Today marked a new day for me. I am no longer intimidated by the Emory medical establishment. Their quiet clean halls, the smoothly operating front desk staff and the calm “whoosh” of orthopedic nurses shoes don’t awe me at all any more. The doctors, with degrees from famous medical schools, reams of Published Papers On Really Important Microtopics, and a look on their face like you should be lucky to see them, don’t scare me either.
I stormed (well, as stormy as a Midwesterner can be) out of an Egleston Children’s Specialist’s office today. And I CALL BULLSHIT!
We waited eight months for this appointment. We were shuffled to three different doctors and three different dates until this one finally stuck. We paid a specialist fee and will be billed for even more. They thought they had us where they wanted us… a limited specialty resource and parents who want to help their sick child. Over a barrel. At their mercy. Privileged to have this audience.
But…when you have to plead to get your very sick child a place to lie down, when you have to ask over and over again “how long?”, when an hour and half pass by and there is still no sign of the doctor, you are free to tell them they can go to hell.
I understand how long specialty consults can take. Ours would take time too — complex issues take time. But DO NOT over schedule your day and make sick kids wait in uncomfortable, miserable environments with not even a pillow to rest on.
I finally grabbed Sophie (after feeling guilty that she had been pleading for too long anyway) and walked out. Guy, trying to be the diplomatic ambassador for the family, was left calling my name in the hallway as the doors shut behind Sophie and I. I waited just a minute, gunning the engine in the car, before texting Guy that either he comes now or he’d have to walk home. I wasn’t going to come back and pick him up. The man knows which side his bread is buttered on and walked out to the car as soon as I hit send.
Side note: We are always good cop, bad cop. But in the Cagney and Lacey world, I went full Lacey today — belligerent, obnoxious and angry.
So, we didn’t see the specialist. I will simple never go back to Egleston or Emory hospital again. We have had one ridiculously bad experience after another there since Sophie was born. But, I’m done feeling vulnerable, powerless, and timid. I’m done being polite. I’m done thinking they have power, not us. I will find another office with heart and humanity.
Screw the elite reputation; it no longer impresses me.