On Friday, March 20, I went for my routine Neurologist appointment-which takes place every three months. True to form, from the moment I walked into the waiting room and until I left, it was clear that the staff was doing everything wrong.
When my injury occurred, I had no idea of how lengthy the healing process would be-honestly, in those first few weeks, I grasped very little. However, as months have now turned into over a year, I find that going to the doctor offers little relief and more uncertainty. I literally spend more time waiting, than I do interacting with staff as well as the Neurologist. My visit begins with waiting to check in, followed by sitting in the waiting room. After an hours time, I am then called back-where I continue to sit and under bright lights, loud voices and slamming doors; hardly a welcomed environment for anyone recovering from any kind of head trauma. And while I understand there are many whose injuries have left them much worse off than I, I find the repetitiveness of the appointments to be more frustrating than helpful. The routine is so exact, I had my S.O laughing as I role played each visit verbatim, not one that is easily amused, he suggested I become a stand up comedian. Perhaps if my daytime job does not pan out, I can always fall back on being a stand up.
After waiting for over half an hour, my Neurologist entered the room and my predictions from a few minutes earlier, began to play out. After a few pleasantries, questions and a short conversation with the attending, the recommendation was an increase in medication, more water and a sleep study. My appointment was scheduled at 2:15-almost 4 months earlier, however, I didn’t see the Neurologist till after 4 and finally at nearly 5 pm- I left the hospital. I found myself frustrated and couldn’t help but feel the continued appointments, are merely a waste of time. Yes, I suffer from debilitating headaches, but that pain does not stop me from getting out of bed and starting each day. I have become accustomed to the complications that recovering from a head injuries brings. And as I continue to seek medical treatment, I can’t help but think they have it all wrong. There should be a different protocol for anyone that’s recovering from a head trauma, no matter how mild or severe, early or late they are in their recovery. The hospital environment should not have a patient leave, feeling worse off than they arrived. Being subjected to hours long waits under bright lights, loud voices and slamming doors is counter-effective. Going to an appointment should bring about a spirit of hope instead of dread. As a person that is still recovering from a head injury, each day already presents its challenges-seeking medical treatment, should not be one of them.