How to Survive Hospital Waiting Rooms

My life is always one full of adventure, some planned, but mostly not. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day, my family has supported the local doctors and hospitals. I have sat in the surgical waiting room 6 times, I have had 2 ER visits and slept in the hospital 5 nights. Mind you, none of this was for me.

Within a 12 hour span my husband had surgery for kidney stones, my dog died, and my father was admitted to the hospital for Flu complications. If I were to write a memoir, I would have to label it as fiction, cause no one would believe it to be true.

A friend told me I should write a book “How to Survive Hospital Waiting Rooms”, but I thought a blog post would be more fitting.

1) Prayer
2) Manners
3) Knitting project
4) Snacks
5) Hard candy

1) PRAYER. This one should be assumed but sometimes we forget that we need prayers as much as the patient does. Prayers for strength and stamina to endure the long sleepless nights. Prayers for our health (We all know how many germs are at the hospital). And prayers for wisdom and discernment – there is always a lot of information to take in and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions is a powerful tool. I don’t think I could of endured without the prayers of friends and family.

2). MANNERS. Like they say, you can catch more flies with honey! Remember the medical staff are human and they have issues in their personal life too. You have no idea what they are dealing with at home or with the patient next door. After a complete communications disaster at Walter Reed, the doctor commented to me how much he appreciated how we handled the situation. I am convinced that if I had gotten upset and lost my temper, he would have been less likely to go above and beyond the call of duty to help us resolve the issue. This does not mean that you are not to be the patients advocate and make sure they get the best care possible, but the words please and thank you can go a long way.

3) KNITTING. Of course I had my knitting. I was able to make progress on several projects sitting at hospitals. Knitting helped the time to pass quickly. It also started conversations with complete strangers. An easier pattern that can be stopped at any point is much better than a tedious one that requires a lot of focus.

4) SNACKS. I can almost guarantee there will be a time when you get hungry and the cafeteria is closed. Vending machines have limited healthy options. My favorite right now is almonds. Find a snack high in protein – this will sustain you and help your blood sugar not to crash. That is not messy – Cheeto fingers and knitting do not mix. The snack must be able to endure being tossed about and man handled – peanut butter crackers tend to crumble into a million pieces at the bottom of my bag.

5) HARD CANDY. This has been a life saver (pun intended). A piece of hard candy has enough sugar to give you a boost but not kill your diet. It can satisfy thirst in a pinch (please no one write how this does not work, creating saliva in your mouth means you can hold off drinking another bottle of water knowing you should be nearby and if you leave for the bathroom the doctor will show up). And, depending on the type of candy, fresh breathe us always a plus when talking to other people.

P.S. No, I did not kill the dog, even after she ate my knitting, but rather she had congestive heart failure.