As a responsible mesothelioma caregiver, you are committed to being there for the mesothelioma patient in your life and seeing to it that they get all the medical care they need. So you show up for all medical appointments on time with your loved one who is suffering from mesothelioma. You rush to get there and soon you’re sitting alone in the waiting room. It’s a case of “hurry up and wait” again and again.
Because of the importance of your role as a mesothelioma caregiver, you want to try to stay positive. But it’s hard when you’re staring at the wall in the waiting room of the doctor’s office for nearly an hour—sometimes more.
How do you cope in the waiting room? Flip the thinking. Instead of a burden, consider the downtime in the waiting room as a gift. A gift of time away from work of any kind. Think of it as time to spend doing something you enjoy for yourself or with your family member with mesothelioma like a card game or crossword puzzle.
In the wise words of Debbie Clemmons, who wrote the book “In His Grace, Grappling With Mesothelioma: The Randy Brady Story,” based on her experience as a mesothelioma caregiver with her late husband’s mesothelioma:
“Bring something to keep you entertained and busy at the cancer center and hospital. Things often don’t go as planned, and you are there hours longer than expected. So having a movie, book, or project handy will help ease the time and anxiety.”
Here are some tips from the Huffington Post on coping with waiting room time:
1. Take along ear buds or headphones, a music player, tablet or smart phone and hook yourself up for some entertainment in the privacy of your own head. This helps you to block out unintentionally eavesdropping on conversations, as well as tuning out the television.
2. Read a book instead of the magazines provided so that you feel more comfortable in the surroundings.
3. Disengage from uncomfortable conversation by not discussing stories on why you are at the facility in the first place. Instead, meditate with those ear buds/headphones and focus calmly on your breathing.