The Waiting Game

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.

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2 thoughts on “The Waiting Game

  1. In general I find the procedure of booking appointments with my doctor, then getting referral, then going to specialist, then possibly a test, then follow up appointment to determine what to be done…which entails possibly surgery, possibly more tests and so on an so on very frustrating…especially when each step usually takes weeks. Add to that the situation that you find yourself in when you are in actual pain from the environment you are ‘waiting’ in, it really does need some alternate thinking in the medical field….. okay rant over!…. I empathize greatly… Diane

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