Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Wasted Day

Bill patiently waiting for his eye doctor today

Today was a total wasted day. We had an appointment at the eye institute to have the scar tissue removed around Bill's cataracts.  This was supposed to be a "ten minute" procedure by laser.

The appointment time was 1:20 pm which was right in the middle of my nap time. 

Bill and I arrived early for our appointment. We were seen within ten minutes of our arrival time. The assistant gave Bill an eye test. I was wondering why reading the eye charts again.  I thought we were going in for laser surgery.  

Then Bill got the eye drops that diluted his pupils and we were sent off to the waiting room. And there we waited . . . . and waited for over an hour.  The waiting room was full (about eight people).  They all emptied out and a new crop of folks filed in. 

I'm a patient person . . . to a limit. I understand that sometimes doctor's get behind schedule but at least have someone pop their head in and tell us that they are running behind. But that didn't happen.

What I do, when the appointment is running late, is that I wait an hour at the most. Then I get up and question. Today, Bill wasn't having it.  I had to calm him down while the clocked ticked.  He was starting to make a scene right there in the waiting room, alarming others.  His anger reminded me of my brother, who was my Mother's caregiver at the end of her life, trying to calm her down when her doctor's appointment were running late. There were times he had to put her out in the car to wait.

After an hour I got up and inquired "When will be be waited on? We've been here almost two hours now (we arrived early) and seen the whole room emptied out and still nothing."  The woman rather hurriedly told me "You're next! We go by the numbers, you're next!" and indeed we were.

We're ushered into another room. The doctor comes in and inquires to Bill "How are you doing?"  Bill wasn't having it (yes, I know I'm repeating myself).  He told the doctor he wasn't happy having to wait so long. The doctor turned around to look at me, I said to Bill "Bill, Bill. The doctor is going to examine you now."  Bill jutted his lower jaw out and submitted to yet another eye chart examination. 

Then I realized this doctor was examining AGAIN what we already had last week by another eye doctor, an eye examination. WTF?  I told the doctor "We've already done this."  He looked rather annoyed at me and said "I have to examine his eyes before I recommend laser surgery."  Oh, okay.  I missed something in translation.  I thought we were going in for the laser treatment to remove the scar tissue.  Somebody messed up here.  Oh well, let's make the best of the situation. 

The doctor's assistant told me I could schedule the laser surgery now.  But first she needed the power of attorney.  Really?  Bill had his cataracts removed and I didn't have to give them a power of attorney.  She explained to me that the assistant, who no longer worked there, made a mistake by not requiring the power of attorney paperwork.  

Well, I didn't have the power of attorney paperwork with me.  She said I could bring it in tomorrow and I didn't have to bring Bill with me.  Hmmnm, they're giving Bill time to cool down. 

I have an appointment tomorrow with the surgery coordinator at 10 am.  I hope tomorrow is not another wasted day.

By the way, while I was at the eye center, I got a call from my boss at work asking if I could come in and fill in for my co-worker.  Yes, that co-worker who frequently is unable to work for various health issues and family matters. I told him I couldn't come in right away since I was at the doctor's office but I could later. And that folks is where I am now, typing this blog post about my "wasted day" and not posting about my California holiday. 

Hey, this is life. Ain't it great?


Anonymous said...

You aren't the only one to experience this waiting game - But our eye Doctor is the worse. She has a waiting room for her waiting room - it's a nightmare - we go once a year - make the earliest appointment possible and still spend three hours there - ridiculous - then when your name is called you see tech one - then wait - then tech 2 - then wait - and at last the Doctor. You can hardly see straight after all that hassle - what can we do ...Mary Ellen

Anonymous said...

So annoying! I hate when things like that happen...and it really sounds like it was them that dropped the ball, not you! Hope everything goes smoothly from here...Really looking forward to your California recap! mags

nitewrit said...


I don't quite understand why if you had an appointment at 10:00 you were kept waiting 2 hours after first being seen. That is a long time when you have an appointment. I thought maybe you had to wait for the drops to take effect. My first cataract removal I had a long wait for drops to numb my eye. I think it was far less of a wait when i got the 2nd one removed. I had that laser surgery same as Bill, but I don't think I had to wait long at all for that. Last doctor appointment I had, last month, I waited longer than usual, but some one came in twice to tell me my Doctor (Nurse Practitioner actually) was held up by a patient situation before me. When she finally came in she was very apologetic. Who are these people you go to that seem so calluse? I would not have waited as long a you did. Half-hour and I'm checking. I would have also been specific why I was there. They should have explained when you arrived that some mistake had occurred and this was additional exam to set him for the laser procedure, They should have informed you upfront that the Poor of Attorney was needed as well. I'm sorry to hear you are going through these type of things.


VRC-Do You! said...

Ron...You experience in the physician's office is unacceptable...I have managed a few physician practices in my time and what you experienced is not good customer service...I tell my staff to let patients know if they have been waiting for, let's say 15 minutes, to come to the front desk and we will inquire...Patient's don't mind waiting, within reason, if you let them know what is going on...Your time is valuable just as much as physicians...Patients have a choice today...I strive to relay to patients why our clinic is the one to choose and even to tell your friends...Is it caring, dedicated staff, not feeling like a number, timeliness, when things go wrong-they will-there is an admission and immediate action to correct...I did not like the comment made by staff that "we go by numbers." You are not a number, you are a patient, a person. I also didn't like the idea of you knowing that you are coming in for one thing but the clinic kicked things down the road...In our business, it is called "service recovery." You can do it in the hotel business as well...Service recovery, the expected service has failed-mixed up reservations, lost reservation, longer wait times in the physicians' office, less than stellar staff...What are you going to do to recover that service....First a foremost apologize...investigate...Get to the root cause and try to reduce the chance of it happening again...Offer something...In my practice, I had a service recovery file...I could give a coupon for free coffee, I could pay for parking, I even can give a coupon for a free lunch in the cafeteria...I believe a talk with the practice manager is in order...My best to Bill...

Jon said...

I'm so sorry that you and Bill had a wasted day due to the incompetence at the Eye Institute. I've been through similar situations and it can be a nightmare. It's extremely frustrating when they have no regard about the precious time they forced you to waste.
Hopefully things will work out - and you'll soon be able to resume writing about your California adventures. Take care.