New Referral

My rheumy’s office phoned about my MRI results.  This is a good thing – being called about test results.   Unfortunately, the poor person doing the phoning hadn’t been given much information.   Just, “Dr. Joints would like you to see Dr. Foote.  I can give you his phone number.”

For some reason, doctors think I’m a human ping-pong ball, merrily bouncing from one specialist to the next.

Remembering Dr. Grumpy’s Tips For Patients, I thought there is no way I am walking in there without knowing why I’m supposed to be there.  So I asked, “Does that mean my MRI results are back?”   I was put on hold for quite a while.

*  *  *

While I was on hold, I looked up Dr. Foote online.  There are a zillion listings for Dr. Foote, DDS, but none that sounded like my new referral.  I finally used the reverse-directory feature and looked up the phone number.  Scrolling through three pages (did I mention I was on hold a long time?) of physicians at that phone number yielded zero by the name of Foote.

I hobbled downstairs to find the paper phone book, thinking perhaps I’d find the information I wanted in it.  No such luck.  Back upstairs to my computer.  Still on hold.  Maybe they forgot about me.  Maybe their EMR went down and they have to walk over to the hospital and beg someone for a peek at a different computer.  Maybe they decided to play tennis with me instead of ping-pong.  Maybe I should hang up and call back.  I went back downstairs – out to the garage – to retreive my purse from the car.  If I ever find out why I’m making this appointment, I’ll need my calendar.  Back upstairs to my computer.  Did I mention that I was on hold for a very long time?

*  *  *

When she came back on the line, she mumbled, “It looks like the problem is mechanical.”  I asked a simple yes or no question.  Do you have the results?  If you have the results, send them to me.  If you don’t – and even if you do – tell me what I’m supposed to say is the reason that I’m making this appointment so that I don’t sound like an idiot.

This is NOT a picture of me:

*  *  *

I dialed…

Voice On The Other End Of The Phone Line:  Surgical Associates

WarmSocks, the human ping-pong ball & mushroom:  My rheumatologist would like me to make an appointment to see Dr. Foote.

Voice:  Why?

WSTHPPB&M:  The MRI of my foot and ankle showed some tears.

Voice:  Where are the tears?  Are the tears in ligaments or tendons?

WSTHPPB&M:  I haven’t seen the MRI results.

Voice:  Why do you want to see Dr. Foote?

WSTHPPB&M:  Isn’t Dr. Foote a podiatrist?  My feet hurt, and based on the MRI results, my rheumatologist wants me to see Dr. Foote.

Voice:  Is the pain bilateral?


Voice:  How big were the tears?  What did the MRI show? 

WSTHPPB&M:  Look, I don’t know.  Dr. Joints has been trying to get me to see a podiatrist since last May.  Can we just schedule an appointment?

Voice:  Dr. Foote is going on vacation and will be out of the office for two weeks.

WSTHPPB&M:  My feet have hurt for two years.  Two weeks isn’t going to make any difference.

Sigh.  I hate ping-pong.


2 thoughts on “New Referral

  1. I find that humming along to the vapid music they play when you are on hold is wonderfully therapeutic.

    Great post. Good reminder to give patients an explanation before sending them off into the void of specialty care.

  2. Pingback: Results « ∞ itis

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