Monday, April 25, 2011

Cath kits and bicycles

Alternative title: People who don't give a crap.

I was in a bad mood today. One of those I feel like giving up moods. Maybe I should just start not giving a crap about stuff I don't want to give a crap about either. (This does go beyond the cath kits but some stuff cannot be blogged (i.e. work.))

We cath Anna between 5 and 6 times a day. Her urologist has stressed at every appointment the importance of cathing her every 2 to 3 hours during the day. The medicine that she takes is supposed to prevent her from leaking during caths so we need to empty her bladder for her. If her bladder does not empty, she could get an infection.

A medical supply distributor (BYRAM - I will refer to them often during this post since I am not happy with them) provides us with the cath kits. They have the prescription, our medical insurance data, everything. Rich logs onto their website whenever our supply reaches a certain level and orders more.

Rich put in for another order of cath kits two Thursdays ago. Grammy fell ill very early Tuesday morning and last week was a stressful, chaotic week. This past Thursday, I was at home with the girls. We keep the boxes of cath kits in the upstairs hall closet with a smaller supply downstairs, where we usually cath Anna. We ran out of our supply downstairs on Thursday. I grabbed a handful from the box upstairs not realizing how low it was.

When I arrived home from the hospital that night, Rich informed me that as he was stocking the downstairs supply, he realized that we hadn't received the order that he had placed a week earlier. He called and spoke to some girl who obviously didn't give a crap. She basically told him that they were back ordered. Sorry. And all her supervisors were gone for the night. Sorry.

No, I'm sorry. You are a medical supply distributor. Usually people who need medical supplies NEED medical supplies. It's not like I'm ordering a book or a pillow or a pony from you. Or something that is completely irrelevant to the health of my child.

So I was pissed. The conversation ended with her telling Rich that she would look for some samples to send us.

The next day, Friday, we learned that they had managed to scrounge up 30 sample kits and had FedExed or UPSed them to us. We are down to cathing Anna 4 times a day now in order to spread out the kits. Today, Monday, we learned that the box isn't expected to arrive here until Wednesday.

That's when my head exploded.

Rich called the hospital where Anna's urologist is and spoke to the nurse who set us up with cathing Anna. She herself called Byram and was told that they were confident that we would receive the kits today. Well, guess what? No kits. The nurse managed to scrounge up 3 kits and Rich wasted an hour and half of his day commuting to get those 3 kits.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part. When Rich was on the phone with Bryam today, they told him that those particular kits that we use are back ordered until the end of May. Is that a problem? Oh no, we cath our child for fun.

At least the person that Rich spoke with today actually helped out. He searched their database and found supplies from a different manufacturer that are similar to what we use. Since obviously we can't wait until the end of May.

We are down to 6 cath kits. SIX. Do you what pisses me off the most? The fact that these people knew that what we needed was back ordered and they couldn't even bother to let us know. They are a medical supply distributor! This totally blows my mind.

Speaking of people who don't give a crap, Dick's Sporting Goods is pretty high on my list. Rich and I stopped there in February and attempted to purchase three princess bicycles for the girls' birthday. We wanted to get three of the same exact bike. They only had two in stock, one being the display, which was pretty beat up in my opinion.


We were told that they could order them for us and that mid-March would not be an issue. If it wasn't an issue, I wouldn't be posting this. Long story short, after many frustrating phone calls over several weeks, they never got us those bicycles. At the last minute, Rich ordered them through Walmart and missed the fine print that you can request to have them assemble the bikes for you. Rich is a bike assembly expert now.


Of course, it was chilly out on the girls' actual birthday so we gave them their bikes in the house. They then proceeded to ride their bikes (or attempt to, anyway) in the house. With no shoes on. I think it is going to be warm enough this weekend for us to bring them outside for a few lessons.



Katie said...

My daughter has spina bifida and is cathed. Byram pulled that same bs with us and had terrible customer service. The uro dept at CHB had to overnight us catheters one time because of Byram doing the same thing to us! I loathe Byram. If your insurance will work with them and the have the kits you use, I would recommend either Edgepark Medical Supplies or UroMed.

Anonymous said...

People lack common customer service skills these days. It's ridiculous.

One year, I got a swing set for my birthday. It was cold out since my birthday is in April. My dad put the entire thing together in our living room. It was the greatest birthday ever. I think I was only 4 or 5, but I remember like it was yesterday. I bet they'll remember getting to ride bikes in the house. :)

Summers Family said...

Unacceptable! So sorry you are going through this stress. It's amazing how companies seem to forget about the PEOPLE associated with their products. I hope it gets all worked out soon.

Hope's Mama said...

I'm really pissed on your behalf. So sorry, Sarah.

Tracy said...

Ditto the previous comment... po'd on your behalf. Oh, despite the crazy Easter the girls looked adorable and it sounds like you had a nice time. Hope it settles down for you soon...

Cindy said...

I would have lost it on the company, too. It's completely unacceptable and reprehensible to me the lack of ... I was going to say customer service, but really it is human decency - people are ordering these items because they are ESSENTIAL. Makes me crazy.

On a good note, I love that you let the girls ride their bikes in the house. My girls got roller blades (for the 6 y/o) and a see-saw for the 3 y/os for Christmas. Obviously, indoor play was required. SO thrilled it's supposed to be a nice weekend here in the northeast. Enjoy the outdoor time and STOCK UP ON BAND-AIDS. My daughter got lots of "boo-boos", mostly imaginary, of course, when she was learning to ride a bike. Fun times. Can't wait to teach my little ones. And tell Rich his bike assembly skills will come in handy - same thing happened with my husband. He's really good at assembling stuff now.

Siné said...

That company deserves a good kick in the pants. I hope the cath kit situation works itself out quickly and that the alternate cathing product works for Anna.

Meg said...

I can actually feel my blood rushing faster on your behalf right now! There is hardly much worse than bad customer service ESPECIALLY like in your example. They totally should have told you upfront that it was backordered. Wackos. :/ You should definitely call and speak to a supervisor, not to b**** someone out but to say "Hey, this got really messed up. These are the things that went wrong. It really bugs us and I had to say something about it." Maybe they will throw you some free cath kits? I'm so sorry that happened to you, I can only imagine how frustrating that must be/have been. {I'm shaking my fist at Byram this very moment. ;)}

Becky said...

What a bunch of crap. I can't believe that medical supply company.
I really hope your week gets better. The girls look cute on their bikes!

Jill said...

I've been reading for a while, but have never commented. I had to comment on this one because I can totally relate.

My son was on oxygen until he was 10 months old. I called for a re-order of our portable tanks because we had a lot of drs appts coming up in a few days. They didn't have any!! They would get them to us next week! Needless to say we called our insurance company to find another supplier.

I love how these people think we WANT all of this medical stuff in our house!

I hope you get this resolved soon!