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We spent a lot of time Tuesday waiting for the ambulette to take us to a pacemaker appointment. Pickup was for 1, then 1:30, then 2 ("for sure")....the ambulette arrived at 3:10pm, just after I'd called the cardiology department to say we were running late for the 3:30 appointment - and been told "No problem."

 

When we got to the pacemaker office the technician refused to see my father because we were 40 minutes late and the front desk hadn't told her I'd called. (The secretary from the front desk went back there twice to plead on our behalf.)

 

I called the ambulette service for return pickup, and we waited in the drafty, noisy lobby downstairs from 4:30 until after 7 for pickup. A long day.

 

I'm now at the mercy of ambulette services since I can no longer transfer my father from a wheelchair into the car - due to his fractured shoulder. I hope this isn't typical.

 

What really surprises me, though, is the way the technician treated us. I've been taking my father to the cardiology department at Cornell/NY Hospital since 1999, when they put the pacemaker in after he collapsed on the street. That technician knows my father and jokes with him.

 

Update: I sent the technician a two-page fax telling her what I thought about her behavior and why. She called me on the phone - sounding upset. (I wonder if staff had read the fax before giving it to her).) She said she didn't know we were physically in the office, and if she had known, she'd surely have seen us. She asked how she could make this up to us. I realize now I could've said by never doing anything like this to a patient ever again.

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Taken on February 12, 2008