Caregivers often do a lot of waiting. The longer we are a caregiver the more waiting we will do.

We have often waited in so many healthcare waiting rooms we could write Yelp reviews like nobody’s business. We wait for appointments with the person we care for in all kinds of healthcare specialty practices such as:

  • Primary Care
  • Infectious Disease
  • Cardiology
  • Urology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Dermatology
  • Various Surgeons
  • Ear, Nose, Throat
  • Otolaryngology
  • Blood Work
  • Radiology

Then we cycle through many of these providers so often we lose count.

There are all kinds of strategies we use while waiting:

  • We try to talk to people sitting by us
  • We try not to talk to people sitting by us
  • Others try to talk to us
  • We look at our shoes
  • We play on our phone
  • Others try to talk to us
  • We open a book and read
  • We open a book and pretend to read
  • Others try to talk to us
  • We text with a friend
  • We go on social media
  • Others try to talk to us

Some of us wait so often we’ve learned how to do our jobs while waiting. We’ve learned to hotspot our phones to our laptops if we can’t get on the WiFi in the waiting room.

We wait for test results, exam results, for the surgeon to come out and tell us everything went well, for treatment plans, for care plans, for a diagnosis, for a new kidney, lung, heart, and if we could do it we would wait forever if it meant we’d never hear the word terminal applied to our loved one’s disease. We hold our breath while waiting and try to remember to exhale once in a while.

We wait with patience and impatience.

We worry while waiting.

We pray while waiting.

Sometimes we cry while waiting.

Sometimes we find moments of joy while waiting.

Sometimes we see the art on the walls while waiting and sometimes we wonder how this one or that one made the cut to be hung on the wall.

We wait on hold for minutes and more minutes and sometimes more than an hour. We get disconnected. We do it again hoping we will remember what we were calling about in the first place.

We wait for people to call us back.

We wait for durable equipment that will help our loved ones.

We wait for healthcare claims to be paid.

We wait for benefits to be approved.

We wait so long we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

We wait for help and when it comes, we realize we have forgotten how to rest.

We wait for the one we care for to get better even when we know they won’t.

We wait for the life we had before even though it cannot be.

We wait for the light to help us through.

Waiting well is an underappreciated skill. I’m waiting until I have mastered it before putting it on my resume.