"The rain brings life." She says. "So does the sun." He replies. - Saving Mr. Banks
Yesterday I was filled with anger. It was the most horrible feeling inside my entire body. It felt a lot like grief.
I was standing at the little window in the pediatrician's office. A real doctor's office where I have to use every single drop of my faith to even enter the building. Yet I'm trying to be a good mom and get my child better. And this is part of the current deal.
I'll back up a little. For a few months we've been going through a diagnosis process. We've been seen by a specialist in Portland. Now we're back here doing some checkups that go along with it. There are scary things. I have questions. Three weeks ago on a Wednesday I call the office to speak with the pediatrician. Can she please call me back? I have two specific requests - one, I want to talk to her about one big scary thing and two, I want a referral to a better specialist in Seattle for a second opinion. ASAP.
Two days go by without a return phone call. That Friday I call first thing in the morning- the very minute the office opens. The receptionist takes my message again and notes that she does see I called on Wednesday and the doctor will be calling me back. I express how disappointed I am that I haven't heard back yet. She says the doctor has my message. I wait. Anxiously.
MONDAY MORNING I have yet to get a phone call back. I have now waited through the weekend Googling to my heart's discontent with my scary questions and unknowns and I am feeling so defeated.
First thing I call the office and ask to speak to a manager. She takes over, and apologizes and says she'll take care of the referral right then and there. She can do that, no need for an appointment (I asked because I wanted to know how to speed this process up even faster- if that was going to be the only way to talk to the doctor? Do they not use the phone anymore?) No- I will be hearing from the doctor and she is processing my referral right now. It will go out tomorrow (Tuesday of that week) and Wednesday at the latest. That would be Wednesday of two weeks ago.
I finally got a call back from the doctor. No explanation other than it was her error that she didn't call me back earlier. We made plans for blood work to be done in two weeks which is why we were there yesterday. Which is why I was standing there at the little window in the pediatrician's office and they couldn't figure how to do a weight check on my child. I was supposed to stop by after the blood work to get a quick weight check. No appointment needed. But the receptionist didn't know how that could be possible. I literally said "So you don't know how to weigh him?" All they wanted was his weight. "I don't know how to put it into the computer?" Just write the grrrrrljhtljshktukjhslkjthgrrrr thing down on a piece of paper and put it in his chart I don't know why this has to be so difficult!
They all converse among themselves and I even see the doctor in the hallway right there- she looks at me, then turns back to them and puts her hands up in the air and then turns away. Hands up in the air, like "whatever." Or "I don't know." Or "I don't care." She turned away and left.
I tell the receptionist to by the way please check on the referral. When was it sent out? I haven't heard from Seattle yet. It's been two weeks.
"Oh I'm so sorry..." and "looks like someone dropped the ball..." is all I heard and then I almost passed out. The anger filled me with such a force. My body went into fight or flight and I was ready to FIGHT emphasis on the eff.
The very person I'd spoken with on the phone who assured me it would go out- I mean I already have been put through such a time with poor customer service (if that's what you call it?) and all. She would take care of me! That person. She did not even start the referral. She got on the phone right there to Seattle in front of me. That did not help things. Because she could have and should have done that WEEKS ago.
They took my child back to be weighed. A nurse jumped back when she saw my face because I am certain I looked frightening. We left. I would like to also add that during all this time my four children were angels in that waiting room.
I wanted to walk out and never go back and honestly I do hope to never go back but I want that referral first.
I don't know how we got to the car but one foot put itself in front of the other and I was in my car and figured out how to drive with this angry monster inside of me. I do not know how such a place can be open for business and I am so P.O.'ed for all the parents who think this is it, who don't know that this is not okay. If this is how we're being treated, with a scary thing (you'd think they'd maybe up their game a bit? Just a wee?) what other balls are they dropping? I honestly would guess ALL THE BALLS.
Because the doctor is forty minutes from our house we stopped for dinner. Side note- leading up to this appointment I tried to sell the kids on coming along by saying "I'll even take you to McDonald's..." and their faces fell and Gray said "Not McDonald's. It's not real food." And I was like, hello validation! It's happened! Wow I've done my good job!!! But McDonald's would have been really convenient and all.
So we ended up at Wendy's and I don't know if they are real food either but it seems like they are a little bit more. I think the lady taking my order was scared of me, too. It felt like someone had just died and then I had to immediately take my four kids to dinner and pretend like nothing happened. I could not fake it. I look back and think maybe I should have been on my knees with folded hands in those moments but I was in a fast food restaurant with four kids and we were hungry.
I stood behind an older man at the Coca-Cola machine that has a computer screen that offers like a hundred different choices of soda. He did not know how to work it and so I helped him figure out how to get his Dr. Pepper. So many buttons. We laughed about "the wave of the future" and so did the lady at the table by the pop machine and no kneeling before God required. He came to me.
We ate and I started to feel like I didn't have to do my deep breaths as much. We headed home and really great songs came on the radio, one after the other. I felt happy. The sky was amazing and after dropping off the kids at home I went straight to the water.
It was all so healing, and I wasn't resisting, and I felt like everything came together to empty out that anger for me even though I could do nothing to resolve it. Things are not fixed. Stuff still super sucks. But the fury was leaving. I could think a bit more clearly. And as I was getting ready to leave so was a surfer who turned out to be our acupuncturist and oh did he get an earful from me. But he heard me. He listened right there in his wet suit.
I headed home.
One foot in front of the other and we'll get there.