Monday, June 27, 2005
Jenny and Hal Runkel
Braves Stadium April 2004
The limits of lilting
“Hello, Mrs. Runkel. This is Dr. _____’ s office.” The lilting voice on the other end left the picture of a woman caller in her early twenties smiling as she continued, “The x-ray taken yesterday shows a mass on your lung so the doctor scheduled a CT scan at 2:30 today.”
From listening to Jenny ‘s account of this, the caller might have been letting her know that reprints from the family vacation photos were finished and could be picked up in the afternoon.
I don’t know if there is any good way to let someone know about a life changing challenge, but it seems to me that there might be a better way.
Perhaps doctors need to review their staff’s approach to calling about results. Just because you tell a staff person once how to make a difficult phone call, doesn’t mean they get it down and remember always. Also, patients probably need to tell the doctor when they experience unnecessary unpleasantness, else the doctor will never know.
So many of you have emailed and expressed concern for Jenny and her family. She has set up a website with regular updates so you can wish her well and let her know of your love and prayers. Go to www.jennyrunkel.com
Prompted by a recent visit to the King Center