Thank you for your support. I researched so much but I feel like I didn't really learn anything. So you are confident I will see results in another few months? I ask because when I had grafts, I couldn't see how those hairs would ever grow in and cover anything. I felt like they took a thinning scalp and made it less thinning. And it really looked like he didn't do anything about my hair line.
So here is basically what happened to me, cut and pasted and lightly edited from my email to the sale rep:
I just thought I would take a minute to share with you, as a customer service representative; how I feel as a "patient".
I have not at any point felt like my business was wanted, at no point in time have I felt taken care of or that my business was appreciated. Instead, I feel like I just dropped 7 grand and was treated like I was at a mechanics. I truly understand how the car feels when it's being worked on.
When I arrived for my appointment 2 weeks ago, the receptionist did not make me feel welcome, instead, I felt like an annoyance. I was told to wait in a tiny waiting room and the doctor would see me when he was ready. Why do we bother making appointments when you're seen when the doctor feels like it? Eventually XXXX had me come into another room to begin filling out paperwork, chat with the him, get things set up...that was probably the smoothest part of the transaction. I filled out my paperwork and finished paying and was led into the operating theater. I am 6'4". I do not fit on the chair. Unless the legs are fully straight, I do not fit. If the legs of the chair are bent, the back of the chair does not fit under my knees, no, instead it digs into the back of my thighs cutting off circulation in my legs. Also, I truly enjoy people circling the room having to climb over my feet...Sorry I'm such a pain in the ass customer guys! Sorry I chose this doctor and this place! Didn't meant to put you all out!
Had my blood pressure taken(sleeve TAPED TOGETHER because they couldn't get it closed to take my BP...I'm not fat guys...thanks.) Arm is still purple and bruised from where the blood was drawn, but hey, there's no checking on a "patient" after, so I'm sure I'm fine!
So then the procedure begins...I receive my injections from the technicians who I now know the complete personal history of because they talked to each other ALL DAY. I also love having a technician's bracelet bop me in the forehead and eyes repeatedly, dangly jewelry while working in a doctor's office, sheer brilliance!
Not once did I feel comfortable. Not once. This was an incredibly stressful, grueling procedure, and while the areas they were working on were numb to pain, PRESSING DOWN ON SOMEONE'S SKULL REPEATEDLY TENDS TO MAKE YOU FEEL PAIN IN OTHER AREAS LIKE YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS. It was cold in there, but the technicians were hot. I know this, because they wouldn't stop complaining about how hot they were. But that's ok, I'm just laying there cold, bleeding, with saline solution dripping down my neck, I'm just a "patient", why do I matter?
So at some point after I've had a chunk of skin cut from my head, and have been stapled shut, does someone bring me lunch and ask if I want to watch netflix. 7000 dollars and for a complimentary meal I get greasy diner food. Fantastic. Yeah, I picked a burger and fries because that seemed like the least gross thing I that I could eat the fastest. I tried to find the least offensive thing I could find on netflix, because, with the music and all, I needed to watch something that I've seen before and could watch with the subtitles because again, wouldn't want to upset the technicians. I saw the doctor, maybe 4 times that day.
Eventually Dr. XXXX came back to begin the incisions in my scalp, which was one of the grossest things I have ever heard and felt...the techs continued on dissecting my grafts and complaining about their boyfriends and husbands and kids and parents. When the time came to do the grafts, I think he did some of them, for the cosmetic portion? I'm really not sure, I really would have liked it if people had told me what they were doing before they did it, or explained what I was about to feel. I also really would have liked it if someone had talked to me or otherwise made me feel like I was there and not just something that was being worked on.
The graft process itself took quite a few hours. 2000 grafts, as far as I know, I don't know if more or less were harvested as no one communicated with me other than to find out if I was alive or not. A few times I heard the techs mutter"oh shit" under their breath which is REALLY reassuring. My legs were killing me, my back was killing me, my neck was killling me, I had to lay there with my eyes closed, I was cold, and felt largely ignored, but I sure know a lot about my technicians families!
Possibly my favorite part was around 4:30 when someone came in and wanted to know if I had had any further pain meds, non inflammatories or my take home and post op instructions given to me yet, but instead of asking me, they asked the techs, who didnt know...then they asked me. While in pain. While groggy from the local anesthetic. I was given something, no idea what I was taking, then they went back to work. The pain meds were wearing off, and I was clearly uncomfortable as I kept saying ow, shifting in my seat, breathing heavy, and clenching my fists, while listening to the techs complain about the poor customer service they received at Dunkin Donuts that morning and how they felt! They said they felt ignored by the people working there and that every customer should feel taken care of. SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY! WAS I BEING RECORDED FOR A REALITY PROGRAM OR SOMETHING? CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?
