Truthful Tuesday: 3 May 2022

Here is Melanie’s question:

Is it compassionate for medical professionals to keep people on tenterhooks waiting for results, particularly if the diagnosis in question could be really bad news; but in general too?   

Wouldn’t it be kinder to just shut up and order the tests and whatever to find out a firm answer before stressing out the patient?   In your honest opinion please.

In answer to the first part. Yes, it would be more compassionate not to keep patients waiting for news. Once they have all the test results they need and have made a diagnosis the kindest thing to do would be to explain to the patient exactly what is going on as they understand it and likely scenarios, even the bad ones. It is difficult when doctors say they are not sure, it might be this or it might be that. However, it’s better than not being told anything at all.

I think most people would say that not knowing what is going on is one of the most stressful parts of the situation. It certainly was for us last year when Naomi was unwell and the doctor she had seemed uninterested in finding out why or doing anything about it. As soon as she changed to another one who was very good at sharing information and explaining what test results meant her spirits improved no end even though solving the problems took longer. Thankfully she is nearly her old self again now.

If it is very bad news, I think that I would still want to know. You need time to process the information and decide what you want to do. Time to see people and tidy up loose ends.

“The Royal” Front entrance of the Royal Hobart Hospital.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. Very nicely put Vanda! I love the look of that hospital too and the photograph is wonderful! After Covid was waning and people began to try to find ‘normal life” again (i.e. get together, see physicians and such face to face and all), my own general practice doctor exhibited the same symptoms as Naomi’s did. I’d been seeing her for over twenty years (or perhaps a bit less, she surely couldn’t be that old..?) and I truly think she’s just burnt out. I switched and I’m really glad I did. Ennui is fine for personal lives, but not if your job depends on you being involved. My sympathies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Naomi had a new doctor as she had just moved here and became unwell before we’d had time to research doctors. The local clinics were busy and couldn’t see her for a few days so we went to another doctor. He treated her for an infection but didn’t explain what it was and took no interest in her other issues. He seemed to think she was some kind of hypochondriac. That clinic was a sausage factory getting patients in and out as fast as possible. He was rude and arrogant so we decided to search for another doctor. Luckily ,we were able to get her into one of the local clinics this time and the lady doctor she saw was so nice and helpful that Naomi decided to stick with her.


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