Bureaucracy at its Finest

If any of you were waiting for the Halloween ultrasound results and I completely forwent telling you anything, and you’re sitting at home going, “Why isn’t she posting anything about it,” it’s because I forgot. We didn’t have it. In fact, the doctor’s office I was going to have it at called me last Monday to reschedule and claimed their earliest available date was November 22nd.

Of course, I got all upset and called to cry to Charlie, then called a couple of other people who’d had one recently to find out if I was upset for no reason. They said I should be upset. So we spent the afternoon calling this doctor’s office, that doctor’s office, and centers for diagnostic imaging where they’re just like radiology and ultrasound factories.

Turns out, no one would write me an order to go to this place (which they require) after getting an appointment for last Thursday, and, although this OB from my doctor’s office isn’t even officially my OB, she refused to allow me to go see someone else. I thought this seemed petty and suddenly wanted to go to a different OB. I haven’t even met her before, nor have I even filled out any paperwork, and her office is telling me she won’t write an order for me to see a different doctor just so I can find out how pregnant I am. And even though it wouldn’t be a doctor performing the ultrasound and I’d have to see someone to give me the results. But whatever.

Charlie even went so far as to explain to the receptionist that we’d only wanted a blood test two weeks ago to determine how far along I was and my general practitioner had said it wouldn’t do much good/tell us that much, so it was her suggestion that we get an ultrasound in the first place. The receptionist said we should have gotten the blood test anyway. Oh, okay. So when can we get one? November 13th, she says, is the earliest date. What if we’re missing important early pregnancy dates when we should be testing for stuff, and we don’t find out something we could have found out?

Of course, being a bit of a conspiracy theorist, Charlie thinks that since the office we go through is a part of St Vincent’s Hospital, they do it on purpose to force people from terminating early pregnancies that could be very difficult, complicated, or in jeopardy. I told him he’s just being paranoid — it’s simply your usual inefficiency and capitalism at work. The doctor’s office wants our insurance money, plain and simple, so she doesn’t want us to go to someone else. These sorts of things are in place because our health care system blows and I should be happy I have any insurance at all. So why should I expect to have an obstetrician I like?

I just keep thinking, what if I meet her and I don’t like her? I don’t want to get stuck with this same woman for the next who-knows-how-many months, and what if I want to see a different OB, but this woman won’t send my paperwork to them or something like that? Ugh.


3 thoughts on “Bureaucracy at its Finest

  1. You know, the theory that Charlie has isn’t that far off. I don’t know, with not being in the state and all, but I am just saying.

    Also, I would say that you are free to find someone else at anytime. Get tough with them if need be. They can’t force you to be their patient. Go where you’ll be comfortable.

  2. I’m pissed for you, and I have to admit that Charlie’s theory seems sound to me. I doubt the situation is really that ugly, but with a less, uh, life-focused hospital system I imagine they might be a little more sensitive about couples’ desires for early testing. You should have the opportunity to make those decisions. I don’t know how far along you think you are, but I’m trying to do the math in my head and by the end of November you should be at or past 12 weeks– when they do nuchal screening and the quad marker blood tests that show your level of risk for Downs Syndrome and the other trisomies. That’s important shit. I opted not to do that screening, but I at least had the choice. If you wait too long, the tests are no longer effective indicators. It might be worth mentioning this to the doc’s office as a concern to see if you can get in earlier or get a referral someplace else.

    What a load of horseshit. By the time you see this baby, you might even be able to tell what sex s/he is!

  3. My OB/GYN is located at St. Vincent and they have never been anything but wonderful for me. When I called and told them I was pregnant, he got me in the same week for an ultrasound and initial consultation. I never had any problem getting appointments nor did they cancel any appointments on me. Of course, he was my OB/GYN before I got pregnant.

    I delivered at St. Vincent too (my doc only goes through there as part of an agreement) and it was a wonderful experience.

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