In this early spring, we have an appointment with Ms. V. * We’ll accompany her to the hospital for an important examination. Her knee is getting much worse and she can hardly walk.

Being late is therefore out of the question. But what to do when this is not your day, and outside you find your bicycle vandalized? Run, public transport, sweat...

In the office we grab her file and are off to a flying start (respecting 30 km/hour, of course) with our faithful little car. We ring the bell at Ms. V’s, and she immediately yells something at us through the window. Good sign, she’s awake.

She lets us in and mollifies a bit; she remembers the appointment and has prepared her things. She finishes dressing with some difficulty and off we go. During the trip the mood gets better: we exchange jokes and ask how things are going. The main subject is her son who is back from Italy. She wants to know about our colleagues she has not seen for a long time.

We arrive at the parking with a small delay and fear trouble at the reception desk. But against all odds we are sent on immediately to the responsible department where we are received a few minutes later. We sit down with the orthopedist and … Ms. V starts acting up: she does not like new faces and makes no secret of it.

But the doctor is unperturbed. She asks about the complaints and does a thorough examination, ignoring some protests. Firm but patient and listening carefully, she finds the right words. Ms. V turns silent and is suddenly very much at ease and relaxed. Result: the diagnostic becomes clear; an additional exam will be necessary, and a new appointment is set for in a month.

Ms. V enthusiastically agrees and all three of us leave the hospital with a smile. It took us almost two years to try, always in vain, to fix this appointment…

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(*) We make every effort to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. Nevertheless, we want to bear witness to how they have to survive and how we work together to reintegrate them. Therefore, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in another context.