The Doctor’s Waiting Room

So, it has been some time since I have written any blog entries. I apologize for my lack of creativity. I have been quite busy with my usual work schedule, plus there is the nagging issue of my convalescence and physiotherapy as I continue to recuperate from my recent quad surgery and relearn to walk again (it’s a slow process, but I’m doing fine, thanks for asking).

I usually write when I have a free moment or an imposed downtime and when the spirit moves me. There is no better downtime then waiting outside of a doctor’s office for your appointment as you listen to the second hand on the wall clock tick way past your initial appointment time.

Is there something written somewhere that if you have an appointment for, say, 2:30pm, you should prepare to bring a tooth brush? I’ve never been able to understand how one has to wait hours after their arrival to see a physician for an appointment that usually lasts just a few minutes. But I digress.

The waiting room at a doctor’s office is itself a little depressing. For one thing, it’s usually full of sick people. I think there is a correlation between the length of time you have to wait in the waiting room and the level of contagion the person beside you appears to have.

Right now I’m sitting beside a sniffling, sneezing woman as I type this. I have a longing desire for a polymer coating over my entire body, or at the very least a windshield wiper for my laptop screen.

Somewhere in the mix of patients is a woman (I’m guessing it’s a woman) who when she left the house this morning, failed to miss a pore when applying perfume.

Sitting across from me is a guy who is constantly grinning and making gestures to someone else in the room. At least I hope he is and it’s not some imaginary friend.

There is also senior citizen guy who actually has Hungry Like A Wolf as his ringtone. No, seriously. And his phone seems to ring about every ten minutes or so (remind me to do a blog entry one day on ringtones).

There’s a little old lady, who when standing is shaped like the letter “C” and who clearly predates electricity. She’s pacing slowly back and forth with a walker probably thinking that, like a shark, if she stops moving she might just die.

Then there is the receptionist. In an open concept waiting room this is a woman who probably learned to whisper in a saw mill. When she asks for your Medicare card and loudly clarifies she has the right name, she then proceeds to discuss whatever ails you at the volume level best used by carnival barkers. It’s oh so gratifying to share your afflictions with the rest of the room.

Once you have gotten past your initial embarrassment, you can then sit in the waiting room watching for future patients to walk in, and like a game show, try to guess what their ailment is before the carnie behind the desk starts up.

The excitement of this round of the game is only surpassed by the one-sided phone calls you get to hear from said receptionist. One can only imagine the little old lady on the other end of the line, clinging to her rotary phone, sitting there like Whistler’s mother trying to hear and comprehend what the receptionist is attempting to tell her. That can be the only explanation to the repetitive screaming that our carnival barker is now employing, cranking up her vocal volume with each repetition of the clinic’s address and operating hours.

Some people in the waiting room have come prepared. I’ve brought my laptop, others have brought copious amounts of reading material, and some have taken the opportunity to prepare their taxes. But there are those who have come unprepared; the ones who are forced to read old issues of Life Magazine and ponder the idea of how the music world will survive now that Elvis has been drafted into the army (I swear, there are publications in this waiting room that are fresh off the Gutenberg press). These are the people that I feel sorry for – the ones in waiting room purgatory, never knowing if they will make it to heaven or if this spot is their eternal damnation.

I, on the other hand, am content, knowing that I have cleared my entire schedule for this moment, brought sufficient provisions, and I can wait it out with the best of them – unless of course the battery on my laptop runs dry. If that happens, then I’ll have to flip though the magazines to find out how that Cuban missile crisis worked out.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

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