I was putting up my daughters’ exam paperwork from their pediatrician visits a couple days ago. In the same folder I have the notes from one of my mom’s doctors from her CT scan. Mommy had them fairly regularly to see what was happening. At this particular time she wanted me to talk to her doctor because there was a lot going on and she wanted me to ask the doctor any questions. (As I mentioned before, she did that often) Plus, in general, it is always good to have someone else talk to your doctor- extra ears in case you miss something. Well, there were a lot of things that needed to be done. I try not to bash medical professionals because many do a great job, but there are so many pieces to the puzzle and so many actors that things get confusing. When you or a loved one is going through things, it can be a bit frustrating. We were supposed to make appointments with a cardiologist, a neurologist, and of course the oncologist. Meanwhile, every call to schedule resulted in the same rundown of questions, confusion on what was needed, and of course many many minutes on hold.
I must admit that I can’t share some ah ha moment, or some simple solution to how to deal with this. I can say that if possible, have someone other than the patient handle the calls and questions. Also, get a medical power of attorney. In a world of privacy and strict procedures it is very important. And just be prepared for a bit of frustration, but remain persistent. It will seem like a lot because it really is. And in all the stress, try to be nice. Yes, some people will not deserve it, but being firm and friendly are not mutually exclusive. My mom always said you get more with honey than vinegar. Sometimes I wondered why she would give people so much unnecessary information, or at least I thought it was unnecessary – but she was building relationships and often got that quick call back or extra something in a maze of craziness.
I’m not the most open chatty person, and maybe you aren’t either. But sometimes I think, What would Mommy do?” It’s usually the last thing I would think at that moment, but when it comes to someone doing that little something extra, Mommy sure knew how to have that effect on people. Probably because she was always doing something for someone else too. That’s another post all together, but stay tuned.
So again, WWMD, What would Mable do? Give you a long shpiel (or however that is spelled) and make a new friend/ally!