Thanks for Nothing, Cleveland Clinic

On October 23 I went to see the surgeon who performed my second spine operation. Though I didn't mention it on this blog, it was a nightmare. I spent 5-1/2 hours there and all but 5 minutes waiting, and at one point was so upset with how I was being treated - including several conversations my doctor had with others about my situation when he was right outside my room - that I hand wrote a "To my doctor" letter on spare paper I had on me in an effort to calm down. Maybe one day I'll just have to post that.

So at the end of the appointment I requested all of my records. After all, I wasted my entire morning there so I should walk away with something, right? I wanted to be able to take them to Baltimore so surgeon #3 could see the progression. Every film I had taken on my back since May 2005 was in the Cleveland Clinic's hands. The surgeon had his secretary give me a form right away to release my records, and then took it from me directly to be processed. I was told that it would be expedited. This was on Thursday, October 23.

So two weeks later, I have not received a thing. My work schedule has been so dreadful that I haven't found the time to think "Hey, you should call CCF and check the status of your records." Well, actually it pops in my head every day, but only at 7:30pm at night when I'm driving home from work. Until today. Yes, last minute, but that's my life lately.

I take 10 minutes to find a number to call, another 10 minutes on hold with the records department. Figured I would go right to the source instead of trying to call a surgeon's secretary who never answers her phone and takes days to call back. I give my patient information, and then I hear the dreaded words. "Sorry, we have no record of your request. It must not have made it to our department."

So now I'm going to Baltimore tomorrow with nothing from CCF other than some test results I can print off the web and the set of x-rays I have from October 23. That's it. I probably should be surprised, but I'm not. Furious, but not surprised.

I'd love nothing more than to tell CCF and the staff I've had to deal with where they can go, and to have twenty minutes alone with a really good punching bag, but for now I'll just have to suffice blogging about it. Tomorrow is around the corner, and "it is what it is."

In the meantime, if you are in need of medical care and want to be treated like some hurt cow that's just going off to the butcher shop anyway, go to The Cleveland Clinic. They specialize in making you feel about two levels lower than dirt. If you want to be treated with a little respect, then go somewhere else. University Hospitals, maybe. I'll let you know.

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