Friday, May 15, 2015

Brain teasers

Due to long hold times for getting through to an operator with The Ride, I used the automated system to set up my "mini-rides" next week from Dana-Farber (450 Brookline Ave.), to Margaret's (945 South St. in Needham), not to be confused with the longer ride from South Hadley,  the troublemaker last time.

At first I was told that 945 South St. was an invalid address. So I tried again and got a message saying you cannot go to and from the same place.

I pressed zero and walked around with the phone on speaker while waiting to get a real person who didn't think two different addresses were the same. As often happens when you are on hold for a while, I was surprised when someone answered.

I asked to be picked up at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Dana-Farber after my photopheresis, driven to Margaret's, and then picked up at Margaret's at 6:15 a.m. to get back to Dana-Farber for the second round starting at 7.

"We can't schedule a ride before 7," the woman said.

I replied that it had been done last week, although then canceled because I had my own car.

"The earliest we can get you there is 7:15," she said.

She reconsidered, then put me on hole and came back with a different answer.

They could schedule me to be there at 7.

Question: "What time would they pick me up?"

Answer: "We can't tell you that because we can't schedule before 7. The driver will call you the night before to let you know the time."

This does not breed confidence.

However, I was happy to get through immediately to a real person when I called to confirm Monday's ride from South Hadley to Boston and book others. She was super nice and scheduled them through the first week of July. She then had to go for the day, but she said that she would call me back on Monday to finish up so that I would not have to be on hold forever.

Her name is Ramona. I need to follow up and put in a good word for her. Nobody has offered anything like that before.

I have stories to write, and I will get them done, but all of this scheduling is gobbling up chunks of time and energy.

This extends to figuring out when and where to see doctors, too. For example, I have gotten bounced around when trying to schedule an appointment with Dr. Liu, the dermatologist who is overseeing the ECP. She works out of three offices; one person tells me to call another person who tells me to call another person who asks me why I am calling.

I have had success in contacting my main dermatologist (yes, I have two) through email.

I just wrote her and Melissa asking for Dr. Liu's email so I can hopefully avoid all these phone calls.

The last line of that email was: Stress level rising.

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