Thursday, January 12, 2012
How 'bout that?
So, yesterday I made the trek into the city to have a follow up appointment with the doctor who did the relocation/rebuild portion of my surgery. It was his first day back after his holidays so I was warned that his day was jammed and that he would, more than likely, be running behind schedule. And he was ... more than an hour behind schedule.
Mr. Awesome and I settled in to watch ELLEN with the other half dozen or so people in the waiting room. It didn't take long before Ellen's monologue was overshadowed by murmuring and grumbling. One by one the other patients were losing their patience.
The complaining started out pretty benign but quickly crossed over to snarky and kept on going right to the point of rudeness. People complained about how long they were waiting, that The Doctor must be having a coffee break or that he's taking his time because he doesn't want to wrinkle his suit. Most of these comments were greeted by chuckles and grunts of agreement from the other patients.
After about an hour there was only two other patients in the waiting room with us and the complaining seemed to have run its course until a patient re-entered the waiting room. He had already seen the doctor but he felt the need to return to complain some more.
He spent 15 minutes complaining about the wait time, the lack of care the staff gave to him and how his sister got much better medical attention from a different doctor. Then he began bragging about how he told The Doctor off for the shoddy care he received. Of the two other patients in the room, one woman really got in to the Whine Fest. She chimed in with her tale of woe, recounting all the ways that the hospital staff and Doctor failed to meet her expectations.
I was so irritated that I could hardly sit still and I wanted nothing more than to tell These Two Whiners to "Shut up and be thankful that this 'sub-standard' doctor was able to save your whiny-assed lives" ... but I didn't. I found my Zen and reminded myself that everyone, especially those facing serious injury or illness, is entitled to their own experience and emotions. Pretty grown-up, eh? I thought so.
The thing is, I have discovered that this whole journey is less scary, traumatic and exhausting if I look at it from the perspective of thankfulness. I seriously didn't want to spend two hours waiting in a stuffy hospital waiting room but the truth is, without this doctor and his skill I wouldn't have lived a year. He (and his team) took the first step in saving my life.
And if you can't wrap your head around that, how about realising that doctors and nurses are people; people with families and lives and plans outside of the hospital. I'm sure they'd love to work 9 to 5 so they could be home for supper every night, attend all of their kids' events and have a social life (I'm sure their spouses and kids would love that even more!) but that's not the nature of The Job; especially with This Doctor and his team.
They arrive early, stay late, continually study to improve their skills and techniques. They are in awe of science and medicine and the miracle of the human body. They strive for perfection and connection. They give their all and care about the patient as an individual, as a human being. They respect life and work hard to not only repair the body but to keep hope and dignity in tact. And for all their skill, God given abilities and fancy degrees they are still caring, compassionate human beings.
And don't even get me started about how blessed we are to be Canadians, to have access to all of this medical treatment without having to pay a dime for it!
That's my rant. People are people and instead of complaining about the faults and focusing on the short comings how about celebrating the goodness, compassion and generosity of others.
How 'bout that?