Being on hospital time

Another reminder of my dad’s last few months of life resurfaced today. I forgot what it was like to be on hospital time, which follows no rules or structure, just whenever they are darn good and ready. Certainly one can understand that emergency cases can change the course of a day in a snap, but it’s still frustrating to be the relative (or the patient) waiting and waiting for something to happen. Then in a flurry, everything happens.

It was the same way with my dad when he was in CCU at the hospital in Albuquerque. There would be maddening delays between a machine sounding a warning beep and a nurse coming in to attend to the issue. And trying to snag the doctor? You’d be more likely to obtain an autograph from Brad Pitt than have the honor of the doctor’s presence in your room. It really is scary how much power the doctors wield in the hospital setting, considering their physical presence is so fleeting.

Today, after Mom’s surgery was delayed due to an emergency surgery, I stepped out, only to return and find that Mom had been whisked away to surgery in my absence! Luckily, I was able to see her in the prep area before she was sent off to surgery. And more good news, she made it through surgery just fine.

Still, as stressful as it is to have a loved one in the hospital with a serious medical condition, you also have to endure hospital time, which can be so maddening. Hospitals can’t control the amount of cases that walk through their door, but they could be better at communication.

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