for his appointment?  If it is Tuesday, then guess what, we are missing it through no fault of our own and may be deferred for an indefinite period of time because some individual was careless, or disinterested, or feels underpaid or just doesn’t care enough to get it right. 

My frustration level is high right now, because in the case of cancer, every second of every day counts.

Any thoughts or experiences to share? Leave them here.

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