The other night I had a different kind of waiting room experience. I had to go to emergency for what turned out to be mild pneumonia (no don’t gasp in horror, I will be fine). My point is not to elicit sympathy, but to share my waiting room experience.
I have blogged a great deal about my frustrations with waiting rooms until more recently when I discovered the “joy” of waiting. Well, maybe joy is too strong a word, especially when you’re feverish or in pain. But I’ve found a certain resignation in waiting and am even able to relax and settle in
Well, I came prepared both with in body and spirit for a good long wait. I know emergency waiting rooms well from Zev’s early years and the early years of my disease. I kicked out my husband and son (I do waiting better alone – the others are too fidgety) and tucked in for the long haul.
Clearly I was surrounded by newbies. I heard more expressions of discontent than I have ever heard “How dare they keep me waiting this long”. “Why is it called emergency? Nothing is happening fast” “This is unbelievable having to wait this long!” There was a community building around the shared sense of injustice over the long wait. I could understand that many of them were in a state of distress, but there was a certain amount of vitriol that was out of my experience.
Despite feeling sick and feverish, I thought the waiting room was quite nice and, for the most part, the nurses were kind and attentive. When I was taken in, I saw the doctors running from room to room. There was no time being wasted, just a large volume of patients. And, most importantly, not one person in that emergency room was paying out of pocket or would be turned away because they didn’t have enough money.
Of course, it’s easier to see all this when you’re a veteran like me.
ps. enjoy this link. How was your morning commute?