I had such an amazing experience with John Leal that this is the Facebook Testimonial I posted to my personal page:
Three days after we moved into our new place this past May, I went in for a follow-up ultrasound following a dicey mammogram.
The doctor at the imaging place was concerned by what he saw on the ultrasound and said we needed to wait six months to see if the cysts stayed the same or started to shift shape. He used the words “Complicated” and “Complex” referring to the different ones that he saw. Percentages were listed, calmly. An appointment (that seemed like a lifetime away) was scheduled.
But, the days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months, and yesterday I received a call about the appointment.
Apparently, the physician we’d switched to no longer accepts our insurance in San Antonio so there was no ordering physician related to the follow-up ultrasound. I asked what that meant and was told, apologetically, that I would not be able to come in for the ultrasound without a referring physician.
Well, that simply was not going to work for me.
I asked her to sit tight, keep my appointment, and that I would figure it out… because that’s what I do.
I called ten different offices. TEN. MDs, DOs, Nurse Practitioners. All of them. And, I received the words “not possible”, “we don’t accept your insurance”, and “we’re not accepting new patients” NINE different times.
Mind you, these were numbers listed on my insurance company’s website as providers accepting new patients that supposedly took our insurance.
But, on the tenth try, Dr. John Leal picked up his own office line. I told him my predicament, explained that I understood if he couldn’t help me, and waited for his response.
He said no one should have to miss this type of appointment. He said I’d probably been scared for six months and that I deserved answers ASAP. While we were on the phone, he emailed me the paperwork and fit me in for a Zoom TeleHealth call at the end of his day so we could get the order faxed over before the imaging office closed.
So, this morning, I was able to have my follow-up ultrasound.
And, within an hour, Dr. John was calling me to talk about the results, see how I felt about the results, and asking what I’d like to do going forward.
He said a needle biopsy was an option or we could wait another six months and repeat the ultrasound to simply see if things remained stable. I asked what he thought I should do. He said he thinks we can safely wait another six months but that he wanted to review my older reports on the airplane before he ruled out a biopsy. Yes, on the airplane. Did I mention that he was on his way to the airport when he called? He didn’t want me to sit, waiting and worrying, until he got back.
Being an advocate for yourself can be empowering and it can also be exhausting. Finding Dr. John and, also, having my Cardiologist has been pivotal in making me feel seen, heard, and validated.
So, if nothing else, let this be a reminder that you deserve a trusted and reputable support team, when it comes to your physical and mental health. If you don’t have that, it might be time to see what other options are out there.