For a moment there, I’d forgotten I was dealing with the mental health people.
It’s time to call in the boy’s prescription, so I call the number for the office. “Why are you calling here?” the receptionist snaps. “We don’t do that at the satellite office.”
Well, this was the only number I was provided, I say.
You need this one, she says, and rattles it off. I dial that one and get a very nice voicemail message explaining exactly what information to leave so they can call in the prescription refill. I leave it all and ask for a callback to make sure I’ve done it correctly.
Imagine my surprise when they called back!
The woman was a joy to speak to, and quickly I learned why. Because the receptionist had given me the number for nephrology prescriptions, not neurology prescriptions. The nicest person I’ve spoken to in this war, and I’ll never speak with her again. She gave me a new number…
…where I get a rude voicemail outgoing message telling me that unless it’s between 8:30 and 8:37, I cannot call in to get a prescription refilled. Of course I am not allowed to leave a message like at the other office. The staffed line didn’t answer after fifty rings, so I decided to try during normal refill hours the next day.
Pause for an aside here: there are only two areas of medicine where I’m convinced the practitioners and the staff actively hate their clients. OB/GYN and mental health seem to breed that kind of loathing of the patients. Yes, I’ve met those who genuinely care. But they’re much rarer. OB nurses get away with active rudeness you never see on a surgical floor. OBs call it “standard of care” to perform procedures on clients not only without consent but over their objections. (Hence why I’m a midwife patient. They actually like women.) And we’re seeing firsthand that mental health people tend to be brusque and rude.
The next day, I got an actual person. She asked for the medical record number, the doctor’s name, and the drug name. Then she asked for the dosage. Well, blamed if I know: I can’t find the original prescription. She gets huffy. “Can you read it to me off the bottle?” No, I don’t have that here.
Does she need that? No. The entire prescription is in the computer. It’s not as if, had I asked for a five times stronger dosage, she would have blindly entered it and hit “send.” Then she says, “YOu need another appointment,” and transfers me.
So I make an appointment. My choices of appointment date were “Tomorrow” and “Late January.” I kid you not. I said, “There’s nothing in between?” No, nothing at all. So I took January. This appointment is a joke anyhow. “Does he still have Asperger’s?” the doctor will say while Kiddo#1 and Kiddo#3 destroy a tiny exam room, and I’ll tell him yes, and we’ll go home.
I asked the appointment person, “Is the prescription actually going to get called in?” She said she didn’t know but would transfer me back to prescriptions.
I got a different person. One who was, ah, well, confused. A little. “I just want to know,” I said, “if the person I spoke to before is going to call in the refill.”
This shouldn’t be tough, right? She went over it with me a few times before she asked me, “But is she going to refill it?”
Um, that’s what I asked you, right?
I opted for valor and waited a while, then called the pharmacy. It got called in. We’re safe.
At least until the prescription runs out.