Weird phone call before surgery

Posted by grannyzoo @grannyzoo, Oct 1, 2021

On September 27th I got a very strange call from my pain management doctors office asking me “What exactly did I think was happening to me on the 13th of October!” (I was scheduled to have a temporary spinal cord stimulator implanted.) I questioned this question because I felt it was very strange. This nurse went on to tell me that the doctor requested this call be made because his notes were not clear. Curious how MC approved an unknown procedure… The following day I was chewed out by the supervising nurse for my lack of faith in this office and deciding to cancel my procedure. I’m struggling to find a place that can help me where I live for the pain. Any suggestions? CRPS is the illness.

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Hi Granny Zoo- it’s possible that the surgeon offered more than one option to you, documented the options, but didn’t clarify which one you chose. My experience is that one code is communicated to the insurance for the overall “big”procedure, but exactly what is done is decided by the patient, following discussion with the surgeon. This will be hard for you to hear, but IF the surgeon is well-regarded and experienced and IF where the surgery would be scheduled has a very good reputation, then I would call back and “eat dirt”. What is most important is your well-being and to go all the way back to the starting line just doesn’t make sense (finding another surgeon, getting an appointment, getting your records, etc, etc). As the saying goes- “Is this the hill you want to die on?”. I would call them back and eat dirt- “I just got all flustered”, “ all this COVID stuff just has me on edge”, “I always get rattled before a surgery”, “I’m so sorry, has my spot been filled?,” you folks have always been so wonderful”…Who cares if the nurse was not nice, what’s important is getting the care you need!! Keep your eyes on the prize!

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@grannyzoo I can see how a call like that may set off a red flag to you and have you thinking that maybe they are prepared for your procedure. I think what @centre has shared is good perspective to consider. Alongside that, I would also offer that I would much prefer any medical organization contacting me to confirm so we are on the same page versus having something unexpected happen.

If you still have concerns, I would encourage you to reach out to The Office of Patient Experience at 507-284-4988. Staff are available to discuss comments or concerns you may have regarding your medical care or privacy at Mayo Clinic.

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@amandajro

@grannyzoo I can see how a call like that may set off a red flag to you and have you thinking that maybe they are prepared for your procedure. I think what @centre has shared is good perspective to consider. Alongside that, I would also offer that I would much prefer any medical organization contacting me to confirm so we are on the same page versus having something unexpected happen.

If you still have concerns, I would encourage you to reach out to The Office of Patient Experience at 507-284-4988. Staff are available to discuss comments or concerns you may have regarding your medical care or privacy at Mayo Clinic.

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This wasn’t through MAYO Clinic.

I appreciate the advice but I’m very concerned.

I wish I had a way to get to the Mayo Clinic! It is very difficult from finding anyone that knows about this disease.

I appreciate the input.

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@centre

Hi Granny Zoo- it’s possible that the surgeon offered more than one option to you, documented the options, but didn’t clarify which one you chose. My experience is that one code is communicated to the insurance for the overall “big”procedure, but exactly what is done is decided by the patient, following discussion with the surgeon. This will be hard for you to hear, but IF the surgeon is well-regarded and experienced and IF where the surgery would be scheduled has a very good reputation, then I would call back and “eat dirt”. What is most important is your well-being and to go all the way back to the starting line just doesn’t make sense (finding another surgeon, getting an appointment, getting your records, etc, etc). As the saying goes- “Is this the hill you want to die on?”. I would call them back and eat dirt- “I just got all flustered”, “ all this COVID stuff just has me on edge”, “I always get rattled before a surgery”, “I’m so sorry, has my spot been filled?,” you folks have always been so wonderful”…Who cares if the nurse was not nice, what’s important is getting the care you need!! Keep your eyes on the prize!

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Granny Zoo, It is possible that the doctor's note were unclear to him! He sees piles of patients and had to confirm what to do with you. Sad, but they really don't remember. You are just one among many. LoriRenee1

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I’m going to find someone more professional. “Eating dirt” comment tipped the scale for me. Thanks.

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My neurosurgeon recently asked me which foot I thought my sural nerve biopsy is to be on. The initial referral he received from my primary neurologist (that I’m not particularly fond of) wasn’t clear. I had my first neurosurgeon consultation appointment canceled on me because of my primary doctor’s failure to clarify this issue, and when I was rescheduled for my consult one month later while awaiting the simple answer from my neurologist, my surgeon was questioning why he’s to do my right vs my left. Anyway, my surgeon helped find, in advance, an error my referring neurologist made. I’ve also found it very, very common with other types of surgeries to repeatedly be asked what I’m getting done. All for our safety. I might not call it “eating dirt”, but I agree we need to pick our battles, and ask if this is really one of them. I say that while I have a new primary neurologist lined up to take over my care in 2 months, a process I started 2 months ago knowing it would take 4 months to get an appointment with a new provider, and I wanted to keep my total care uninterrupted during the transition and not lose the biopsy finally scheduled that was referred by the doctor I’ll be leaving. In the end, we do have to be our own care advocates, so we shouldn’t fear questioning our doctors, and I think of it as being partners in our care. But the realty is we’re just one of many to a single doctor, while we are able to focus on ourselves, so I think a good doctor would appreciate being partners if we’re giving mutual respect and both doing our parts for results.

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