Mother's column – talking to the doctor requires a lot of patience


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Doctor on the phone. Photo AFP, Anne-Christine Poujoulat

Oh no, I missed a call from the hospital! How is that possible? I have been extra alert all day, because the children's doctor promised to call around 9.00 o'clock to tell me the results of an examination. It is nothing serious, but I am still curious about what she has to say.

I bet she will call another time, so for the rest of the day, I stick to my cell phone, just to make sure I do not miss another call. I do the same the rest of the week, but the phone call never comes.

In the end, I decide to send an e-mail to the children's department of the hospital about whether we will still receive the results. The doctor's assistant responds a day later that she will schedule a new phone appointment for the following Wednesday – not until next week!

Finally, the long-awaited Wednesday arrives. I have to do my groceries, but I postpone that chore until further notice. And indeed, just after 2 in the afternoon, I hear my cell phone ring. That is to say, it sound only half a ring: "Trrrrr..." - silence. I run to the phone, but it is all in vain.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

Now I will not wait any longer, I think determinedly. I grab the landline telephone next, while at the same time keeping an eye on my smartphone as I want to keep that line open too. Once I asked for the phone number of the children's department, but "that is not the way we do it, ma'am", so I have no choice and phone the general number of the hospital.

There are a few people on hold before me, but finally I am able to talk to someone. "Can you redirect me to the children's department?" I ask. "What is your question?" I explain that I want to know whether the children's doctor will call me today and, if not when she will instead. "Okay, I will connect you to the care service", the voice says. And again, I am on hold. For twenty minutes.

After many "a moment, please"s, someone picks up again. I tell my story another time. "Yes, that is too bad. Shall I connect you to the children's department?" "Uh, yes please", I stammer. A bit later, I tell my story for the third time. "Oh", says the doctor's assistant in the department. "That doctor just went home. But we can schedule a new phone call."… "Ma'am? Ma'am, are you still there? Otherwise, I am obliged to end this..." "NO! I mean: yes, I am still there. A new phone call, yes, that would be great."



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