Monday, October 19, 2009

What do you do all day? I make phone calls and faxes.

Say what you want about the advertising industry but they don't screw up nearly as much. And when they do, people do it with a lot of enthusiasm and plenty of fake smiles. 

So I needed to transfer the scans of tests from MD Anderson to Northwestern in time for my new tests tomorrow. Just a CD in the mail. No biggie. Well, last week I called MDA. Then I emailed three times. Then I faxed. I thought it was taken care of. After a couple of days, I thought I should call to check. They had no such orders. 

So then I had to call and fax again this time to someone else in a completely different department. This time they had it. I needed it Fed Exed to arrive in time for the tests. So they sent it Fed Ex. Five day Fed Ex. I didn't even know Fed Ex had a five day service. Why would someone send something Fed Ex if they're going to use a five day service any way? Technically according to them, it was my fault since in my fax I asked for it to be Fed Exed. They just assume it's five day Fed Ex like that's normal. I didn't know that until I decided to check on Friday. 

So I called Fed Ex to try to hurry the package along. That was fun. After being on hold for twenty minutes, they just hung up on me. Then I called back and told the person I was on hold but got hung up on and the Fed Ex person didn't believe me. Really. She said, "No you weren't." Huh? How does she know this? 

After all of this, I still couldn't get Fed Ex to do anything since I was neither the sender or the receiver. Even though I was doing nothing to the package but hurrying it up and I offered to pay for the service, Fed Ex just couldn't do it.

So I called Marco back at MD Anderson. It was late on Friday but Marco said he'd get on it. I checked on Monday and indeed Marco got on it. He did it. He got Fed Ex to deliver it. And it was delivered.

So I called Northwestern and asked for the person who was supposed to receive it. Oh, well, Michelle isn't in on Mondays. Ah, okay. Can someone else make sure it gets into the right hands? Um, do you know what you're asking for, sir? Do you realize how difficult that endeavor would be? But I got it done. Now all I have to do is make sure we're set to take the tests on Tuesday. We are set to take the tests, aren't we? And what about my medical records? You ave those, don't you? No, you don't. You never got my fax? Sure, I'll fax that over again. 

Well, actually, no. I was told that both my tests would be Tuesday and one right after another. But that was last week. This week things changed. Now I take one test Tuesday and one test Thursday even though they've almost always been done in conjunction. And by the way, thanks for telling me. After a couple more phone calls, lots more pleading and half a day, I got my tests on the same day. 

Now, believe it or not, I have to do everything in reverse for the results. I have to go through Northwestern and send everything back to MD Anderson. So expect a blog about that soon.

And as for the results, well, if everything holds then this will all be for nothing, meaning it will all be one big mistake. It would be the nicest mistake I've ever experienced.

On the other hand, if the scans show that the cancer is back, I will be experiencing this and other similar run-arounds on a daily basis. To get further treatment, I have to search out and then qualify for experimental drugs. That means getting all the information to the hospitals and taking all the same tests each time I'm looking into getting a new drug. It's a full time job and I'm on my own. Doctors won't say, "Okay, you now need to take this drug. I'll call over there and get you in." That's because there is no drug to take that is definitely effective. It's more like, "You want to take that drug? Sure, we'll try that. Why not? Couldn't hurt. Make sure you get those documents in. Have fun with the bone marrow biopsy." 


  1. Yet one more example of a big organization with very little brains. Chalk up another reason why small business is king. Sounds like all the dumb asses at Sprint & AT&T that I've spoken with for the past few years have either quit or gotten fired and moved on to work at Northwestern. Good luck with those sphincters.

    I was just having a conversation with a guy in our office today who is targeting medical offices and he claims that while many of these doctors are extremely smart and intelligent in their field of study, either they or their office managers have absolutely no clue whatsoever as to how to run a business or keep an organization flowing smoothly.

    Oh ... by the way ... Norv Turner is a jag. Nice play calling pal. An offensive genius my A*%#! Put that in your pipe and smoke it Norv. Bum. Swanky Mode.

  2. It's not like you don't have enough on your plate to stress you you are forced to schlep through the myre of corporate America at it's best: screwing it's Citizens! Today is Tuesday at 11:11 and I'm praying as I write!!! Look skyward and feel the warmth of the Sun on your face....soak up God's love!