Monday, March 21, 2011

Eye Doctor Drama Part 3

Well apparently, you need to have a license in Crazy to be a pediatric eye doctor or to even work for one. To get caught up on this drama, read this first.

I made a brief update a couple weeks ago about Draikaiden’s 2nd opinion for his Stage 1 ROP. ROP is Retinopathy of Prematurity and has several different stages. It means that his eyes were born prematurely. Hmm, imagine that, a preemie with premature eyes. At Stage 1 and Stage 2 there is NO TREATMENT! Stages 3-5 vary in the ways they can treat it. I will say it again before I go on with the story, Draikaiden has STAGE 1.

So, hopefully everyone is caught up, cause you’ll kinda need to be. The update I gave last week was brief, now I’m going to give you more detail plus include what has happened since.

We made it to the new eye Dr two weeks ago. Me and the kids were literally the first people there. I already had Draikaiden’s paperwork filled out since I picked it up the week before. We sat down and waited about 45 minutes before they took us back. Then we waited for another 15 minutes in the room. The nurse came back in and asked questions while filling in the answers on a computer. It took about 20 minutes. Then she put drops in his eyes for dilating. Then sent us back out into the waiting room. After about 30 more minutes another nurse came out and put more drops in his eyes. Then we waited some more. Finally it was our turn to go back, again. And wait, again.

This time the Dr. came in. Nice woman. Asked the same questions her nurse asked us an hour ago! I told her why we were there, that I didn’t trust the other eye Dr. and wanted a 2nd opinion. She told me she wasn’t sure if she wanted to start picking up ROP patients (even though it is stated ON her business cards that she treats ROP patients). She talked to me for about 15 minutes, I briefly told her why I didn’t trust the other eye Dr. Near the end of the conversation she tells me that she doesn’t have the instrument there to look at an ROP patient.

After 2-and-a-half hours of making us wait and putting chemicals in my son’s eyes, THEN she tells me she doesn’t have the right equipment!!!! W.T.F???

She said she didn’t know there was an ROP patient coming in today.

My jaw dropped. I very calmly said, “I made the appointment 3 weeks ago!! And when I called I specifically told the woman on the phone that I wanted a 2nd opinion on my son’s ROP!!!”

She said it wasn’t my fault, it was her office staff’s fault for not informing her. Then she offered to call that other eye Dr. and make an appointment for us.

I laughed and said, “I will drive all the way to California before I ever take my son back over to see him again.”

So then she asked if we could wait, EVEN LONGER, and NOW she’ll send someone across town to pick it up from her other office!

It was a few minutes before 10 am, we’d been sitting in that office for 2-and-a-half hours already, and Draikaiden was about to miss his physical therapy appointment thanks to this, because it was scheduled for 10 am. I told her we’d leave to go to another appointment that he had for that day, and I’d leave my cell number. If they got the instrument there, they could call me, otherwise I wasn’t coming back.

So we made it to his 3rd appointment for the day, he missed physical therapy, and then back to that horrid eye Dr.’s office. We began our wait, 30 minutes pass and a nurse comes out to put drops in his eyes, again. I asked how long it was going to take because we needed to be in Henderson for more Dr.’s appointments by 3 and it was 1:30 now. Another 10 minutes pass and they take us back into a room where we wait for 15 more. The Dr. comes in, preps the baby for the exam and the kids and I go wait in the other room. The exam takes about 15 minutes, then she explains things to me more thoroughly than the other eye Dr. ever did. She says she’ll see him back in 2 weeks. I tell her that is perfect because that is when we have his RSV shot scheduled for, so we would be in town. And I make it clear to her that the day we’re coming back IS a Tuesday. She said earlier she’d prefer to see him in the other office because it’s larger and better equipped but she’s only there Mondays and Thursdays. She said that Tuesday would be fine since we were coming into town, but appointments thereafter would need to be at the other office. OK, fine with me.

Three days later, after I had arranged all the other appointments for the day, I called her office to schedule. The receptionist said the Dr. was no longer seeing ROP patients.

“She JUST saw my son 3 days ago and said she’d see him again in two weeks!” I argued.

The woman told me she just received an email that morning from the office manager and the decision was final. I told her she needed to call the Dr. then because I was promised at least one more visit for my son and I wasn’t taking ‘No’ for an answer. She said she’d call me right back. When she called she said she could only schedule for the other office, which was only for Mon or Thurs. I was irritated but done arguing. I would schedule for the next time we went down after he got his RSV shot because that was more important for him and it was already a fiasco getting that shot approved.

So, the day came, we were in Vegas last Tuesday the 15th. It was about 2:30 pm and I am sitting in the truck with the kids while Derek and Todd ran into Walmart for a couple of things. We were in Henderson a couple miles from the kids’ pediatrician because that was our next stop, but not for another hour. The eye Dr.’s office calls me wondering why we don’t have an appointment scheduled for this week because the Dr. was expecting to see Draikaiden. So I explain to her why we didn’t have an appointment, and that I tried to get one. She asks me to hold and puts someone else on the phone. I have to go through the conversation again.

I tell her, “Look, I’m frustrated about it because we are IN Vegas RIGHT now!”
So she puts me on hold, again, and puts the Dr. on the phone. So for the 3rd time, I go through the conversation.

