The Non-patient Perspective

In March I spent a whole day in the hospital. I dealt with long wait times, many nurses and doctors, crappy hospital food and uncomfortable chairs. Seems about right you may be saying.

The difference was I was not the patient.

My mom had surgery on her neck and I was happy to be able to take her down and wait for her while she was under. It was nerve wracking. I found myself nervous and worried that she was getting general anesthesia and would be on the vent. I didn’t like watching when she got her IV line placed. The whole being the non-patient role was not easy for me. (Nor was my mom’s surgery. I don’t want to downplay that and have everyone thinking I’m a cold-heart’d daughter).

Being the person sitting next to the stretcher while the nurses and doctors came and went was altogether foreign to me. I thought I would “enjoy” the break. But instead I found being on this side of procedures and surgeries is just as nerve wracking as being the one having stuff done.

I realized how much our care givers and families and friends have to deal with. As the patient we deal with a large amount of information and procedures and troubles. But they are our troubles. As the person having them done it doesn’t seem so bad. Or I should say it doesn’t to me. But being on this side, it’s so strange. The anxiety, the worry, the waiting is all so…awful.

My stress level went down when the doctor called and said she was out and everything went beautifully. It must be how my husband and mom and others felt after my surgeries.

As the person who is usually the patient I can say I think I much prefer to be on the patient end rather than the waiting end.

To all those who spend so much time in the waiting room, hats off to you. I hope you all know how much we appreciate having you there!!!


2 thoughts on “The Non-patient Perspective”

  1. Good for you, that you were courageous enough to be there for your Mom!
    I have CF, but thankfully have been healthy enough to experience many days like the one you described. Some with my kids, broken bones, kidney stones, c-sections, etc; and many with my parents. Before my Dad passed away 6yrs ago, he had two major surgeries, four strokes and lung cancer. I have also been with my 89yr old Mom through her various, too many to mention, health issues.

    Despite the stress, it’s so important for someone to be there at those times. It does get a little easier when you’ve done it enough to to know what to expect. I often wonder how someone can go it alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *