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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Knocked Down a Notch

Last Friday, I lost my temper over the phone with a stranger. How did that happen? Let me take you back to the beginning of the week...

The previous Saturday evening, The Prophet was complaining about his cheek & neck being sore on the right side. His cheek was swollen, as well as his gland. Even without touching the gland, I could see how big it was. We gave him some Ibuprophen before bed & he was able to sleep.

The Prophet w/ his swollen cheek & gland.
We decided to give it a day before taking him to urgent care. We knew they would be extremely busy on Sunday & did not want to expose any of us to other illnesses. The Ibuprophen seemed to help w/ some of the pain, but the swelling remained.

Monday morning, Matt took The Prophet to urgent care. He called me to say the doctor thought it was an infection settled in his gland, BUT it could also be the Mumps. Sunday, they had seen three similar cases. They took some blood to test & told Matt it would be a couple of hours for the results. They also gave him a prescription for an antibiotic for the possible infection.

About ten minutes later, Matt called me back. It turned out the blood test would take two days, not two hours. They could call us Wednesday if he had the Mumps, but not call if he didn't. (Personally, I'd prefer a call either way!) In the meantime, The Prophet would have to stay away from others, just in case. No lunch out w/ Grandma & his cousin that afternoon. No dinner w/ the church choir & families Tuesday night.

Wednesday afternoon, we hadn't heard anything, so Matt called. (What if they didn't have our correct number?) After being transferred several times, he was told they wouldn't have the results until that night or the next morning. OK - now The Prophet would have to miss band on Thursday (the 1st practice since before Christmas & the 1st of four before their band concert).

Matt called back Thursday afternoon. After the multiple transfers, he spoke to a nurse (?) who said the results were sent to our family doctor. She did give Matt a reading from Sam's bloodwork, but couldn't explain what it meant. Our doctor would have to go over it w/ us & she mentioned that he might want a 2nd round of blood tests.

I called our doctor's office & left a message. They called back to say they hadn't received anything yet.

By four Friday afternoon, we still didn't know anything. I left a message at our doctor's office again. They returned my call to say they'd only received notice that The Prophet had been to urgent care...no test results.

So, calling back to urgent care...I called the lab & the girl I spoke to was not permitted to give me any information. She gave me the number for Medical Records, which I promptly called. By now, it was 4:31pm. Their recording said they closed at 4:30pm! It also gave another number to call if it was after hours.

By this point, I was getting very frustrated! I just wanted to know if my son had the Mumps or not!

I called the next number & reached Medical Records at the hospital affiliated w/ the urgent care. I explained the situation, only to be told that "Yes" she had the results, but "No" she wasn't permitted to give them to me.

WHAT?!?! I'm his mother!

Per HIPPA laws she can't tell me by phone. I'd have to pick them up. OK - it's 4:40 on a Friday afternoon! I got very upset. I raised my voice. My son had been stuck at home for the past week, missing some fun activities even though he felt fine. He was bored to death. I supposed I would have to wait until Monday to pick the results up because they'd were about to close?

Thankfully, no! She was there through the evening & even though their window was already closed for the weekend, she would make sure I could get the results. I apologized for getting upset. She said she's a mother, too, & understood.

I hopped in the car & was at the hospital in about 20 minutes. I descended to the basement & rang the bell at the Medical Records department. She came out, gave me a release form to sign, checked my driver's license, & gave me the results. NO MUMPS!

I apologized again for going all psycho on the phone. She hugged me & forgave me.

I'm not usually so quick to lose (& loose) my temper. As a receptionist, I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of said adult tantrums. So, I normally try to see beyond the situation, realized their being upset is probably something that's been building, & I'm the "lucky" one when they finally snap!

Looking back over the past week, I see how it all built for me & the poor Medical Records lady was the "lucky" one! I have to give her credit...she was extremely calm & kind in dealing w/ me, the psychotic Momma Bear! And I think that's part of why I got so upset...I WAS a Momma Bear looking out for her cub. (Even though that "cub" is now two inches taller than his Momma, he'll always be my baby!)

Ready for the twist in all of this? You've gotta love those moment when God knocks you down a notch or two!

Saturday morning, just after I arrived at work & got clocked in, I was confronted by a resident's daughter. She wanted to know who was in charge. I told her that I'd just gotten there, but could find out. I asked if she needed who was in charge of in nurses or someone else. She waved her arm & said she wanted whoever was over the whole place. She was very upset & I said I would find out once I got back to the front office.

About 1/2 an hours later, the situation was fine. She came up to apologize & explained how it had built for her. She said her mom was on the brink of death & in the hospital just over a week ago, then to get a call from her mom this morning about how someone spoke or did something was enough to set her off.

I told her I understood & about what happened to me the previous day when I lost my temper. We want the best for our children & our parents. When their needs are not being met or we're not getting the answers we are looking for we need to speak up. Unfortunately, we often end up speaking up louder & harsher than we intend.


Colleen said...

Wow. What a story. And no wonder you lost your patience! I would have lost mine too. Like you said, we tend to become like Mama Bears with our cubs! Love the God incidence on Saturday.
The past few years I have had so many trying moments with the medical profession. It has changed so much from when I was a nurse years ago. We have to stay on top of everything because things seem to slip through the cracks. Communication is very poor.
Anyway, I am glad the Prophet didn't have the mumps. I bet he is too!