Yesterday I went on over to my lung doc’s office for my previously scheduled three-month follow-up. It was handy because we were needing to talk about my Pittsburgh visits, testing for VCD, my prednisone in-take, and this bronchitis thing I’ve been trying to kick. When the elevator doors opened there was a line of 8 or so people waiting to check in and a sign asking us to please excuse the extra wait as they try to figure out their new computer system.
Eighteen minutes later I’m next in line and I hear the people in front of me have my appointment time with my doctor….odd, right? They ask me for my birth date and name, which pulls up my “account” and I’m told, “Ok, so you have a 1:15 with Dr…., I mean, you have nothing in the system. Why are you here?” Sounds fishy, right? How else would they have known who I’m seeing and the time of my appointment if it hadn’t popped up on their screen? My appointment was originally for the previous day at the same time, but someone called me to move it to the next day. According to their computer I have an appointment in the middle of December, but I don’t want to wait six to seven weeks. I’ve seen similar situations happen to others before and you basically have two decisions: you can flip out and look like a jackass, or you can calmly work out a solution. I decided to not make an idiot of myself and see if my doc had any availability this week or if I could see the nurse practitioner. Turns out I can come back in a couple days to see the NP – problem solved. It’s hard to always know what to do, how hard to push, and what really is possible. Just be sure to stay calm and just ask. The worst that can happen is they say no, but never be afraid to advocate for yourself.
On my way out the thought popped into my head, “what if this bronchitis stuff clears up by Thursday and my lungs are clear and they want to know why I’m wasting their time?” Then I remembered I’ve been sick since May, I’m still hacking out hockey pucks and no, I will not be better by Thursday. My initial z-pack from the Urgent Care clinic is gone and the last thing I need is to let this linger and turn into the p-word. No one has time for the p-word.