When Have You Staged a Caregiving Sit-In?

waiting-room-1Last night during our new member chat last night, @Kathy told us that she had staged a sit-in yesterday at Hubby’s doctor’s office. Which led @ejourneys to share when she had a sit-in.

Where there’s two sit-ins, there’s more. So, I’d love to know: When have you staged a sit-in? It could a sit-in like Kathy’s and ejourneys, which involves a visit to the doctor’s office, a request to see the doctor and then taking a seat to show that you will see the doctor. “I’ll wait,” Kathy told the office staff. Your sit-in could have taken place at a social service agency, a government office, a long-term care facility, a hospital or a business. In essence, you became the presence which couldn’t be ignored in order to get what you and your caree needed.

Please share about your sit-ins, below. And share by Saturday for a chance to win; I’ll choose a random winner to receive copies of my books, Take Comfort and Take Comfort, Too. They’ll keep you company during your next sit-in.

(And, I’ve added a Forum in our Disrupt group about caregiving sit-ins so you can continue to share about your sit-ins. You’ll inspire others.)

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10 Comments on "When Have You Staged a Caregiving Sit-In?"

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Jan 30, 2013

I may have staged a “sit-in” but I think after many years of dealing with the system and people that “Honey makes more friends than not.” (Or something like that.) I think trying to be nice will get you farther along than being confrontational. That is my experience but maybe I am a putz! :)

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Jan 30, 2013

Oh yes…. Saying “please” and “thank you” gets you even further along! :)

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Jan 30, 2013

I didn’t do a ‘sit in’ I did an ambush. Actually, I’ve done several. After working my tail off to get past the reception desk I decided firmer action was required. My partner was in the midst of an Enbrel withdrawal due to government processing baloney. She was suffering horrifically and the front office staff was NOT helping. So… I got up really early and drove to our doctor’s office. I parked so I could see the back door. When my partner’s doctor arrived I followed her right into the building. I said… “I’m not here to make anyone uncomfortable or feel threatened AND I can’t think of any other way to get past your front office staff. I am desperate for help. Please help me.” Doctors just don’t know how hard it is for patient’s to get around the protectiveness of the front office people. They don’t know how hard it is for patient’s to schedule ‘timely’ appointments. I’ve done this with two different doctors, neither seemed to mind. In fact, the idea came to me from something a PA told me. She said the next time I couldn’t get an appointment over the phone that I should appear at the front desk to make my appointment. I’m thinking this is baloney baloney so I altered her suggestion with my own idea. I also want to be very clear here… at NO TIME was I rude or foul mouthed. I was excessively polite and very, very soft spoken. The other time, different doctor, I waited, sitting on the tail gate of his truck until he came out to leave for the day.

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Jan 30, 2013

My sit-in was not on behalf of my caree, but on behalf of a friend and her daughter. My friend couldn’t afford a nursing home or home health care, and her daughter couldn’t afford to break her lease to come down and care for her. They needed a letter from the orthopedist that the daughter could use to break her lease without penalty. The letter had been promised by a certain date and time, because time was of the essence. What follows comes from my journal:

I got to the orthopedist’s office when it opened. The registration desk told me, “That letter’s been dictated but the transcriptionist hasn’t typed it up yet. Come back tomorrow.”

At that point I started channeling Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz:
Wizard: “Not so fast. NOT SO FAST! I’ll have to give the matter a little thought. Go away and come back tomorrow.”
Dorothy: “Tomorrow? Oh, but I want to go home now!”
Wizard: “Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said, ‘Come back tomorrow.'”
Dorothy: “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises.”

I asked, “Is there any possibility it can be typed up and delivered here today?” And I explained the financial hardship that my friends were undergoing.

“You should have called before coming.”

I said, “I specifically did not call before coming, because time is of the essence here.” I again asked if there was a chance I could get the letter that day, that would aid the daughter in her attempt to break her lease, so that she could come down here to take care of her mother.

The staffer said she’d call the transcriptionist, who was off-site. I offered to pick up the letter from the transcriptionist, myself, but was told people aren’t allowed to go there directly.

The staffer called, then told me the transcriptionist could get the letter here today, “but not in the next ten minutes. You’ll have to come back to pick it up. It won’t be ready until at least ten o’clock.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “I’m prepared to wait here all day. I also have to make sure that it says everything it’s supposed to say.”

The letter was handed to me at 9:40.

I read it, then asked if the doctor could add that this was an economic necessity.

The doctor, who was between patients, added the text in his handwriting, which I at the last minute remembered to ask him to initial. I got a copy of the letter for my files, just in case. Then I stopped at the post office to mail the letter to the daughter by priority mail with delivery confirmation, in case there was any kind of delay and we had to track it.

Got home, called the daughter, and made her day. She had to give her landlord 30 days written notice, which she couldn’t do until she had the letter in hand.

She was surprised to hear that I had not been asked to show a picture ID, something she’d been told specifically by the doctor that anyone picking up a letter had to present. After being given the letter without question, I handed over the daughter’s note authorizing me to pick up the letter for her, along with my driver’s license. The daughter said, miffed, “They could have handed that letter to anyone.”

Well, anyone willing to pay $20 for it. But she had a point.

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Jan 30, 2013

Hey you two? And anybody else? I spoke out of line here! You are/were polite. My error! So sorry! Please forgive my blatant misjudgment.