Okay, so I’ve decided on the metaphor for helping Andrea as her Battle Buddy, and it works mostly. Yet in the same way that I said I didn’t know what my role was, I’ve also noticed that my compensation for some of that is to be in problem-solving mode.
When we were at the hospital on Tuesday, Andrea needed some bloodwork done plus an ECG. So she gets her form, she’s checked in, #94 or something and they’re serving #86 or something. So not too long a wait, probably. Except the number is for both the bloodletting and the ECG, and yet they’re in two different rooms, it’s not really clear how it all works, so I leave Andrea at her chair in the waiting room and I go investigate.
I check out the ECG room and there’s a sign that says, “Yeah, we’re not always here. If you need an ECG, go to the blood room and they’ll call us.” Okay, I wander back to the blood room and say, “Excuse me, my wife needs both done, should she wait until the blood call and then you’ll call ECG or should we call them now while we’re already waiting?”.
The woman in the blood room looks at me like I have two heads. “What, nobody’s there?” So she walks me over and knocks on the door. The one with the pre-printed sign on it that says “We’re not here.” She reads the sign, twice, and says, “Oh, I guess I can call someone.”
Now I would like to tell you that she is reacting to their absence, but she wasn’t. She was honestly puzzled WHY I WAS ASKING HER. Except that’s where the sign said to go. Anyway, she calls someone, they come down, they do A’s ECG while she’s waiting to go in for the blood, while the guy is keeping an ear out in case they call her number for bloodwork. And it is clear that he is winging it for coordination. He’s worried that her number is going to be called, and maybe stressed that we’ll be stressed, so he’s making sure that if the number is called, he’ll flag it to make sure she’s not missed (although he tells us that even if we ARE missed, we won’t have to get a new number, we’ll just go when done).
It does NOT seem very organized, and this is the main lab for a busy hospital. But whatever. I had found out what to do, pushed them to do it, my job was done. I found a problem to solve and I “solved” it. I could have done nothing with the same result, just was a bit faster with me confirming details.
We go back to the room to meet the project coordinator, and she’s not there. She said she’d meet us there, but we’re done, and we have NO IDEA how to contact her to let her know we’re ready. I wander back to the main check-in area where we met her — and the guy there has NO IDEA who she is. None. She works with two of the main doctors in that section, but no idea who she is, how to find her, etc. I don’t have her last name so that doesn’t help, but I tell him what she is doing and who she works with, no help. Ten minutes of that and she wanders down the hall just as he’s decided maybe he knows who to call. Problem solved, exactly as if I had done nothing in the first place.
We finish with her, they’re going to have someone wander by to meet us, but we have to go pick up Jacob so I nudge her to take us to the Centre that we’re going to go to the next day, we do the tour, Andrea meets the nurse who will help us next week. I have a small win here in that my pushing managed to squeeze in the tour and a meet-and-greet before we had to dash.
We went today for another diagnostic appointment, and while I was on the official list to get into the hospital (even though they checked me after waving me through the last time), I was NOT on the list to go in for her appointment. I end up having breakfast in the cafeteria (cuz that’s always exciting), then leave to take Jacob to school late and back to pick up Andrea to bring her home. Tonight, I took her to another appointment where I wasn’t allowed to go in.
Supposedly, it’s all set for next week for me to join her for her first all-day treatment. I’m supposed to be on the list to be with her. Am I on the list? I have no idea. I’m supposed to be, but I was supposed to be today too.
I’m “solution-oriented” right now, let’s find whatever is not working and fix it fast. Need a decision that doesn’t have to be made by Andrea? I’m the guy to take that one. Mostly because I can’t control the rest or help on most of it, so I’m compensating elsewhere.