How to Wait Patiently?

Tick tock, tick tock.  I am growing impatient.  I am waiting for confirmation on whether I need additional surgery for my cancer treatment plan.  Back early February, I was told that this may be required and I am still waiting.   If I do need surgery, radiation will happen last after I recover from it.  Tick tock, tick tock.    I think I have been a “patient” long enough.  My pathology report has been floating around since late January.   I was told by Dr. Os that the change in the chemo plan wouldn’t change the rest of the treatment plan.  So if that’s the case, I certainly don’t understand why there is a debate on whether surgery is “to be” or “not to be”.   I patiently waited 3 days after seeing Dr. Os and called the surgeon’s office last Wednesday.   Remember Mary?  She is my buddy, well, not really…but she knows who I am!  She is the receptionist for Dr. Deli, the boobie surgeon.  Mary returned my call last Thursday and said she had no knowledge…yes that was clear from the day I met her.    She is definitely not knowledgeable but pleasant enough.  After talking to Mary, I put in several calls to my oncology team to rattle their cages and confirmed that reports were sent out to Dr Deli and Dr Rad (Radiation oncologist).   I was told to wait til Monday and call Dr. Deli again as she has to drive the decision.    Mary never answers the phone at her office.  So I expect she will listen to my message and call me later today or tomorrow.   It is what it is!

So why do we get impatient?  Probably because we have a guesstimate of how long things will take and when it takes longer than we expect, we grow impatient.   On the other hand, even if we know or anticipate how long things will take, if it impacts our ability to do something, like get on with life, it makes us impatient.  Tick tock…

So what can you do when your impatient?

  1. Make the most of it.    Do other things like reading, shopping or something to distract yourself while you are waiting.
  2. Acceptance  –  Just accept that you will need to wait and keep distracting yourself
  3. Break up the wait– Make some short term goals.  For example if Mary doesn’t call me by Wednesday, she will be hearing from me again and if necessary I may have to see her face to face…   There is something to be said about the squeaky wheel.

Well I made the most of it and distracted myself last week by seeing doctors and talking to different members of my oncology team.   I was prescribed another pill by the cardiologist I saw and need to be checked again in about a month.   I have PVCs, no, not a plastic pipe or polyvinyl chloride.   Apparently I have premature ventricular contractions…not “premature ejaculation” like my sister-in-law and I joked about.  LOL.  I read it rarely causes sudden death so that’s re-assuring…lol.   I believe it was my body’s reaction to the chemo…and still feel it will right itself at some point.  I probably just have to put my finger in an electric socket to jolt it back into rhythm.  I am kidding of course!  Don’t try this at home or anywhere and I didn’t tell you do this…

I was reading Psychology today and will paraphrase some of what I learned…  The article questions whether impatience is good or not.    I personally find it to be more of a good thing than bad.  I actually think it really depends on the situation or what you are impatient about and why.    If I have no where to be, I don’t get too excited about waiting in a long line up trying to cash out my purchases…but if I have to be somewhere and the line is taking a lot longer than I estimated it should take…well I might be inclined to talk to others in that line partly to confirm I am justified in my annoyance, partly to waste time while I wait plus there is often power in numbers!  One impatient customer versus ten may make a difference.    I honestly don’t ever remember walking away or leaving a store as a result.   I figure the time it took to fill my shopping cart isn’t worth me doing it again at another store.

Being Impatient-The Good:

  • It helps us to evaluate if the current plan is taking too long and if adjustments need to be made
  • It will motivates us to switch to a different hopefully better plan
  • It will help us understand and evaluate options

Being Impatient-The Bad:

  • It may force us to make rash decisions
  • Constant second guessing, and increases the odds of making bad decisions when sometimes sticking with the original goal would have been better

Being Impatient-The Ugly:

  • Being impatient regularly makes us overly anxious
  • Increases & cause unnecessary agitation, and added STRESS (may need to cover this topic in another blog)

Everyone has different triggers.  Some people are consistently more impatient than they should be and can be more agitated than others when there are unexpected delays.  This could force them to change to a new plan or abandon an existing course of action.  On the other hand, some people are overly patient, sticking with existing courses of action long after the time it makes sense to do so.   Perhaps you are mixed, being too impatient at times, and too patient at others.

The article I read indicated if your environment is full of chaos, full of change where long term planning doesn’t pay off very well, those who are impatient do better than those that are patient.   This sort of sounds like my work  In environments where it is stable and long term planning pays off, those who are patient tend to do better than those who are impatient.   They suggest that those who fall somewhere in between will do reasonably well in both environments.  Interesting….

Funny Impatience Joke

My wife said she is leaving me because I’m too impatient.

I can’t wait.


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