• The Frustration of Medical Mishaps.

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on June 27, 2018 at 4:53 am

    I guess I am having a frustrating week because I posted yesterday about things people say that frustrate me as a patient living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This post is about the frustrations of what people do and their medical mishaps; three of which happened to me today. It is likely that I am feeling frustrated a little easier right now as a result of exhaustion due to having a medical appointment every single day this week.

    I try to be as compliant as I can as the patient: attending every appointment, armed with my questions and a pad of paper to write down physician instructions, answers or medication adjustments. I proactively call ahead if I am going to be late, or need to re-schedule an appointment and despite long wait-times, I try to be as respectful as possible to the staff who are doing their best to keep everyone on schedule. It is my hope that by doing things these and being a “good” patient, that karma will work in my favour and I can avoid jumping through the many different hoops of the medical system. It did not work in my favour today.

    In a five hour timeframe today:

    • An appointment I was scheduled for was cancelled without my being notified. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, however, I took time out of my workday to attend this appointment and had to fast/not eat anything for several hours ahead of time. After paying for parking, waiting to be seen by the medical administration, and fasting for this test, I was a bit frustrated that it had been cancelled due to physician illness and no one notified me.


    • In advance of a test I have scheduled at the hospital tomorrow, I called to ask if I could complete it with a holter monitor hooked up. I am supposed to wear one for 14-days and not take it off more than an hour per day. I did not know that I would be wearing it when the test was scheduled, and therefore I proactively called to ensure it wouldn’t delay or unexpectedly cancel the appointment. I found out that the reception team at this testing centre of the hospital is off for the entire week and the option to leave a voicemail with inquiries was cut-off. The voicemail simply said to not leave messages and attend all appointments as scheduled.


    • I received a call from the medical receptionist at  the transplant program today who informed me that she had sent me a letter about one of my physicians being away on a leave of absence. For an upcoming appointment I have, the letter stated that the physician would be away but that my appointment was to proceed as regular however the letter never reached me via mail, it was returned. After reviewing my mailing address with the receptionist, we discovered that she had my zip code incorrect… a simple error and yet it delayed communication by a number of weeks.


    By the end of the day today, I simply had to laugh at these medical mishaps so I didn’t get upset.

    How do you deal with the frustration(s) of errors or mishaps pertaining to your appointments and healthcare needs? 

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