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"I can't believe I've been here TWO HOURS!"
"If this doctor doesn't take me in SOON, I'm leaving! I can find another one!"
"I am so frustrated – this is ridiculous that I have to wait so long to be seen!"
While I may not totally disagree with the comments above, long waits in the doctor's office have been a fact of life for me for over 30 years! These comments were made by three people who got to chatting in my senior mom's newest doctor's office – and promptly turned it into a total complaining session. And were quite loud about it. Yes, we all had a long wait. No, they didn't explain why. But the complaining just made things much worse.
And to be honest, I've found that doctor's offices and hospital trips have one definite thing in common – long waits. Sure, we can sit there and be bored and moan and groan about it. But why? My mom has always brought books with her and this was no exception. She sat there and enjoyed some reading time while I worked on my iPhone. I answered two emails that couldn't wait, checked on some websites like EldercareABC for my latest guest post, Seniors For Living for the latest Eldercarechat, and 5 Minutes for Mom for the latest update on the very fun Ultimate Blog Party 2013 (YES – you are also invited 🙂 ), and even enjoyed some Carcassonne fun to give my brain some healthy exercise.
When we got inside, I was so proud of my senior mom. She made a comment to the nurse's assistant, thanking her for being so nice. She made that gal's day!
Yes, doctors do schedule appointments back to back. If they don't, the people who are late or just don't come in leave huge holes in their schedule. And yes, they do get behind when talking to some patients. I always ask a lot of questions and I'm so grateful when they all get answered. And sometimes, they have to go to the hospital to help their patients there. And sometimes their day just doesn't go the way they wanted. Boy, I can SOOOO relate to that – how about you? (Can you tell I'm saying all the things I would have liked to have said there – but didn't as I did NOT want to start a huge brouhahahahaha ! 🙂 )
I just make sure, when I go to the doctor's office – for myself or my senior mom, that I block out several hours on my calendar and take plenty to keep me busy while we wait (perhaps that interesting eldercare magazine at the top of this post 🙂 ). Then I can keep my cool, get a lot of work done, and go home with all my questions answered and a positive sense of accomplishment.
And unfortunately, from what I'm hearing from our doctor's offices – due to the many changes taking place from the federal government on down – those waits may be getting longer! It definitely pays to be prepared for it, especially when the Sandwich Generation is keeping us so busy. What do you think?
I agree completely — take a book and go knowing you may have to wait! Sometimes doctors run late and whining and complaining about it just isn’t going to help anyone!