Friday the 13th

I’ve never been superstitious about Fridays or 13s, so I wasn’t real concerned that my Novasure procedure was scheduled for that day, I was just looking forward to getting it over with. And actually, there are all kinds of ways it could have been worse, so I guess I’m still not superstitious, because the Stupid didn’t happen on the actual day, did it, that’s just when I found out about it.

Like everything that happens to you in a foreign country, a little exposition is necessary. A thing I may not have mentioned about the Surgery Process here is that in the interest of efficiency it, too, is broken into tiny steps, each handled by a different department, and is thereby rendered pointless and aggravating yet not at all efficient. To wit: you tell them you need surgery. After a week or so you get a letter naming the date. You don’t get any input on the date. I suppose, if you have anything else going on in your life, then you must not really want the surgery all that much, do you? Or something.

Anyhoo. The letter names a date, and informs you that they will tell you the time of the procedure the day before you’re actually supposed to be there. So not only do you have to keep the entire day free for a 15-minute procedure, because you don’t know which 15 minutes it’ll be – even better, the person who’ll be driving you to the hospital and picking you up also can’t make any plans for that day. Or I guess you could take the bus, if having bits of your insides burned out isn’t enough fun for one day.

As it turns out, there is another reason why this routine is stupid: if there’s a problem, you don’t know about it until the day before your surgery, when you don’t get the call. Which is exactly what happened. I waited long enough to be sure they weren’t going to call that day and then phoned the number in the letter – closed after 5. Gynecology department – closed after 5. General main reception number: I got a person, who tapped around in a computer and said “um, you’re not on the list for surgery tomorrow.” I said I’d sort of figured that part out, but WTF, yo? And she said “I dunno, you’ll have to call the gynecology department. Tomorrow.”

SO the next day I drove out to the hospital in Zeist with my appointment letter (of course you can always call instead, if you like it when a dial-a-robot hangs up on you – another thing I learned that day), showed said letter to a nurse, and said I hadn’t gotten any call. She said “idiots” a few times and then called the Operation Planning department and… didn’t actually call them idiots over the phone, but she implied it pretty clearly. Then she apologized to me, which was nice of her, since it clearly wasn’t her fault.

Now I have an appointment on February 3rd. Well see if that one actually happens.

Song du jour of the day: Skullcrusher Mountain, by Jonathan Coulton. At this point, I’d almost rather put my health in this guy’s hands.

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