Some people seem to be born with patience. I was not. Natural-borns never seem to mind waiting and stay calm, cool and collected. My Dad was one of those people. Maybe he wasn’t born that way … maybe it is because I was the 3rd child and he had just acquired the skill through raising my brother and sister. After all … who would need patience around me, anyway!?
I have a memory of walking the soybean fields with my Dad. Always curious, always embracing farm-life, I decided to learn the names of every, single weed growing in that soybean field. I recall the next morning Dad sent me out to walk beans by myself. Maybe Dad was smart enough to know he didn’t have the patience for Weed ID 202….
Patience has been an acquired skill for me. Listening without interrupting can still be a struggle. I like to walk fast. Get things done. “Quit poking around!” was often quoted to my kids.
All it takes is a run-in with a medical condition to teach a person patience. “All it takes…” I say that with just a tidge of sarcasm. But, it is what it is. And it’s the truth.
The magical world of medicine has its own time-line. S-L-O-W. Unless the patient is running late. Items that help move the process along – step away briefly (patient or family member). Deciding that a trip to the restroom or to the food court can no longer be delayed will almost certainly guarantee a visit from the Dr.
The medical world also has many contradictions you may count on. Bring a jacket; the room will be hot. Dress for summer; you will wish for the jacket. The instructions, “We’ll call you” means you will be sure to end up feeling as though they have lost your file with your contact information. You will give up and call them after a long wait. Getting a person on the phone (patience-builder) will re-confirm your fears they have lost your file. They will then tell you, “We’ll call you.” Repeat cycle.
Ideas while waiting and building patience:
1. Practice deep breathing techniques. The worst that will happen is that someone will offer you oxygen.
2. Remind myself that I love to read … and this is what I get for wishing I had more time to read.
3. Make to-do lists of items I know I don’t have time to do, but it makes me feel like I’m being productive by putting it in words.
Okay. I have to go to the bathroom now. That should get someone in here….