I went to Crouse PromptCare at 11:15 a.m. Signed in. Did not get called to check in with insurance, etc.
At 11:35 a.m. got called into a treatment room with Peter, a nurse. He couldn’t get blood pressure but did get (normal) oxygen and temperature.
Shortly thereafter got student physician assistant who looked at the hundreds of large blood spots on my legs and ankles. Ruled out bedbugs, fleas, scabies, laundry detergent and drug allergies.
Shortly thereafter got physician assistant. I asked her if she knew I had SEID/ME (systemic exertion intolerance disease/myalgic encephalomyelitis). Yes, she said, she knew I had chronic fatigue. This constitutes a loud and aggressive declaration that she had no idea how complex and serious SEID/ME is. She is dismissing it as nothing of consequence.
She announced the blood spots were petechiae-something. Said she would order blood work to look at autoimmune disease, kidney trouble or bleeding disorder then she would transfer me to the Emergency Room. I respectfully decline the ER but did ask for the blood work. I asked her how long it would take to get the results. She said an hour to an hour-and-a-half.
I say, “After the blood is drawn then I’ll go out and have lunch and come back.” It was noon. Because of the ME/SEID, my blood sugar may climb to over 600 if I don’t have lunch at noon. The Joslin Diabetes Center attending physician doesn’t understand that; there is absolutely no point in trying to explain it to an urgent care PA.
She says, “No. You cannot leave the waiting room. If you do then you will have to go out AMA.” WTF? I was not aware that asking for a diagnosis meant I was being taken prisoner.
I ask her to give me a scrip for the bloodwork and I will have it done at my own lab. She refuses.
I state that I am going out AMA. I leave, then return. There is a group of about eight employees standing around and the PA who saw me is loudly telling them all about me. HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPAA. The staff think nothing of spreading my business amongst all of them, though they wouldn’t tell a stranger. There is no discretion, courtesy or respect for privacy among them.
I ask to have the ID bracelet cut off and am told that will be done at the front desk. I return to the front desk, the bracelet is removed, and we establish that I don’t have a (pink? green?) discharge sheet because I am going out AMA. I never was given admitting paperwork to fill out in the first place. I think about the group in the back getting the PA’s version of our encounter. I want my version on record, too, so I tell the clerk I’d like to see whoever is in charge.
She offers me the telephone number for “guest relations.”
I say “I am not a guest; I am a patient.” Nobody treats their guests this rudely; the medical industry does treat its patients like this.
She says, “Well, that’s what we call it.” I am bloody sick of things being called what they are not. I insist that I want to see somebody on-site with authority. She leaves, then comes back to tell me that “all the supervisors are in a training session.”
I tell her I don’t believe her. The physician assistant who saw me is the highest ranking staff person on the premises? Either the clerk is lying or that’s an irresponsible way to run a business.
The clerk leaves again. When she comes back, I ask her to give me the “Petechiae-something” diagnosis in writing. She refuses because I am going out AMA. What?! The PA made the diagnosis but won’t write it down? The clerk mentions that Security has been called, so I leave, pursed by a big guy in a uniform.
I go to Dunkin Donuts, get a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant roll and call my doctor’s office (he is out of the country) and tell his PA I’ve got lots of big petechiae. She rattles off a list of tests she will phone into my lab. Later I go to the lab, have the blood drawn, and will go back today to get the results.
There now, that wasn’t hard, was it?
It was all about Crouse’s attitude toward a complete stranger, and their complete ignorance about myalgic encephalomyelitis. After spending 104 days in Crouse Hospital in 2013, I established beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is no one working at Crouse who knows what myalgic encephalomyelitis is, or wants to learn. If they did, they would have treated me better.
I needed a medical professional to actually look at my legs, but my doctor and his PA were out of reach so I went to Crouse’s PromptCare.
I certainly hope I learned my lesson.