Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is ANYTHING actually going to work out for me?

I am so (*%&#%(*& angry I could spit.  I am supposed to be off travellling and having a fabulous time in some exotic part of the world, and instead I'm hanging around, unemployed and bored and broke, with nothing to do, waiting for various medical people to get their acts together.

You'll have read that I broke my wrist (probably in Peru in June, although I don't know for sure).  I had an X-ray about 3 weeks ago to confirm this.  Since then I've been waiting to hear when my appointment with the orthopaedic specialist would be.

I called my doctor's office to follow up about 10 days after the X-ray and they hadn't heard back from the specialist's office, but promised to find out.  Spoke to them again about a week later:  the specialist's office had called them to tell them I hadn't shown up for my appointment the previous day.  An appointment I wasn't aware that I had, that is.

So the doc's office promised to follow up again and get back to me the same day.  No word back so I left a message after hours requesting a call back again.  In the meantime, I'd decided to give up on waiting around and go off gallivanting around Ireland/Scotland and starting looking into flights.  If it was really going to take weeks to get an appointment, I thought, I could go and spend the rest of October and November there and come back in time for the follow-up.

Heard from them again yesterday, to tell me I had an appointment for October 25th.  This didn't work out well with the above-mentioned travel plans so I asked about getting a later appointment.  Got the phone number of the specialist's office so I could talk to them directly.  (This was yesterday.)

Spent all morning phoning the specialist's office every five minutes from about 9:30 on, as no one was answering and they don't have voicemail, just a perky message that "We have stepped away from the desk for a moment so please try again in five minutes.  Good-bye."  Click.  Nothing helpful about please-leave-a-message-after-the-beep:  I had to keep calling them, I couldn't leave a message and ask them to call me.

Finally got a live human being after several hours of calling , and she told me that, as it would be my second missed appointment, I'd have to "go through the process" from the beginning and she couldn't arrange another appointment for me until my case was reviewed by the doctor in question.  The two missed appointments?  Oh, the one I hadn't been told about at all on Monday, and the one on October 25th that I hadn't yet agreed to at all.  

Because of those, she adamantly refused to book me another later appointment, despite my best and most persuasive arguments.  She had a "process" and she was damn well going to follow it.  I'd have to go back to the bottom of the list, she said, and I'd be told -- eventually -- when my appointment would be rescheduled for.  (I added the "eventually" -- she didn't say it, but that was the definite tone.)

So I'd be back to square one, basically.  I'd be waiting around indefinitely to find out when the bloody appointment would be at all, and then tt could end up being in a few weeks, or a month, or two months, or ... God only knows.  So my travel planning would continue to be difficult, and if (God forbid) I have to have anything complicated done with my wrist when I DO eventually see the doctor, it could potentially screw up the rest of my time off.

I finally gave up in frustration and said, fine, I'd take the appointment on the 25th.   Then I ranted and roared to myself as I stomped around my apartment in fury.  (My neighbours, if they're home, probably think I'm nuts.)

That probably means I DON'T go to Ireland and Scotland now, as spending the six weeks or so I'd thought about would mean I couldn't leave until the end of the month and would bring me well into December (and cold, grey, rainy winter) before I was done.  I could leave tomorrow, I suppose, but I'd still only get a couple of weeks before I had to turn around and come home -- I could do that in vacation time from work, so doesn't seem worth the expense of it now.

But I don't know what the hell to do instead.  Had I known back at the beginning of September my appointment would wind up being the end of October, I'd have gone off happily travelling and had plenty of time to wander around the UK.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I get 3 additional months off, so I can actually get some of the places I want to go, but I don't know yet whether the powers that be will agree or not.  If I get the extra time, that takes some of the pressure off.

If I don't ... well, I don't want to waste the 3 months I have left, and I definitely don't want to spend it all sitting around Toronto.  I don't even want to spend the next two weeks -- while waiting for this bloody appointment -- sitting around Toronto, but neither do I want to spend tons of money on a short trip somewhere.

Ideas?  What would you do if you were me?

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