My friend Linda needs to go to the hospital every week and I am part of her transportation team. Last week I took Linda in for her short or quick appointment. She had a 10 a.m. appointment for the administration of some drugs. We were on our way home around 2:30 p.m.
I have to admit, Linda and I had a few giggles about the “short” appointment over the course of the day. However, we also learned a few things; things that I think can help her caregivers as well as others who find themselves in a similar situation.
First, and most important, don’t panic. There are so many things that can go wrong throughout the whole day that it is vital that we did not care about the delays along the way. In fact, it gave us a chance to be together. We talked, we checked e-mail, we chatted with the nurse. I learned a few things. Linda felt free to ask me about my experiences. Beyond that, we agreed that the day was a learning experience.
For one, traffic happens. We can leave her house at the same time every week and one week we will be early, another on time, and at some point we will be late. But that’s ok. The doctors and nurses are just glad we get there. They have a system worked out that allows for delays, back logs, and rescheduled appointments. As a result, they will take you next.
One of the nice things that we learned was that if you are there for a treatment over the lunch hour you get fed. That’s right; two very nice volunteers came by with a sandwich cart offering lunch. They feed the patients first and then make a second round, feeding the caregivers. (I was a bit surprised to be referred to as a “caregiver” but that’s for another post).
We learned that each week Linda will be evaluated based on her vitals and blood counts. Sometimes the results are a little off. When this happens the formula must be calculated by hand. That’s right; the medical staff have to pick up their number two pencils and slide ruler and do a hand calculation. Then a new prescription is written, the prescription then goes to the pharmacy, and finally, the cocktail is administered. This process takes time. In our case, it took hours. This is good to know because the next “quick” appointment may or may not take all day.
On the way home Linda and I talked about the day and the surprises along the way. But we both agreed that there will be learning along the way.
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