In a weird set of coincidences, two of my aunts ended up at the hospital today, each undergoing surgery. Both of the surgeries were pre-planned. The hospital insisted that they each have rides to and from the hospital and also have someone from the family waiting inside of the hospital the entire time.
The problem was that they won't tell you the time of the surgery until the evening prior to the procedure. That sure makes it tough on the family members to plan ahead. But ya know what? Good old Union Hospital doesn't care. They're the only hospital around and they know you're stuck and they'll get your Medicare dollars no matter how sucky their service is.
So, yesterday they call. Aunt Jeannette's surgery is scheduled for 1:30. My mom agrees to take her. Aunt Margaret's surgery is set for 5:00. She doesn't need a ride since she's an inpatient, but she still needs family waiting at the hospital. No problem. Her son is going to babysit his grandkids in the afternoon, but he'll be done with that and meet her by 4:30 before she gets wheeled away for the deep sleep.
At 10:30, Mom gets a phone call from Aunt Jeannette. The hospital just called and they've moved her procedure up to 11:00, can she hurry? Sheesh. If WE tried to change an appointment time, they'd cancel the surgery and charge us $20 for an "inconvenience charge." But again, they're the only Chop Shop in town and they can do what they want.
Mom opts to spray a quick dash of perfume in lieu of her planned shower, but fortunately for all who meet her, she still takes the time to brush her pearly whites.
After returning from the hospital, we discover that instead of doing Aunt Margaret's surgery at 5:00 like planned, they wheeled her out of the room at 1:30 while she is protesting saying her son isn't there yet (now we know why patients need anti-anxiety meds before surgery - just so they can deal with the hospital's rigamarole!). Since nobody else was available, Aunt Jeannette (who had already been the victim of Union Hospital's questionable appointment rescheduling) ended up being the "designated family member" for Aunt Margaret's surgery until her son could make it. Hmmmph. What a way to recover, eh?