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  • Writer's pictureJillian Heilman


Neeley was just wheeled back into surgery, “looped up” on a bit of versed before she is intubated. I am sitting in the waiting room. My office for the next three hours. As I sit here, I begin to wonder…how many hours have Isat in waiting rooms these past 22 years of raising three amazing kiddos, all with chronic illness. I have waited for sick visits, therapy appointments, lab work, specialist appointments, one-hour procedures, and lengthy surgeries. I have waited. Waited for someone else to take care of my child. Waited for a team of professionals to try to make them better. Waited. I have waited for hundreds, if not thousands of hours for one of my children to receive the best care possible. Everything from treating the flu or strep throat, to another sinus infection or pneumonia. Some of those times I have waited with them for infusion appointments or another Dr. Tappan appointment. Other times I have waited alone while they are in an OT appointment or as I am today, waited while they are in surgery.

I hate waiting. The walls are bare. The chairs are cold and stiff. A television show plays in the background and my mind begins to wander as the worry creeps in. Each time I am waiting, I say I will get some work done, but I never do. Focus eludes me. I continue to wait.

One of the most important things I have learned through all these hours of waiting is patience. The medical world does not work on my timetable, but rather has a schedule of its own. There are times we have gotten in to see a doctor in mere minutes and other days we have waited literally 3-4 hours to see a specialist. I understand that emergencies happen, and doctors may have to focus their attention on another person’s child before they can see mine. I understand that rounds at the hospital may have taken longer or maybe the doctor needed to spend some extra time with their own child that morning. Whatever the reason, I know that when that medical professional is with my child, they will give them the time and attention they need…and it will all be worth the wait.

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