I have been working on arranging to meet with a pediatrician. My nurse case manager, C, at Texas Children's recommended a group near the medical district and I called last week to set up a consultation. What a disaster. The receptionist told me my first pick was not accepting patients and the second pick does not offer consultations, but I was welcome to list her as the doctor. I briefly explained Elliott's complicated CHD (congenital heart defect) situation and said asked if an exception could be made, considering the circumstances. The receptionist cut me off and said I should call back Monday to leave a message for the doctor. I asked if she could just leave a message today, since I had just explained it all to her. She refused, stating that she will not leave a message for the doctor over the weekend and I would have to call back. I thought- oh! Perhaps, I have reached the answering service. I asked if that was the case, it was not. So, I politely said thank you for your time, and that was that. Now, I will readily admit that I can be abrasive. However, I have a very reliable witness whom will attest to my calm and pleasant demeanor throughout the conversation. It was not until I hit end, and took a deep breath that I began to unravel. There are many ways a more pragmatically (socially) aware person on the other end of the line could have handled that situation. For instance, using a professional register, rather than a condescending, scolding one. Additionally, one would expect that all levels of medical personnel would have theory of mind to take the perspective of others and at the very least offer a shred of compassion during such an interaction. As I felt my blood pressure elevate, my throat constrict, and my hands shake, I called C. She is amazing. In less than 30 seconds, all systems were back to normal (whatever that is at this point in the game). She immediately put my mind at ease. She emailed the pediatrician and said she would call me Monday with a meeting time. So, today is Monday and C just called. The pediatrician, herself, will call me this afternoon and together we will work out an appointment time. Relief.
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