I’ve got my quarterly appointment with my endo near the end of this week. Along with that comes the need to get labs drawn and get them done in time enough for the results to be at the office when I go in for my appointment.

There are a couple of logistical challenges that come along with that, and maybe it’s just the way my endo’s office handles things. At my appointment I get a lab slip with details on what labs to draw. This is the slip I am supposed to present to the lab prior to my next appointment in three months.

I don’t know about you, but the ability to hang on to a specific piece of paper for three whole months is just about impossible for me. The only way I’ve found manageable is to keep the darn thing in my wallet. Needless to say, by the time it comes back out, it is showing it’s age!

I had last Wednesday off to help a friend move. I figured that would be a good time to get the labs drawn, so I went in. Everything went fine. Took me about 40 minutes, and that includes the drive time, the check in time, the lobby wait time, the lab time, and drive back home time. Piece of cake – except for the comments from the ladies handling the paperwork about how it looked like it had been on a journey to hell and back (in my wallet)!

The draw went pretty normal, except I noticed that after the first vial of blood, the lady removed the needle and taped a small piece of gauze onto my arm. I thought I caught a glimpse of a second vial in her hand that she had not collected anything in. It just “felt” weird to me, seemed like they usually collected at least two vials, and the fact she had a second one in her hand which was empty. I didn’t think enough about it to make any comment. You know those experiences where something is just not right, but you can’t put a finger on it?

It all made sense a couple days later after I retrieved a message from the answering machine. It was the lab tech telling me she forgot to get a particular sample and that I needed to come back so they could collect it.

I go to North Memorial Hospital to get my labs done. The endo is in an attached building right across the street, and so far it has all worked out pretty good. However, the thought of going to this big hospital armed with no paperwork and nothing but the lab tech’s first name just made me shudder.

I parked in the ramp, and could not find any spots until I reached the top floor. I made my way to the registration desk and gave the lady the story about the tech calling and wanting me to come back. To my surprise she handled it just fine, printed out a couple forms, made copies of my insurance card and sent me up to the lab (which is on a different floor). Now, I don’t know if it’s due to construction or if this is the way it is, but at check in you are given a red folder with a number largely written and circled on it. Then you go up one floor and sit in a general lobby area and wait for the tech to come out and call your number.

I had number 24. As I sat down I noticed a guy with a red folder next to me, and he had 23. There was a gal who was being taken back to the lab, and I’ll safely assume she had number 22. There were a couple more people that came up with their red folders after me, numbers 25 & 26. After a while I saw the gal who had 22 come out and leave.

Me and #23 (and 25 & 26) sat in that lobby for no less than 40 minutes before the lab tech came out and said “Number 26?”. at that time me & Mr. 23 started waiving our folders around and calling her attention!! Apparently upon check in, the lady is supposed to send a page or message to the lab tech to let her know someone is out there waiting. That didn’t happen for #’s 23, 24 & 25. How she remembered to inform her of #26 and NOT remember that she forgot about #’s 23, 24 & 25 I do not know.

Talk about putting this lab tech in a bad spot! She felt so bad! She was not the same lady that forgot about getting that second vial from me.

So she took care of Mr. 23, and got me back to the lab for my draw. I gave the lab tech my story about being in last week, other lady forgetting the second vial, blah blah blah. She made a couple phone calls and was able to track down what they needed from me today. The stick went great and they got what they needed. I think it’s still in time for my endo appointment on Friday.

I’m just frustrated because I was trying to handle this on my lunch break from work, and it ended up being a two hour ordeal. I’ll have to work late to make up my time and it’s all because someone forgot to notify someone else.

I was kind of trapped there once I had the parking ticket (the lab tech is the one who gives you the voucher to park free). If I would have left when I realized I needed to, I would have been stuck with the crazy parking fee!

This is just one example of how handling/managing diabetes can complicate an otherwise “complicated enough” life. It does at times feel like too much, and I can really see how people give up on it.

Maybe I’m feeling a bit frustrated today to begin with, and in the big picture this little thing is really a little thing. I just felt the need to talk about it, because it is often times no one big thing that ticks you off with diabetes, it’s the millions and millions of little things that team up on you! The purpose of this blog is to share the perspective of a person struggling (and succeeding) with those millions of things. This is a fine example of one such thing!

 

3 Responses to Today Seems Like a Good Day to Vent…

  1. Kathleen Weaver says:

    You make me REALLY like the way my endo does it.

    They make an appointment for the labs about a week before the endo’s visit — lab and endo is in the same office.

    When I check in, they fill out the lab sheet and you take it back to a little waiting room and sign in.

    However, some insurance companies won’t let doctors do their own labs.

  2. Violet says:

    My endo clinic handles this similarly to Kathleen’s. But recently a receptionist argued with me about whether I really needed to come in a week early for my labs. Lots of patients have the blood drawn the same morning as their appointment, she said, and then the results are mailed. (Basically, as far as I could tell she didn’t want to be bothered with setting up the lab date, etc.)

    Now tell me, what could be the value in seeing your endo without the A1C and (in my case) cholesterol numbers, etc. in hand? What would we say to each other?

    “Hi.”

    “Hi. Feeling okay?”

    “Um, pretty good.”

    “Excellent! Next?”

    Second, why the hell was a receptionist arguing with me about when I should get my labs drawn in the first place?

    It takes a lot of energy to navigate the medical system eternally, that’s for sure.

  3. AmyT says:

    Aaargh! I just did a post about my latest Endo appointment as well. Mucho frustrado, as ever…

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