The phone calls I wait for are from doctors. More accurately, I wait to hear from nurses, schedulers or whichever office member drew the short straw. I wait to hear whether new tests are needed. I wait to hear whether my insurer agrees. I wait to hear test results. I wait. On call.

On Call

My oldest daughter’s current job includes several days of being ‘on call’, days she must keep her phone and herself ready to go in to work.  She both dreads and hopes for the call.  I can relate.

The phone calls I wait for are from doctors. More accurately, I wait to hear from nurses, schedulers or whichever office member drew the short straw. I wait to hear whether new tests are needed. I wait to hear whether my insurer agrees. I wait to hear test results. I wait. On call.

Millions of people share my situation. At some point in our lives, our every minute becomes about our health – or our struggle to reclaim it. We wait, on line, for our turn for attention.

We rely on a Healthcare system that operates indifferently to our actual experience of holding on during months-out office visits, weeks-out tests, protracted waits for test results, non-committal diagnoses, and the physical and emotional distress that only builds during their pace.

Sometimes, a caring human in their industrial chain offers us hope that we may be elevated from our numeric value. She’ll check on it, call us back, talk to the doctor. We wait for those calls too. They don’t always come.

The phone calls I wait for are from doctors. More accurately, I wait to hear from nurses, schedulers or whichever office member drew the short straw. I wait to hear whether new tests are needed. I wait to hear whether my insurer agrees. I wait to hear test results. I wait. On call.

I hate this! I hate the frustration that builds in me, my powerlessness to take any but palliative measures while I wait. I hate pouring through anatomy and biology material I can’t verifiably apply. I hate relying on expertise I do not truly understand or fully trust. I hate waiting days that become months, experiencing intensifying symptoms.

Being at the mercy of what I’ve come to suspect are no more than really well-organized witch doctors is just too much. Yes, medicine can accomplish near miracles. But when? If the conditions racking our bodies and lives were dealt with earlier, more quickly and attentively, they wouldn’t have to achieve a miracle. A stitch in time….

I know future generations of middle-aged and elders will benefit from a plethora of fixes the Healthcare industry undertakes.  I just hope returning calls, posting results and scheduling treatment don’t continue to fall through the cracks.

Yours or mine.

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