Go early; go often


I’m finding that retirement is filled with lots of doctor’s appointments. And oftentimes things don’t go exactly as planned.

My husband had an outpatient procedure scheduled last week. He is not an early riser, so we chose to come to the hospital at noon. Then that got pushed back to a two o’clock arrival time with the surgery to start at three.

My husband ate an early-for-him breakfast since he wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything from nine o’clock on.

The nursing staff got him all checked in, blood drawn, IV access inserted, and we waited. And waited. By this time, my poor husband was hungry, thirsty, and getting crankier by the minute. Not that I blamed him. I was offered and gladly accepted a package of Chips Ahoy cookies. For him, nada.

The nurses, bless them, offered to turn on the TV for us. We didn’t want to watch anything, so they tuned the channel to what one called “Zen music.” It was a combo of new age and classical that was, indeed, soothing. Or as soothing as anything could be under the circumstances. Then they set out to discover what was hanging things up.

Unfortunately, the patient ahead of my husband had some complications. At this point, it was four thirty. The estimate was at least another two hours to wait. The nurses suggested we re-schedule. Her comment was revealing: “I wouldn’t want to be the next patient when the surgeon is tired.” Agreed.

We’re going back to do it all over again this week; however, this time my husband is first on the schedule.

What has been your experience with hospitals and medical care in general?





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