Does this scenario sound familiar? You have run out of medication and are denied a refill until an appointment is scheduled. However, the day of the appointment you are not feeling well enough to go to the doctor’s office. The Catch-22 is that you require the medications (that you cannot get a refill on), to help make it feasible for you to make it to your appointment, sans no flares or non-fibromyalgia related illness.
I have had to spend too much time on the phone or computer trying to explain my situation. While my doctor may understand, I am required to plead my case to a barrage of staff members and nurses before a message is sent to the doctor. Why must I have to provide a tutorial to most of my doctors about my experience? Am I the only fibromyalgia patient the doctor and staff have ever met? I know the impression must be that I am shirking my check-ups and just want my medication, which is far from the truth.
The other related issue is being given the “talk” by an office staff member. Because you had to cancel your appointments more than twice, you can no longer schedule appointments in advance. Instead, you must call on the day you are able to make an appointment with the hope the doctor has an opening. That is feasible in some instances, but not for special procedures or lengthy appointments. So, the concept of being accommodating comes across as lip service with the intimation of finding another doctor/dentist.
It comes across as a vilified child being scolded and told to sit in the corner because their behavior is inexcusable. I understand that a business is being run and that the cancellation could have been used by another patient. However, there needs to be some leeway.
I recall a dentist manager telling me that I could not schedule appointments in advance anymore, and even though there was always a slot open every day it was for emergencies only. She explained that giving me the option to come in the same day would mean “special treatment that would be unfair to the other patients.” Really? If there is an open slot that is available and no emergency patient exists, why not allow a same-day appointment? Who will know? Why should what other patients think be a concern? It is a benefit to those who require it, thus bringing more patients to your business, not decreasing.
I have not experienced this too often, but enough that when it happens I feel shocked and disheartened. Is every person in this world so healthy that no accommodations need to be made? Surely I can’t be the only person in the world with a chronic illness of this magnitude. What do others with tenuous illnesses do? Who are the special medical professionals that they see? Or do they have to wait until an ER visit is required, or a serious dental ailment arises, that brings the care to the forefront?
I am not trying to be difficult; I just want my medication. I am not asking to be treated “special,” but the reality is I have an illness that fluctuates day to day. The irony is that the profession that has the issue with my health is the one that should be familiar with it.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.