The waiting game

Hospitals, i don’t really like them so much. Looking at the hospital buildings from the outside, I already get an eerie feeling. Most of the time, they look like boxes anyway, cold and boring. The inside of the building is worst. No matter how much they try to make the place or at least the waiting area homey and nice, it is still as square and as scary looking. The smell. They try to make it smelling like sterile but it always has the smell of “sickly and dying”. Oder?

Then, the Waiting game. You go into one and register yourself. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few hours to live or you are just there for vaccination. They tell you, to “wait just a while“. A “while” turns out to be three hours. If they tell you to be patient for “a little bit longer“, then it means another two hours of wait. And then, after the examination, the doctor or the intern will tell you to “wait” again outside and he/she will be with you “in a few minutes” – translation, within the next hour. To top it all, when the doctor finally comes to you for the result of the tests done to you, they will say, we did this and that, which you knew anyway, cause, hey, you were there… right? And then eventually, would say, what you actually thought you have – the reason why you went to them in the first place, right? Then, you get the crap answer that they need to do more tests. That the samples taken from you will have to be sent to a laboratory somewhere else. That you will be contacted for the result. Meaning again, you wait for them to call you or send you a post telling when you should make another appointment with the Doctor handling your case.

Yap, that’s what happened to me. Right after work Friday afternoon, I drove directly to my OB-GYN for a check up. The night before, I had severe pain in my stomach and could hardly get out of bed. My Gynecologist suggested I should go immediately to the hospital for more checks and scans and perhaps would have to undergo a minor operation. So, I went in late Friday afternoon for a follow up check. I arrived at the hospital around 17:00 and was accepted immediately, since my OB already called in advance and informed them that I was coming. I was given a form to fill up and then was told to wait for a short moment. After more than two hours of waiting time, the doctor finally could check my condition. Then, she scolded me for coming too late to the hospital. The nerve! But, since I am the one who needed her assistance, I didn’t dare to give her a piece of my mind. Diplomacy?!? Probably stupidity. Anyway, after my check, she told me I would have to undergo a minor operation. It didn’t have to happen immediately, but I should think about it, she added. Then told me to go back to the waiting room because she needed more time to go through the result of my scans. She also mentioned that she would be with me again very shortly. So, like a very obedient lamb, I went back to the “waiting” room.

While there, I was weighing the situation and at the same time checking my work schedule. I was trying to figure out the soonest I could go on the table without disrupting my work schedule. In the end, I decided that I would have it done the following week, on a Tuesday, where I have anyway my normal day off. The sooner the better, I thought. I had other appointments for the two days where I don’t have to go to work, but I thought I could just cancel those, since they were of minor importance to me.

Alas! When the doctor came around 21:15, she surprised me with: “You need to be here tomorrow at 9:00 A.M. sharp, with empty stomach. The operation will have to be tomorrow. It cannot wait longer since we don’t want you getting infection and more bleeding. The specimen that we now have, plus the one that will be taken tomorrow will be sent to the lab and then you will be informed through your general doctor for the results of the tests.”

“But”, i tried to reason, “it is also possible to do it next week Tuesday, right?” You said I could still think about it. I thought to myself.

“No”, she said firmly. “It has to be tomorrow. We don’t know yet what time you will go on the OP table tomorrow, but it will be sometime tomorrow. It could be morning or it can also be in the afternoon, after the other major OP’s are done.” —Well, why was I not surprised that even to go on the operating table there is also a very long waiting line? I waited for more 4 hours for this very abrupt decision, didn’t I?

So, hubby and I drove early to the hospital again the following day. When we came, they told me again to wait for a few minutes. The “few minutes” turned out to be an hour. After which, another doctor wanted to do more checks on me. I asked why? because I thought all the tests were done already last night and the decision of the doctor present was that I am supposed to be operated on today.

She reasoned that maybe, we could still avoid the operation if the situation inside my body has changed already! I got confused there for a while. First, the doctor the night before said it was necessary that we do the operation. Then here comes another doctor saying maybe I don’t need to be operated on. But she has to do more tests.

After all the trouble that I had to go through the night before. All the phone calls that I had to make for the changes in my schedule. All the adjustments that had to be arranged, now here comes another human being telling me that perhaps the operation can be avoided. So, what should I do with all the changes that I already made abruptly the night before? Call each and every agency and tell them that I do want my appointment dates back. That it was all just a mistake of one human being I had the misfortune to meet? NO! I said I didn’t want the tests anymore. We should just get on with the operation and be done with it.

Don’t you just hate it when somebody else totally foreign to you would ruin your schedule just because another person made the wrong decision in the first place?

Well, I am finally at home now. Recuperating and getting ready to go back to work again. Last word I got from the head surgeon: “We will send the specimen to the laboratory and your OB-Gyne will be informed of the results. To which, you need to make another appointment with her and talk to her about follow up check ups. if in case before the schedule appointment with your doctor, something will happen, you feel not well, want to throw up or has severe pain, please come back to the hospital immediately.”

And then what? Wait for hours again? Hmmmm…

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