UNITED STATES—I am not a fan of hospitals. I just feel the notion of visiting such a place brings dread a lot of the time. As I stated in previous columns, I wanted to chronicle my time spending nearly a week in the hospital dealing with a sick relative where the situation was quite dire. The level of stress, bad eating and anxiety I cannot put into words, I just can’t.

I did write a column discussing the highlight of my time which was the professionalism and care of the nurses. Many of them were spectacular and went above and beyond. There were indeed two nurses that were not so great, and after calling them out on not properly introducing themselves and taking more than one hour to come visit my loved one’s room to handle their duties.

However, the thing I really wanted to focus on is the doctors. I think you all know precisely what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the main doctor or string of doctors that are handling your loved one’s care. How can I best say this? My loved one had to have at least five to six doctors. There was the main doctor, who was examining everything; there was the cardiologist, there was the kidney specialist, there was the neurosurgeon, I mean I could go on and on.

My frustration was that you literally, and I mean literally are waiting on pins and needles to get updates and details on a specific condition, illness or problem your loved one is facing. It was nearly three days before I was able to come face-to-face with actual doctors and speak with them. Why? You never know when the doctors are going to come in and see the actual patient. As a visitor you are given an idea of when they might arrive, but you never know. Sometimes they come early, sometimes they come later.

Since I was so worried, I got to the hospital one day before visiting hours even began because I wanted answers, and I was literally there from like 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. That was the day I got answers and demanded answers. For the most part, the doctors were great and patient. Two in particular took their time explaining the situation and what was unfolding. They addressed my questions and had no problem clarifying things for me if I needed them.

With that said, one of the doctors proved something that tends to annoy me about some doctors. They play that in and out approach and I was NOT having it. The one doctor came in and was trying to be out of the room in like two to three minutes. I’m like pause. Explain to me what is going on. If I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I stopped her and kept asking questions. You’re not just about to pop in and out as if you’ve done something, when in reality you haven’t.

Some doctors actually do their job and they’re quite thorough in the process. Others try to act like they’re super busy and thorough, when in reality they are doing the exact opposite. Your goal is to get to the bottom of an issue and not simply beat around the bush and expect the patient and their loved ones to just accept what you’re saying without questioning anything. Sorry, I’m not one of those individuals; I’ve never been one and never will be.

We have to be advocates for our loved ones, especially when they are in a state of mind where they don’t fully understand or grasp what is taking place. You may not know the answers, but you get the answers by demanding them and not being quiet. One might say this, you might suspect that and if you feel strong in your belief, it is not so much about pushing it, it is making sure you are HEARD. A lot of time the doctors like to think they know best and dismiss theories, notions or ideas from the patient or their loved ones. You may not be a doctor, but you know when something isn’t right, and you have to be your biggest advocate whether it is for yourself or your family.