Around 4:40 when I loudly asked if they were almost done because I was in a lot of pain, they scolded me for not getting their attention earlier, and that yeah they were almost done. Sure, I totally don't feel like at this point they were rushing to finish up to get me out by 5.
Someone with a thick accent while I was half out of it started giving me instructions about what I was supposed to do when I got home, something about taking the bandages off, and some kind of spray, and a bunch of things that I couldn't remember but I thought,"well, these guys are professional and I'm sure they will give me written instructions with all of this on it". I do remember her telling me not to go swimming, which I was totally planning on doing seeing as how it was January and 8 degrees.
I got dressed and was handed my kit and given a hat and as quickly as possible led out the door, the doc mentioned in passing that he thinks they did a good job, because he was told they got the grafts really close together. Oh my God, you mean you don't even know? You don't check to see how it's going, you just leave things in the hands of other people? What the hell did I just pay for??
I left with my kit, no one really making sure I was ok to drive or anything. got in my car and realized I had to go to the bathroom, went back in and asked if I could use the office bathroom and they let me, which was sure nice, I mean, you wouldn't want to let your patients feel like that was something they could do or anything but I had been given three orange juices and a diet coke and had been laying down all day and really needed to take a leak before I began my groggy drive 40 minutes home.
I made it home in once piece, as the painkillers wore off, and accidentally took a second dose of prednisone and antibiotic because I didn't know I had already done so at the doctor's. I only realized this days later when I found out I was short on those pills by one day. I started reading my post op care packet...which contained only half of what I was told when I was groggy from painkillers and out of it from the pain. What exactly was I supposed to do with the three wet packets in the Lamin Kit? Not listed. The rubber sticker for my forehead that I had three of? No idea. How many times a day was I supposed to apply the blue cream? I don't know. All I know was that I was supposed to remove the dressing, don't take a shower for 24 hours, and spray the blue spray on your head ten times the next day, and only twice each day afterwards(though in the lamin kit itself it says to spray that spray on your head ten times a day until it runs out).
Whatever. I'm in a lot of pain at this point so I went to bed. I spent the next day in pain all day, and took the shower washing my hair as instructed, and did that again the next day, that I had to take off from work, because I was still in pain, which had I known I needed like 4 days of recovery I would have taken a week off from work instead of just two days like I was told. I think the third night, Dr. XXXX called to find out if I was ok, and I tried explaining to him that the directions didn't include a lot of what you are supposed to do and he didn't believe it and told me he would look into it. But again, I felt like an afterthought, an annoyance, something that he had to do.
I kept waiting for someone to contact me about staple removal, but, hey, people get busy and you can't possibly keep track of your "patients" and what stage of the process they're in so I emailed Kathy and got an appointment for Today, Monday the 26th at 8:00 am in Worcester. I got there too early, so I waited. Then with ten minutes to go I checked in, and was told to go wait outside. Really? Ten minutes passed, it was 8 o'clock and I went back in and was told to go wait outside again. I walked out asking what the hell is the point of making appointments.
About ten minutes later she came out and allowed me to come inside like a grown up, and I was brought to a room where Carmen removed my staples as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Did the doctor want to check on my progress? Nah. Did anyone want to see if I was healing ok? Nah. Hell, you guys got your money, at this point I can just go to hell, right?
This is how I feel. You guys got your money, and I went through a huge ordeal without knowing what the future will hold. I never once, not once felt like I was anything other than money spent. I don't feel happy, I don't feel taken care of, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do know that everything is all over and done with. Will I see the doctor again? I don't know!
Maybe this is all my fault. Maybe I should have chosen Wellesly, maybe there I would have been taken care of. Maybe my expectations about a medical procedure were too high. Or maybe I should have chosen another doctor altogether.
Anyway, I wanted to bring get this all out and off my chest, not that it matters, because nothing can be done at this point. I'm just an unsatisfied customer but the checks have already been cashed, so this "patient"(really customer) isn't someone the XXX has to deal with anymore. Onto the next "patient".
Yes, I know how I sound when I sent that, but man I was sure angry. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do and never felt like anyone else did what they were supposed to do. And now having to sit here each day wondering if I am going to have to get all of this repaired, or what will it look like, I'm getting angry again just reliving the memory of all of this.