A Collection of Problems with the US Health Care System

Disabled. Florida. Statement 10127.

Categories: Interested Observer Statements
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State:: Florida

Occupation:: Disabled

In May of this year I took my mother for a routine mammogram. They found a few masses in both of her breasts. Her doctor contacted me with her results a couple of months ago and wanted to schedule an MRI of her breast due to the findings on the mammogram. I went and picked up the films from the mammogram as requested by my mother’s doctor and scheduled her appointment for the MRI.

My mother is 78 years old and had to have her colon removed due to colon cancer a few years ago and therefore she has to wear a colostomy bag. She also has emphysema and severe scoliosis of the spine.

A couple of weeks ago I took my mother for this MRI. First of all, they didn’t have a clip board for me to fill out the paperwork. I had to stand up over a ledge to fill it out. Then the person who collected the co-payment (who is probably close to 80 years old herself), forgot to give us a receipt. We had to ask her several times for her to give it to us. We waited there for over two hours for find out that their MRI machine was not working so they sent us to their other office. Needless-to-say, we had to wait another hour in that office as well. This test consisted on her lying on her belly for about 45 minutes. This test was very difficult for her to take because she wears a bag on her stomach and because she has severe scoliosis. She got through the test and I took her home. She has been in pain with her spine ever since.

Her doctor called me again to tell me that the MRI showed as benign but she needs to go back for an ultrasound to double check the results. I received a call from the Center on Monday, August 16th to schedule this appointment. I asked the woman on the phone if I needed to bring anything with me and she said “No, we have her MRI reports here and they will be compared to the ultrasound while she is taking the test.”

I took her for her appointment today, Wednesday, August 18th. I was told to get her at this appointment at 12:45. We were there at 12:30. At 1:15 a women walked out and asked me if I had her films. I told her what the scheduler had told me on the phone and then she went back in her office. Later she calls us and tells me that they need the films. I was angry so the scheduler came in to see me. She told me “I never read the report and therefore I don’t know what you need to bring with you.” She then called and requested my mother’s records on a CD. I had to leave my mother there to pick up this CD.

Time was of the essence because when you have a colostomy bag, it fills up whenever you eat or drink anything and therefore, my mother didn’t eat or drink anything in order to get this test done. If she does not drink anything for a long period of time, she dehydrates quickly and will need to be rushed to the hospital before her kidney’s fail. Therefore, I had to break all the traffic laws to get this done as quickly as possible. I had to wait at for 20 minutes because the girl who was burning the CD was having some problems. As soon as she was done I rushed back to the Center to find my mother crying because her bag was leaking. She had to drink a little water when she was waiting for me and therefore the bag filled up quickly. She had gone to the rest room to empty it, but it had already leaked.

They took us in and we waited for about another 20 minutes. Two of their manager’s came out and told us the CD was blank. By this time I had to leave with my mother to get her something to eat and drink and to take her home to calm down and relax. They did offer to go pick up the actual films, but we would have had to wait another hour or so. We couldn’t due to my mother’s condition.

Editors Note: (names edited out per editorial policy)