Have you ever experienced long waits to see your doctor? You get to the office on time for your appointment (and often 10-15 minutes early for check-in as requested) only to have to wait…and wait. We’re often sitting in the waiting room wondering how much time to let go by before we can ask the person at the front desk, “How much longer will I have to wait?” What happens when you’re in the examining room waiting (wearing a gown and feeling vulnerable) for long periods of time? It can feel as though we’re invisible and that our time is not as important as the doctors. Many times we’re waiting to hear results from tests/scans…we’re likely feeling worried and even scared.
What do you do when you have to wait? What feelings come up when you’re in this situation? Do you share your frustrations with the doctor/nurse/healthcare team or do you keep it to yourself? It’s not uncommon to keep quiet. Having a conversation about something “unpleasant” takes energy and time…which we don’t always have…and fear of upsetting the person/people who are “caring” for us can feel unsettling.
I look forward to hearing your experiences and thoughts.
Stephanie Stern, LCSW-C is an oncology social worker and the moderator of The MetaCancer Foundation’s Mosaic Online Support Community.
The MetaCancer Foundation provides information and resources focused on the unique psychological and emotional aspects of living with metastatic cancer. Mosaic is a free online support service for people living with metastatic cancer and their loved ones.