The quest for “Ivan Match”

The I-Match people are still not returning my calls. I called them twice today. The first time I got transferred around and finally landed on a busy signal. I shouted a bad word and threw my phone against the wall. Then I called them again and refused to let the operator transfer me, explaining my predicament and begging her to Do Something. She went away and then came back to say the I-Match director would call me back this very same day, Scout’s Honor.

(As of this writing she has two and a half hours till the clinic closes. I’m waaaaaiting…..)

I called my neurologist in Fort Wayne, Dr. Bultemeyer, and left a message saying could she call the I-Match people. I thought maybe a doctor’s message would carry more weight than my own. The nurse called back and said, what on earth do I want, what is the I-Match, etc. I tried hard to be patient and explain what it was.

“Spell it,” she said.

“I hyphen match,” I said.

She said she would try to call them. I got into the shower. In the middle of my showering she called back. I raced to take it, dripping wet, hoping it might be Cleveland. No, it was the nurse, saying that nobody at the Cleveland Clinic had ever heard of a Dr. Ivan Match, and her Google searches were also fruitless, so what exactly did I want her to do?

I think if I had actually been there I would have bitten her.

Once again I explained my problem and emphasized the I-Match was not a doctor, indeed not a person, it was a three-week pain management program.

“Not neurology?” she said.

“Not neurology,” I said wearily. If she had actually pulled up my patient file she would have seen I was in for headaches.

She called back in about 45 minutes to say she had made an appointment for me to see Dr. Barron, my neurologist in Cleveland, at 3:00 p.m. today. I resisted the urge to ask her if she had reserved a helicopter for me. Cleveland is 226 miles from Fort Wayne, and 193 miles from my home in Ohio, and when she called me it was 1:30 p.m. I tried to keep the rage and frustration out of my voice while I told her I would be unable to make the appointment because I was too far away.

“Cancel the appointment then,” she said. She gave me the number to call and hung up. I didn’t get the chance to tell her that I did not want to see Dr. Barron anyway, since he had told me he could do nothing more for me and it was he who referred me to the I-Match program.

I called Cleveland again and canceled the appointment. The lady tried to reschedule me but I explained that I wanted to go into I-Match. She tried to transfer me to the director’s voice mail but I stopped her. “I don’t know what to do for you,” she said. “The only way to get into the I-Match is to call the director.” Fine, I said, just cancel the appointment.

At this point I was desperate for help from a doctor, ANY doctor, to get ahold of I-Match. I contemplated asking Dr. Bruno’s office if they would call the I-Match program for me. Instead I called Dr. Easley, explained my problem to the nurse and asked her to call. She promised to “investigate.”

Now I am feeling rather homicidal about it all, and considering desperate methods, such as threatening to immolate myself on the Cleveland Clinic steps if I don’t get an appointment, or kidnapping the director and holding her hostage like that guy did in House.

Now I wait.