Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome To Your Mammogram!

Well, today was supposed to be 'the day'. The six-month recheck for an abnormal mammogram done in March this year. I wait and watch the clock all day to leave work early and get this done. The drive alone was dreadful. No one drives like you think they should when you are in a hurry. So I spend nearly an hour weaving in and out of traffic, trying to get ahead of the pack. I finally arrive at 5:04pm to my 5pm appointment. Let me add here I HATE to be late for anything. I'd rather be an hour early and sit and wait than be a minute late. So I walk at a brisk pace to the front door of the Advanced Imaging Center.

Just inside the door to the right is the elevator to take me to the 2nd floor. As soon as the elevator door opens and I step inside I hear a PA system announcement... that must have been heard by some of the people waiting in the downstairs lobby... "Welcome to the Advanced Imaging Center. The Breast Center is on the 2nd floor." Of course that is the ONLY thing on the second floor so no secrets to the onlookers as to why I am there. The door closes and I go up. As the elevator stops and the door opens, once again the PA system announces "WELCOME TO THE BREAST CENTER!". So now anyone in ear shot on the 2nd floor is alerted to my arrival for my mammogram. I almost felt like there should be a pink carpet runway with confetti and applause at the over-zealous welcome. Of course there was none, just little 'ole me waltzing out of the elevator, alone, shyly looking around to see how many people heard the announcement of my arrival.

Immediately upon checking in at the window I am asked, "Do you have an order?" This is where it all goes downhill from the grand welcome that made you feel it was 'all about you' today. I had no order. When this thing was pre-scheduled some time ago, and the doctor's office was supposed to fax the order to the imaging center. They had not. A call to the doctor's office proved fruitless. They'd closed at 4:30pm. I stood at the window while the nervous young girl clicked away on her computer mouse, trying desperately to find some hidden instructions in the computer to appease and hopefully lower the emotional temperature of the new arrival. My reply prompted her call to another department or two.

"Are you telling me that you are NOT going to do this mammogram today? After I took off work early and drove nearly an hour to get here?" 

At this point I was no longer feeling bad about being a tad late. Her calls confirmed there was nothing that we could do... except reschedule. It didn't help to question their protocol in whether to be sure each morning that THEY had received orders for all appointments schedule for the day. She didn't seem to care for the suggestion but she got it anyway. So now I have to go back to work tomorrow, explain to my supervisor that someone screwed up and we had to do it all over again on Friday. I left only after requesting an 'excuse' confirming my arrival for a scheduled appointment and explanation of the error and necessity to reschedule. The poor girl not only heard but felt my frustration as she nervously wrote out the paper and asked for my approval of what she'd written. Once again I hear the friendly voice in the elevator "Welcome To The Breast Center!"... thank you, come again. Never fear, I'll be back before you know it!

So now it's up to me to make sure that the order is sent. Before relying on the system again, I will stop in the doctor's office myself tomorrow for the order and hand deliver myself on Friday. Maybe I'll even add a big pink ribbon. :)


  1. Ohhh D...That is pitiful! I guess that some people aren't held accountable...Sorry it turned out that way...but your blog was well written and interesting

  2. How frustrating. Is it really coming to the point where you can have a job, but expect the people you're supposed to be serving to do half of it for you? And while I'm at it, what is with that creepy WELCOME? Although I wouldn't mind who knew I was going in for a mammogram I wouldn't like some electronic announcement screaming it at me. I wonder if the donors to a sperm bank get the same 'courtesy'? Can you imagine? :D