On Friday morning, I talked with the nurse at Bob's primary care doctor's office. She had gotten "some" of the pre-op test results back and was waiting to discuss those results with the doctor before giving me the "go ahead" to take Bob off the warfarin and start the heparin bridge that weekend.
She said she'd call me back.
By 4:30 p.m., I hadn't heard from her so called the office and was connected to her voice mail. I left a message and told her that I was waiting for her call. I wasn't too concerned, even though it was late in the day on the Friday before the Labor Day Weekend, because I've dealt with this nurse before and she always follows through, even if it is after hours.
By 6:00 p.m., I was getting concerned, because I still had not heard from the nurse and it is so unlike her not to follow through. So I called the doctor's office. Or, I should say, I tried to call the doctor's office but I couldn't get through because our phone was dead.
We have an old fashion land line telephone. So, first I checked the connections in the back of our phone. Then I checked the connections at the phone jack. Everything seemed to be order, but I still had no dial tone. I then got out our "back-up emergency" phone and connected that to the jack. Still no dial tone. Then, I went into my office and found I had no DSL on my computer and the jack going to the modem was also dead.
Anyway, that explains why the nurse didn't call. Because we had no phone service. I wasn't horribly over concerned as I had a "back up" plan to talk with the lab tech on Sunday, and he could tell me the test results, if nothing else.
So I got out my crappy little pre-paid minutes Tracfone, which I use for emergencies and also take with me when I am out of the house and Bob is with a caregiver, so that I can be contacted if there is any problem. I call the phone company.
The phone company runs some kind of test on the line and tells me that it looks like it's a problem on the inside of the house and that it would be my responsibility to fix because I haven't purchased the "maintenance plan" unless I wanted to hire their overpriced service. I tell the customer representative that it would be weird if the problem was in the house, because both phone jacks are dead, and those jacks are in two different rooms and have separate phone lines running to the outside box. So the representative tells me to go outside and open the phone company's box and test the phone jack in the box. Which I do and there is no dial tone there either.
So the phone company rep says it looks like it's a problem outside the house, and they will send a service tech out, but unfortunately it is the Friday before the Labor Day Weekend and they will not be able to get out to our house until Tuesday.
And I'm thinking, what???!! Tuesday? You've got to be kidding! I tell the rep that I cannot deal with no phone, NO INTERNET until Tuesday, and they must have someone working on the weekend-- And she (the rep) tells me that they only have a "skeleton crew" because of the holiday and that we are NOT "high priority". So I tell her that my husband is severely disabled and, in fact, this stupid phone service cut off right when I was waiting for a call from his doctor's office-- And she asks me what phone am I calling her on? I tell her it's my crappy little Tracfone, and she says she can "call forward" our regular number to my Tracfone if I want her too. So I tell her to do it. Even though this means that I will have to pay for every call we get. I give her the number. And she says that "maybe" the skeleton crew will get to me this weekend, depending on how busy they are with, you know, higher priority customers. By now, I'm rather fuming, and I have a funny feeling, so I ask her to please repeat the phone number that she's call forwarding our landline to, and she reads it to me, and, of course, it's the wrong number. So I tell her the right number and have her repeat it back. Then she asks if there is anything else she can do for me today, and I tell her to please get one of those skeleton crews out here this weekend. She says, she'll try, but can't guarantee it.
So, after I get off the phone with the phone company, I decide to call the doctor's office, on the off-chance that anyone is still there. But I get their answering service, and I explain to them that I was waiting for a call from the nurse when something happened to our phone service. She says she can't page a nurse, but she can page the doctor on call, which is not Bob's primary care, but The Big Cheese doctor (the one who owns the clinic) and he might be able to help me. So I'm thinking well, The Big Cheese should have access to patient records and he can look and see if the nurse left any notes on Bob's chart. So, I have her page The Cheese and, of course, when he finally calls me I am in the bathroom, so miss his call. I get his voice mail which basically says "This is The Big Cheese, call me back" but I can't call him back because his phone has come up as "private" on the Tracfone, so I call the answering service back and explain to them that I missed the darn call and she says she'll page The Cheese again. And I wait.
Finally, at 10:30 p.m., The Cheese calls and when I explain the whole situation to him, he tells me just to stop the warfarin on Sunday and start the lovenox on Monday as planned and not to worry about it.... And I don't believe he even looked anything up on Bob's chart....
Saturday rolls around and I am going nuts without my computer (though I am getting our calls forwarded and creditors are now eating up my Tracfone minutes). I don't see any "skeletons" from the "skeleton crew" in our yard, so I call the phone company for a status update and the automated message tells me that we are scheduled for service on Wednesday NOT Tuesday. Which really ticks me off, so I get a hold of an actual representative and ask her why we are scheduled for Wednesday and not Tuesday and I am told, once again, that we are NOT high priority and so we've been shifted to Wednesday because of the holiday backlog. By now, I am steaming, and I tell her that my husband is disabled and we need our phone service, and she tells me that she didn't know my husband was disabled and she will push us back up to Tuesday service as a "medical priority". And I ask about the "skeleton crew" and she says she's very sorry but the skeletons are too busy this weekend, and someone will be here on Tuesday.
On Sunday, I call the lab tech and get his answering service and leave a message reminding him to contact me. This is exactly what the lab tech told me to do. By Sunday afternoon, the lab tech still has not called me back so I call again and leave another message. And another message. And he never calls back.
So Sunday night, I take Bob off the warfarin. And on Monday I start the lovenox.
This morning, the phone company serviceman arrives and finds that "Copper thieves" had cut our phone line down and stolen it for scrap.
Then, also this morning, the Walgreens delivery guy shows up with a bottle of antibiotics. One that had been sitting at the store since Friday when the primary care doctor called it in, but Walgreens never bothered to notify me about it.
So I call the nurse and ask her what's up with this antibiotic? She says that she tried to call me on Friday but kept getting a busy signal, that the doctor had ordered a five day antibiotic so that Bob could still have his surgery on Friday, but that prescription should have been started on Saturday and she couldn't believe that Walgreens didn't call and inform us of a prescription ready to be picked up.
So it comes down to: the nurse couldn't call and inform me of the doctor's order because a copper thief cut down our phone line to sell for scrap. Walgreens didn't bother to inform us of the prescription and the landline WAS call forwarded but instead, just tossed the antibiotics in the delivery bin for Tuesday. And The Big Cheese doctor didn't bother to look at Bob's chart.
And yes, I am sharpening my ax... though the question is, who do I start with? Probably the copper thief, then The Cheese, then Walgreens, then maybe the lab tech, and finally the phone company just to show them who is High Priority here! Bah ha ha!
We still don't know if surgery is on or off for Friday...
And lord almighty, why do I feel like I'm living in a really, really stupid soap opera...?
But at least I'm back on the internet!