Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Fuming (and swearing)


This is the number of times in a row that my GP's office has fucked up my CD 3 bloodwork.

Last month I went in on the same day as my very positive (but clearly worlds apart, experientially speaking) appointment with the specialist. I waited for the results, and I waited. I'm accustomed (by now) to having to chase my own results if I want to stay in the loop. OK, so far so usual; I called and nagged. Results still not in, they said. I waited a few days more and called again. Still no results, the receptionist said at first, but then: Oh wait! We have them here after all and I can just pop them in the mail to save you having to make an appointment. I thought this was very helpful and thanked her for the trouble. Except that when the mail arrived, it was my CD 21 bloodwork from the previous cycle. (Which means that either she hadn't listened or wasn't paying too much attention to my charts). In the end, I happened to be passing by their office to pick up a prescription for H, so while I was there I thought I'd just rectify the mistake and pick up the correct results (a full month later) in person.

When I asked for these, the receptionist looked at my chart, started acting cagey and mumbled something about having to make a phone call. Long story short: she hangs up the phone and tells me that the blood was not tested because it had clotted by the time it reached the pathology lab. Now, I'm no lab technician, but I have had literally hundreds of vials of blood taken in the course of my life, and this is the first time that it has ever misbehaved in this particular way. I'm thinking that either the samples have to be stored or transported incorrectly for them to coagulate to a point beyond testability. (Any medical types out there feel free to correct me).

Oh, and they didn't bother letting me know this because apparently they had the wrong details about which medical practice had ordered the tests in the first place and the message was never relayed. I kept my cool and put on my best ice bitch calm and collected face.  

Why it's lucky I asked then! says I. Because today just so happens to be CD 3 for this cycle, meaning you can march me straight in, drawn more of my close to boiling blood, and still get the results in time for my appointment with the subfertility clinic on the 24th. All smiles, I was. I even joked with the nurse about not losing my blood this time.

(Ha! The irony! The horrible accuracy of hindsight!)

So you can imagine that this morning when I received a text message saying that I should contact the GP's office to discuss my blood results with a nurse, a hint of oh for fuck's sake, what now?! trepidation crept in. I called and was put through to a nurse. And she proceeded to tell me that my CD 3 hormone levels (for this, the second cycle in a row) were not tested because...[wait for it!]...the vials had been labelled wrong.

They put the wrong fucking surname on my blood, and realized only too late, and had to ditch it. And now I'm at CD 8, which means too late to catch those hormone levels this cycle, in time for our upcoming appointment with the specialist. Also, given the weird variance in my last two cycles, I feel it would have been worthwhile, not to say reassuring, to catch the fluctuations at the time.

I got off the phone and was shaking with anger until H peeled me off the ceiling and soothed me. I know it's not a big deal in the larger scheme; but I can't help but wonder, if they can screw up something so simple with such frequency, what hope is there for more monumental health issues? And don't we already have enough on our plates, really? Must I always cajole, and be vigilant and harass for them just to do the jobs they're trained (we can only assume) to do? How much more blood do I have to spill?

And WHY can't I just fucking HAVE A HEALTHY BABY already, like normal people, without all these doctors visits and poking and prodding and blood letting and angry tears?!

 Because at the end of the day, that's really the crux of it.

OK, I feel a bit better now. Deep breath.

Note that second step people. Source.


  1. Unacceptable!! My blood is boiling for you!

  2. I am so, so sorry. You are so right in that if these people can't even test blood correctly, how are they handling more severe things. Hugs to you.

  3. This is ridonkulous. I can't believe that they messed up your results two months in a row. I hope that you/your insurance wasn't billed for that. Ugh. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with such incompetence for such a simple task.

  4. OMG, I can not believe it but I am also not surprised.
    BTW, the blood clotting can be: bad handling, like you said, or they took it out in the wrong tube (you probably noticed tubes have green, purple, black, caps... this indicate the anti-clotting agent and depending on the test one or other should be used).
    It is unbelievable. And I am sorry this has happened.
    (Here they do the same kind of thing, this arrogant, smug nurses that think they know everything, act like doctors, but actually have no idea. I got my period on Friday afternoon. We called on Monday morning (CD4) to ask for an appointment and see if you can start an IUI cycle, check my lining, that there are no cysts, etc (anytime from days 3-5). The nurse then proceeds to inform me that if I got my period after 12 pm it was day 3, not 4. Arrrrg. I had to explain the situation to the doctor, who is super nice, and make sure to set the record straight. Who is she to tell me on which cycle day I am? Is she in my pants or something.?

    But, we will get pregnant soon Sadie, it will work out. It will, it will, it will.

    1. Thank you for those words Amanda; I have to believe that it will work out for us, one way or another, in the end. It is always nice to be reminded of that!

  5. This is fucking ridiculous. To screw up once should have resulted in them contacting you, apologizing profusely and coming up with a plan for it to never happen again. But twice?!?!? Honestly, I would contact my insurance, tell them the story and ask them what they are going to do to make all of this better because 1) this doctor is setting him/herself up for a major lawsuit and 2) this reflects poorly on them too. In addition, I would also contact the fertility clinic and tell them all that has happened. That way they can help rectify the situation and also bitch at the other clinic for being so incompetent.

    Either way, I'm so sorry. Figuring out how others should be doing their job isn't where you should be spending your time. hang in there

  6. Preach! This is absolutely outrageous - our job as patients is to show up, do what they ask, raise some questions and pay the bills. All they have to do is, like, you know, their job. This is the last thing you should have to worry about - it's not that I'm upset that us in the infertile set have to be our own advocate for routine procedures and blood draws, we're adults, that's fine. But the required hyper vigilance and all the repeated screw ups, is totally unacceptable. Hang in there, friend.

  7. Just ... wow. The errors, the lack of communication, the receptionist's instinct to cover up -- any one of these things would be enough to shake a patient's confidence. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this nonsense on top of the "usual" stress!

  8. Ugh. What an ordeal. It's so frustrating when people can't just do their jobs. And so many of them, given so many opportunities to do so. It sucks that these are the people we have to rely on to try to build our families, instead of doing it the fun way. I'm sorry. Sending you hugs.

    1. Thanks Daryl. I think in the larger scheme, that's what it's really about: we have to rely on so many other people, so many unknown quantities in what should be the simple equasion of making a baby. It's not fair and it frustrates me no end and I guess that was where some of the rage was coming from last week. I hate that you understand what I'm talking about. Hugs back my friend.

  9. Oh what, this is bullshit, and shouldn't happen, at all. And twice, that's just unbelievable. How frustrating!!


    Utterly annoying.



    1. I couldn't have said it better myself Nomi! Thanks for your commiserations.

  11. Wow this is unbelievable!!!! I don't blame you for being frustrated, I definitely would be! I switched clinics for less than that!!


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