So they did my left eye yesterday, after an orgy of administrative disorganization that would make Camp Runamuck look like the Prussian Army.
This, mind you, is the office that didn’t practically put me on a conveyor belt, ask a blind woman to sign in on a touchscreen situated for maximum glare, or drive to the end of Creation to get to their surgical facility. No, this is the place I turfed up after I got rid of he obvious assholes and had a medically qualified veteran of eye surgery help me with my homework.
The surgeon is apparently a Big Noise. He lectures on corneal disease and like that. Gee, You’re Wonderful, Professor. Everyone was courteous, sharp, had immediate answers, ducks in a row. I should have looked under the bed.
First eye went great, aside from the pesky nuisance of no longer having glasses that worked for either eye — something about getting one eye clear meant that even my old prescription didn’t correct the remaining eye. But I had an old pair of reading glasses (calibrated for merely legal blindness from nearsightedness; look at it this way, if your +2 reading glasses from CVS are on one side of a line, mine are the same distance on the other and would make you have to prop your book up on Mars). They kind of worked.
Nothing really works at the moment. But I get ahead of myself.
So they scheduled eye #2 for the first Wednesday in October. Before they even did eye #1, I got a call: oh they need me to come back in, the surgeon looked at the imaging that Dr. Frammis signed off on and wants it redone (they use some pretty Star Trek tech to map the inner eye, like a laser camera that realizes all ten cellular layer of the retina; mine was pronounced fabulous, which was comforting, at least one structure in there isn’t fucked up). Great shuffle and panic. Scheduling of a return visit. The phone tag that ensued would have done credit to Abbott and Costello; first the Engineer, who has to drive me to all this shit, had to ask me to reschedule because of work. We find a time. In an hour some other asshole calls back. The first asshole I talked to “doesn’t understand their schedule” and we have to look for another date. Three hours later I’ve lost track of the assholes, but it has to be rescheduled again.
Two days later I play back a message on my answering machine after work hours on a Friday. Surprise! The surgeon looked at my photos (didn’t he already?) and said it’s fine, no need to come in, but oh, he has a professional obligation and they will need to reschedule the second surgery.
Of course I can’t do shit about this till Monday. I get a twerp who coos in her Customer Voice that “we’d reached out to you a couple of times” (memo to Dante Alighieri: in what circle of hell do you put people who say “reach out” in this context?). “Yeah, in the last hours of Friday,” I said. “I don’t break out of patient appointments to take calls any more than your doctors do.” I find I get a little more respect if I refer to “patients” instead of clients. And by this time, I’m over being nice.
She offers me a time two weeks later than the one on my book. At this point I have just about had it and say “May I point out that [gives narration of past five days of phone tag clusterfuck] and now this, and [voice starting to break] is there anyone there who gives a crap?”
Like I said, done being nice.
Chirpy Asshole finally comes clean that the doctor who did my second pre-op check (measure twice, cut once) has “left the practice suddenly” and that accounts for some of the rescheduling, since she would also be doing followups (you get two for each eye, then a final one a month later). The sudden leaving was not explained, but a week later someone ELSE called to “go over the visit you had with Dr. Frammis” and ask searchingly if I FULLY UNDERSTOOD the surgery and the type of replacement lens I had asked for.
Dr. Frammis must have seriously fucked up. But Dr. Frammis is not my surgeon or even a surgeon at all, so I persevere.
A week before the reset surgical date, Chirpy Asshole calls to say they have to reschedule again because the surgeon has another “professional obligation” but can do it Friday instead of Wednesday of the same week. FINE. “You’ll have to come in for your followup the same day of course because it’s Friday.” (Narrator’s voice. Mama Sled, whose clients do not depend on her for life or vision, would fucking come in on a weekend if she had to jerk someone around this much, but then if she jerked people around this much, she wouldn’t have a practice.) “Thank you for understanding.”
“Actually, I don’t understand how Dr. Wonderful can be this out of control of his own schedule,” I said. “What the hell is going on?” So I get another tidbit of honesty: he’s doing this project with Johnson and Johnson and blather blether… You know, no matter how much moola some pharma giant offered me, I think I’d call my surgery day (clearly, with this guy, it’s Wednesday) SACRED. But that’s just me.
“Anyway, we appreciate your being flexible!”
“Honey,” I said, “what are my options?”
to be continued….