As a caregiver for over a dozen years for my husband’s two journeys with cancer, I want to give a big Thank You to all the medical professionals who helped us at Broward North Cancer Center.
I feel qualified to speak to this issue since we’ve spent our mornings there for almost three months. I’ve had the pleasure to observe these caring folks on a daily basis.
Upon arrival at the blue awning at the back of the hospital, we’ve regularly been greeted by the fine security and reception personnel.
Then we went back to the Radiation Department to be welcomed once again by the wonderful staff there. They always took the time to share smiles and put patients and their caregivers at ease.
We probably spent more time there than most since after radiation we headed to the Memory Center for a place to sit while waiting for the marvelous TOPS transportation to arrive. That bus takes my husband to a day program at a senior center. Since my hubby has memory issues, I always stayed with him till he safely boarded the bus. The staff of the Memory Center was always quite gracious as we sat in their waiting room.
Our only challenge was being sure to know when the bus arrived. As my husband sat and rested, I walked to and from the door, since sometimes the transportation was not visible from where we were sitting down the hall. It took going outside to see it at those times.
I wondered how other patients who waited on the various medical transportation services managed if they didn’t have a caregiver to do what I was doing. I noticed some went to the parking lot and perched on the 4 ft. high curb. We couldn’t handle that due to 1) being in the hot sun since meds preclude that, and 2) balance and coordination issues of not falling and being able to get out of the way of cars as they come and go.
Day after day, as I walked back and forth I noticed a fine shady spot by the blue awnings at the entrance of the Cancer and Memory Clinics. I wished we could wait there, but my spouse had to be able to sit down. I began to envision how great it would feel to have a bench to sit down on while waiting for the bus.
Even though we won’t be here daily much longer with my husband’s treatment almost over, I keep thinking about all the other folks who, like us, just need a place to sit down while waiting for their medical transportation.
I mentioned my concerns to a nice lady at the Security desk and she said she’d tell me when the administrator was nearby so I could share my dream with him. Today this gentleman was kind enough to speak with me about this critical need of a place to sit down while still staying in eye contact with the parking lot where buses arrive. He was very encouraging that a bench might be possible! I would be forever grateful if it could happen.
Broward North has been such a great place for us to come for medical treatment. We offer our heartfelt thanks to all whose paths we crossed.
I sign off with a sincere hope for the sake of the many vulnerable patients who will come after us. If a bench could be provided I would always know they will have a place to sit!
Writer, Caregiver, and Retired Teacher