I leant over the keyboard, head in hands, bowed down by frustration and disappointment that my dad’s care agency had let him down again and now I had to try and salvage the mess.
It felt like a week of failures I was unable to prevent: no promised callback about ordering his catheter supplies, missed lunchtime visits so he hadn’t eaten, carers not following his carefully drawn up care plan, and now an inexplicable rescheduling of his morning visit so he missed his precious day centre attendance again. And somehow I was supposed to sort all these problems in the middle of a busy working day, making me late visiting my own patients.
Was I wrong to hope for a simple sorry from the agency? And I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that Dad’s social worker wasn’t available to discuss the problems either. It was just turning out to be (another) one of those days.
On the edge of tears, I felt powerless to make things better and wondered how much longer I could keep trying.
Then I felt it. A gentle warmth on my back as a hand briefly rubbed up and down. Followed by a hug. Two colleagues, overhearing my telephone conversations and seeing my defeated posture, quietly moved closer to let me know that someone cared and that I was not alone. They gave no solutions, only listening ears, permission to feel, and understanding.
Looking back, I remember another time when life felt overwhelming and I cried out to God to solve my problems. He didn’t. But He did reassure me with His promise of being right there with me as I went through it.
This time He did the same – but with friends.