So you may recall that I had a CT scan on November 4th, after insisting on some follow up preventative testing when I was told “you’re fine now” last February and to just come back if I had any pain. Duh. In the end managed to get my oncologist to agree to an ultrasound, which happened in August. Well, the ultrasound results showed some dodgy stuff going on with my liver, and an MRI was recommended. THEN my mystery pain returned, so the oncologist set up another CT scan.
I got the test results three weeks ago, only because my GP prints them out for me once they are in the hospital database, otherwise I would still be totally in the dark. And since then I have been waiting for my next oncology appointment, because frankly the results are a bit worrying and I don’t know what they plan to do about what they found or suspect. There is a hospital number to call for setting up an appointment, which takes you directly to an answering machine where you leave your details. I did this twice and still haven’t heard back. Then it ocurred to me that maybe they didn’t understand my phone message because of my accent and so today I went to make an appointment in person with the Oncology secretary.
When I arrived there were about eight people already waiting in the hallway outside the secretary’s office, which seemed pretty normal, so I joined the queue. But the queue wasn’t moving at all. Then it transpired that the secretary wasn’t actually in the office. WTF? About half an hour later we were told that all the computers were down so they wouldn’t be able to make any appointments BUT they would take down our details and call us back. WTAF??
And so we waited until someone who wasn’t the oncology secretary (never did find out where she got to) wrote down our names and other details on a sheet of A4, saying someone would get in touch when appointments for our doctors opened up again. Say what? Well, apparently the doctors are all fully booked and so they aren’t making any new appointments until… oh, they didn’t actually know. Maybe end of December? Some time in January?
Meanwhile, ran into a friend of mine while I was in the hallway queue. He was on his way to an oncology appointment because DAMMIT he’s had a recurrence and now has a tumour in his lung. We hugged and kissed each other and I was left feeling so sad. Also frustrated because, even though I know Spain has a very good public health care system, it somehow feels like it’s less efficient than it was a few years ago. I mean, I am definitely a “squeaky wheel” kind of patient, but what about people who don’t push for extra testing or follow-up appointments in time to maybe save their lives?
And the irony? When I finally got into the Oncology secretary’s office I saw this photocopied message taped on the wall. Don’t worry bitches, I am ON it. 😉