Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Patience / Patients

I want to start this post by giving you the definition of the words Patience and Patient.

pa·tient (p³"sh…nt) adj. 1. Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness. 2. Marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance. 3. Tolerant; understanding. 4. Persevering; constant. 5. Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or a result; not hasty or impulsive. 6. Capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance. --pa·tient n. 1. One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment. 2. Archaic. One who suffers. --pa"tient·ly adv.

pa·tience (p³"sh…ns) n. 1. The capacity, quality, or fact of being patient.

I am the first one to admit, I have very little patience in a lot of areas. I tend not to endure provocation or annoyance calmly. I have been guilty of not calmly awaiting an outcome. On the other hand I am persevering constant, and I think I do have a pretty high pain tolerance. My inability to wait calmly for an outcome is not a new problem for me. Mother even said that she couldn't even feed me fast enough as an infant. I also know I have not shown enough patience with my kids and my husband. When I was working as a nurse, I would say, "I may have a lot of patients, but I don't have a lot of patience." I admit, I never had enough patience with those I supervised. I think this was partially due to my own issues with wanting to everything perfectly. I have been labeled a "control freak". O.K. fine, I have been called worse, believe me. Being a control freak extraordinaire, is difficult to say the least when a disease such as MS, comes into your world. I have had to work really hard to separate what you can and can't control. There is nothing sure or constant about MS, the current treatments, the prognosis, or the development of treatments. Sometimes the process of health care in general will try the patience of the most tolerant understanding person. Some of the things that pull my chain are: Filling out 10 different forms with the same questions on each one, answering the same questions from 10 different people. Having an appointment for 9:00AM and not hearing your name called until 10:00AM, and not seeing a doctor until 11:00AM, calling the doctors office and getting the voice mail loop, with the return call coming 2 days later, if it comes at all. I won't even go to the subject of the emergency room. Having been on the delivery end of health care, I understand how things happen, bureaucracy interferes, and emergencies take precedence. As a patient, I feel the frustration of being in the system, waiting for help. The definition of patient, thusly, is very true: "One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment. 2. Archaic. One who suffers." I have a different perspective on health care now, being an "impatient" patient. Again, I say, I love progress, not the process. I am my own worst critic. I can almost chronologiclly list all the times when I displayed less than patience with those in my life. (even though I sometimes can't remember what I ate for breakfast). I can not go back and change the things in my life that I regret or would have done differently. I know however, that with the Lord's guidance, prayer and really trying to rewire my thinking, I will someday be a more patient person and a more "patient" patient.

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