Disappointed with Doc, am I asking too much??
My journey with sleep apnia started back in April with a referal for a sleep study.
I called the recomended sleep lab in upstate NY to schedule my study. The lab is owned by the local pulminary physicians group, the physician offices and the sleep lab are right next to each other in the same office building. When I called I was told I first need a consultation with a PA, which they are booking 6 weeks out.
In the beginning of June I met with a very nice, professional PA. He asked me a series of questions, told me what to expect from the study, then recomended based on his assesment I get a study. They were currently booking sleep studies 8 weeks out. I booked my study for the first available appointment, mid August. Althow they have a cancellation list I never heard from them.
The night of my study all went as well as can be expected. The sleep tech was professional and answered all my questions. I had not heard back from the lab after 9 days, so I called to see if my results were ready. I was told I had severe sleep apnia, AHI of 83 and saturations into the low 70's, longest episode lasted 51 seconds. The first opportunity for a titration study would be November. I asked to be treated with auto pap until the titration study could be completed, as I have really been miserable and concerned for my safety. First I was told my insurance would not cover that, to which I answered thats fine I will pay out of pocket. It was then made clear they do not believe in this approach and that is not an option.
A few hours later I was called and told someone cancelled and there was on opening for Thursday August 30th. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! The study went great, again my sleep tech was great, answering all of my questions and making me feel at ease. At 3AM I woke to use the bathroom. I asked how I was doing and was told the beginning of the night was rough, but I was at a pressure of 12 now and doing great. The tech then woke me at 6AM to end the study. When I say woke me, I mean actually had to shake my shoulder....I havent slept so good in years!! I felt great. When I was leaving the study I was told from 3AM until they woke me up I remained at a pressure of 12 with no snoring or events!! Sounds to me like 12 is the magic number. Not so fast, it will take 7-10 days to read the study, I would get a call with the results. The first thing I thought was, oh no I'm going to feel like crap again tomorrow........
That afternoon at 1:00 PM I called the office to see if I could speak with one of the physicians or PA's. Now, I'm certainly not expecting anyone to drop what there doing, but a call back would be great. The receptionist sharply stated we don't do that! I asked do what, allow your patients to speak with the physicians, I've been through $2,500 worth of testing an have not even met a physician yet?? After a drawn out arguement she finally agreed to page the PA who I origanally met with. The PA promply called me back and was wonderful. I expressed to him how great I felt and was there anything we could do to get the titration result sooner....It's been a long road. He seemed confident he could get me a script Tuesday morning, after the labor day weekend. Great, the end is in sight!!
Tuesday Morning about 10AM, I call the lab to relay the good news I received from the PA. The lab is owned and operated by the Physicain group, so I assumed there communication would be good. I was told clearly that the PA was wrong, he had no right to tell me they would move faster, it will be a week to 10 days, maybe a little longer because of the long holiday weekend. "We have our procedures!"
Wednesday morning I check in with the lab, no change. That afternoon I need to drive 3 hours for work, about half way there I fell asleep at the wheel for a brief second. I don't know what woke me, but when I woke all I saw was the brake lights of a tractor trailer in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and stopped with 10 feet to spare. I'm sure if I slept an additional half of second I'd be in the hospital or dead right now!! I pulled on the side of the road and actually cried. A grown 46 year old man crying on the side of the road thinking my doctor must not give a XXXX about his patients. I called my wife, got some coffee and got on with my day.
Thursday I called again, " The file if in the doctors office, he needs to dictate the results, maybe tomorrow.
Friday my wife calls as I am now driving home from my business trip and she is concerned for my safety. My wife tells them the story of my near miss on Wednesday, explains that I drive extensivly for my job and something needs to be done. She is then told the file is on the doctors desk, he knows your husband has called several times, maybe he will get to it Monday but more likely Tuesday. The fact that one of their patients who is diagnosed with severe OSA but left untreated almost smashed into a tractor trailer has no impact on them. I'd hate to be their liability insurance provider!!
Now, it's Saturday morning and I wondering, am I crazy? Am I asking too much? They have their procedures and I need to understand that, but I just want t feel better!!
Thanks for listening!!