What I learned today, accompanying my father-in-law to his doctor’s appointment and then making the follow-up calls this afternoon, is quite enlightening: information gets lost in translation! With four of us rotating the responsibility of taking my father-in-law to these appointments, not everyone seems to get the same story – or, when it gets passed on to a third party at the assisted living facility, the facts appear to change. The end result is that procedures regarding his care have not been uniform. I could see that just one person needs to spearhead communication with the physicians. Whoever that is can then share the details with everyone else. Today’s event had to do with care after a surgery, changing bandages and applying Neosporin. It was easily remedied; however with a larger health care issue, it may not have been so simple.
I also saw discovered how much time it takes to have multiple conversations when more than one doctor is involved with the surgery. In this instance, two physicians were trying to touch base, missing one another, leaving voice messages back and forth (one while seeing her scheduled patients and the other returning calls between surgeries) and involving all three of us in an extreme game of telephone tag. To add to my frustration, I was on the phone for just a minute and missed an incoming call by barely a second. Of course it was the nurse of the doctor who had done my father-in-law’s surgery. Equally maddening, when I returned her call, it went straight to voice mail. Just handling this barrage of calls took lots of time, which most people caring for their aging parents do not have. I don’t want to become resentful or super stressed, and see that I need to find balance.