The Dr. is trying to make it seem like it’s MY fault that there is no appointment. She said that I should have told her receptionist to let me talk to her. I guess she’s right, but she should have educated her staff. I’m getting extremely frustrated with her and say, “I wanted him to be seen today and I tried to make the appointment, but YOUR office refused to make the appointment!”
She starts going off on the same spiel that the other receptionist from the other office did about how he NEEDS to be seen, except this time there was much more guilt! Since SHE took over his care, HE was HER responsibility and it was imperative for us to bring him in!
So I said, “I tried to get the appointment for today, it’s not MY fault you didn’t educate your staff!”

She asked if we could make it to the office that day. I told her we were in Henderson, about to go to the Pediatrician and if he could get us in early we MIGHT be able to make it there by 5. Then she pressured me like some insane car salesman to make an appointment for Friday, when I already knew there was NO way we could afford to come back on Friday. I had already told both of the Tag Team members I spoke to before her that we couldn’t make it back into Vegas for another 2 weeks. Then we hung up.

At 4:30 we’re still sitting at the Pediatrician’s office. I just LOVE this Dr.! So do the kids! He rocks! During our wait I had filled in hubby about the eye Dr. And being the loving wife I am, I made HIM call and let her office know we weren’t going to make it there by 5 and to cancel the Friday appointment. He’s put on hold 3 different times and has to talk to 3 different people just like I did. LOL! But he’s not so patient. This is when Derek and I start laughing our asses off and get an official warning from the Pediatrician’s Office to quiet down because the entire office could here everything my husband was saying.

I cannot quote the conversation because I don’t know verbatim what the Dr. said. And with each sentence Todd got louder, and louder, and louder. His face got red, his eyes turned red, smoke came out of his ears and nostrils, and he started breathing fire. He said multiple times that we CANNOT afford to come back until the 28th and would be glad to schedule an appointment for that day. He repeatedly said that his wife tried to get an appointment for today but her office wouldn’t schedule it. I think he asked her twice if she heard anything he was saying. I can’t remember some of what he said because I was laughing so hard (I took my anxiety pills shortly before this Dr. appointment). But then she crossed a line. She told my husband that he was being selfish and adamant about himself and he needed to think about his son, it wasn’t up to HIM when to take his son to see a DR. it was up to HER because SHE was the Dr. who was treating him and SHE knew Better! So he told her he didn’t care what degrees she had hanging on her wall or what any of her license’s said, she obviously didn’t have any common sense and could go F#%* herself! Then he hung up the phone.
My jaw dropped and Derek and I just stared at him. After he told us what she said I could understand why he said it.

Oddly enough, the following night around 7:30 pm, her office manager left a message on our machine saying they had an appointment available for the 28th for our son, and when we call the office we are to ask for her and speak only to her. She called the next day too.

We pondered about it. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to take him back. But I called anyways. I spoke to the Dr. She said she had a very heated discussion with my husband and usually after something like that she would turn away care for a child, but in this case, she felt she needed to see the baby again.

I asked why her and the other eye Dr. are DEMANDING we bring him in every 2 weeks and harassing us if we can’t make it. She said because it is a law of the State Medical Board. I told her we’d done our own research and know that he cannot be treated at Stage 1 or Stage 2, so what is wrong with her seeing him in 3 weeks? She doesn’t speak perfect English, so I’m not clear about everything she said, but it didn’t make any sense. She said his eyes improved between the last time the other Dr. saw him and the 1st time she saw him. I tried to tell her we weren’t trying to be jerks and neglect our son and that we are in Vegas as much as we can possibly afford. Plus we have 2 other kids who need taken care of also so sometimes appointment dates just don’t line up and sometimes we just don’t have the money because of one reason or another. I don’t think she understood because she just kept saying he needs to be seen every two weeks.

So I am extremely frustrated about the way the Pediatric Eye Dr.’s treat parents. We haven’t had these problems with ANY other Dr.’s at ALL!!! And I am very frustrated with the incompetence in HER office. Draikaiden’s vessels are branching out around his eyeballs and that is exactly what his pediatrician said they’d do. He also said that he is OUR baby and it is OUR choice who we want to take him to. My husband had a great point. What happens to those people, you know those ones who don’t believe in Doctors at all? It’s actually against their religion to take their children to see any doctors. So if they can chose to not see any doctors ever, why can’t we choose take him to the eye doctor when we can afford it?


  1. Oh my! What a fiasco! I've never heard of a law that stated WHEN you HAVE to take a child to a doctor! I definitely agree... her staff needs to be educated! But... I have to think that she must be a really hard person to work for!
    There are only 2 drs that do ROP in Vegas? That is amazing to me!
    Sounds like they've gotten together to agree that patients need to be seen every two weeks! ;)

    Hugs and Blessings

  2. Oh wow! I would be pulling my hair out too! You are trying to get your son the medical care he needs, but you live far away! My son reacted like I would have eventually and then you and Derek would have been totally shocked!!!! I think I would check into the so called "laws"...
    Glad you got to spend time with Derek.
    Hugs to you...I miss all my babies!!! (even those grown up big ones! ;) Mom

  3. Doctors suck. Or at least those two do. But at least they are giving you something to blog about lol



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