Thursday, November 6, 2008

HELP! Opinions please, Advise wanted!

So anyone who has read here for a while will know that I manage my Dad's health care. For anyone new the back story is as follows:

Mum passed away almost 8 years ago. This precipitated a 3 or maybe 4 year on and off again bout with significant binge drinking sprinkled on top of his regular alcohol abuse. He was in the hospital at least twice and the alcohol abuse damaged his brain and created physical problems that have had lasting effects. After the last hospital stay he spent several weeks in a nursing home rehab. (It solidified my desire to never have him in a nursing home if I can possibly help it) After this extended stay in the rehab he has maintained his sobriety. Thank God! Anyway the point of this brief history is to tell you that I have been the primary person that has set up and made sure that Dad kept his Dr's appointments. I have been his advocate and done research and looked for answers.

So back to today...Dad has been diagnosed with Krohns disease. It has taken his Dr over a year to come to this diagnosis even though I had asked about the disease at least a year ago. Dad has gone through months of on and off antibiotics and twice a month appointments at the Dr's office. You can well imagine the scheduling nightmare that this could be but we did it or rather I did it with occasional help from my SIL. Now Dad is on a new med that needs to be monitored. We scheduled an appointment for follow up after much back and forth with the office. The appointment was to be facilitated by SIL. Turns out she got sick and had to cancel the appointment. She made a new appointment for Jan.

So now to tonight...I received a phone call from Dr. He began the conversation by saying to me "you blew off your father's appointment" ! Well you could have knocked me over with a feather. I assured him that I did not 'blow off' the appointment that actually my SIL who was to bring Dad to the appointment was ill that day and rescheduled. He went on to say that he had to rearrange other appointments to fit Dad into his schedule. I went on to explain to him that I work 30 hours a week and that scheduling with him is very difficult. That I had talked to the people in his office about getting blood work done. I couldn't believe the conversation. I am still in shock.

I wrote a letter and now I'm not sure if I should deliver the letter when I go to pick up lab slips or if that will somehow compromise my father's care in this office.

Dear Dr. ;

I am writing to you regarding our phone conversation this evening. You began our conversation by saying that I “blew off” my fathers appointment. You went on to say that you had to reschedule other appointments to accommodate my father. While I appreciate this; it truly is not my problem or my father’s problem and is certainly something that doctors do all the time to care for their neediest patients.
First I want to say that I found both your tone and words unprofessional and disrespectful. Had you communicated with your staff you would have known that several conversation had taken place to schedule an appointment for my father and that the appointment was cancelled due to the fact that my sister-in –law, his ride to the appointment, was ill. Considering that his immune system could be compromised due to his medication she chose to be cautious. I understand that the new medicines require monitoring. This is something that I mentioned during several of the conversations that I had with your staff. I suggested having the blood work done but that was not indicated in the information that they had. At the time when I was speaking with them Jean was on vacation and therefore scheduling was even more difficult.
I am a professional woman who manages a young family, a 30 hour per week teaching position, community advocacy work as well as the care of my father; including his medical and financial needs. I have been advocating for my father since my mother’s death almost eight years ago. The fact that you would suggest through your tone and words that I do not understand or care about the ramifications of my father’s condition and his medications is shocking. In order to continue our collaboration in my father’s health care I would expect to be treated respectfully and in a professional manner.


So what do you think? Should I deliver the letter or just print it and burn it in the fireplace? I really do feel that he should be called on his behavior.

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