So…my friend read the blog post about waiting. But she doesn’t feel I have it quite right. I left out some parts it seems. Like the fact that we were packed into the waiting room like sardines in a can and had to move our feet everytime someone walked by. And when one lady walked by and apologized, I said…”No problem at all.” To which, my friend said, ” SHUT UP! That was my foot that she stepped on.”
Here’s her point of view. I hope you laugh as much as I did. A lot happened in those few hours. Yes, I’m PollyAnna. I read the book again, and I think she’s great! And though my friend describes herself as a complainer….she’s exaggerating - again.
“Oh, here it is, Rose Street already” my friend PollyAnna says as she pulls in to the turning lane .
“Wow that did seem quick” I said
We turn right on to Rose Street and I can see the familiar brick building up ahead on the one way street. I have a 10 o’clock appointment with my gastro enterologist. It’s about 10 minutes to the hour, we’ve made good time on our drive to the city. Excellent driving conditions for February in Saskatchewan. As we pull on to the block of the Doctor’s office both sides of the street are crammed with cars. ” I’ll drive around the block again” PollyAnna says. We circle the block two more times with no luck , and decide to pull into the parking lot, I’m in no big rush to get inside as I know from previous experiences that I’ll be waiting for awhile before the doctor calls my name. But already, I’m preparing for my time spent with him. The questions I have written down to ask him are running through my head, I hope he’s in a good mood today, he can be so abrupt at times. He’s a very busy man. He is only in his office on Tuesdays for appointments and he always has alot of people to see. I’m sure one time there were 5 of us with an appointment at the same time. I’m known to exaggerate things, but if I am this time , honestly. it’s only by one person.
I approch the receptionist desk and state my name and time of appointment, she looks down at a paper infront of her and finds my name and then proceeds to look through a big stack of files looking for mine.
” Oh, I have your name here, but I don’t seem to have your file, maybe it’s over there for some reason. Just take a seat for now.”
I can feel my eyes rolling in my head. Why can’t things go smoothly for me when doctors are involved? Last time I was here , she couldn’t find my file and people with appointments 40 minutes later than mine were called ahead of me. And of course there was the time I showed up one year early for my colonoscopy. Not sure who to blame that one on, would like it to not be me. It’s been 25 seconds and already I’m irritated.
I walked towards where my friend was sitting and said” She can’t find my file again” with annoyance evident in my voice. A lady sitting a few chairs down, looked up at us with some curiosity. PollyAnna told me not to wait so long this time to find out if she had located my file. I pondered a few reasons as to why my file was never where it should be and thought perhaps I should suggest that I could hold on to my file from now on and then it wouldn’t be misplaced. But there’s no sense getting all riled up already, lets just wait and see how things go.
PollyAnna is such a great friend, before long my annoyance has dissipated and we are giggling about something. The great giggling, the type where you know you are supposed to be quiet and behaving well and that just makes everything that much funnier. My eyes are scanning the packed crowded room and directly across the room from me is a young man glaring right at me. The obvious irritation on his face is so unnerving that I divert my eyes immediately. Is he annoyed at us for giggling and having fun? We’re not being disruptive. Trying our best to laugh quietly, but I have noticed different people looking our way. I glance at him again out of the corner of my eye and decide it’s not us that he’s annoyed at , he’s just staring straight ahead. He must have brought someone to their appointment and is tired of waiting for them.
After about 40 minutes I return to the receptionists desk
” Hi, just checking to see if you found my file” I ask trying my best to sound cheerful.
“Yep, I got it, you’re good to go” and she gives me a smile and a thumbs up.
Complaining is second nature to me, I do it well and I do it often.
” How can they be so behind so early in the morning” I ask after an hour has passed. “You know, I haven’t even seen him yet, I wonder if he’s even here.”
A lady sitting in front of us looks at me and sweetly says ‘It’s because they double book.”
I roll my eyes ” Yeah , well one time when I was here there were 5 of us with an appoinment at the same time” She got up out of her chair and walked away, oops maybe I was a little to nasty.
A lady next to PollyAnna kept saying ” Oh,this is so unusual, I’ve always have had such luck getting in right away,I hope it’s not much longer , I need to get back to work.”
“Oh, look, there he is!” I say, sitting up straight and on the edge of my seat in anticipation. He looks a little tired and puffy to me. Did he just wake up I wonder. Or maybe he was at the hospital all night. ” I hope he’s in a good mood” I say to PollyAnna, “He looks a little cranky to me.” I’m a little nervous about some of the things I need to discuss with him today, and I’m hoping to get the most out of my allotted 15 minutes .
The doctor speaks to his receptionist briefly then takes a file off the top of the big stack and comes out from around the desk to the waiting area. I’m quite sure it is not my name he is going to call but I’m alert and waiting just in case. I lean over to my friend and say” Won’t be me, that file is too skinny. ” Sure enough , someone else is called. This same scenario happens a few more times, each time I act so excited to see him , on the edge of my seat , hoping he’ll call my name. We talk about how it’s almost like The Price is Right and how I would love to stand up, throw my arms in the air and whoop a big “Woo Hoo” when my name is called. We laugh about this and throw around several ideas of how the waiting room experience could be so much more enjoyable, games perhaps or entertainment of some kind, PollyAnna wants a massuese. We’re giddy and I can feel the people around us looking at us again.
It’s about at this point that suddenly we see an elderly woman stand up and emerge from the coat closet. ” I think I’ll sit in a chair out here, it’ll be more comfortable,” she says.
Pollyanna and I look at each other and giggle, trying so hard to compose ourselves.
” What the hell was that all about, was she really sitting in the closet? Is there even a chair in there?” We are trying very hard to be respectful as the lady takes a chair very near to us and begins a conversation with another lady.
“Oh my God” PollyAnna giggles “Look at that guy back there”
Without even looking I’m giggling already, “Can I look now, or will it be obvious?” I ask.
No, it’s good, look at him.”
I turn my head towards the back of the waiting room and see the same irritated fellow from earlier.He has moved to a different chair. He is sitting at the edge of his seat , gripping the two chairs directly in front of him with pure annoyance on his face. You can almost see the steam billowing out of his ears.
I immediately look away and start giggling uncontrollably. Oh my, that poor fellow is ready to snap. He needs to relax.
I’m laughing, but only because I can relate to his agitation. An appointment with your specialist can be very trying.
You sometimes wait for many months for your appointment, all the while, medical concerns running through your head, the what if’s and the possibilities creeping in and out of your thoughts. Then the day finally arrives , and you are ready, your list of questions and concerns in hand, and then you wait, and wait and wait somemore, until the most important thing is not getting to speak to your doctor but getting the hell out this crowded waiting room.I was almost at that point now.
We wondered about the reservations of one patient.
The lady Doctor came to the waiting room and called out a name.
A man answered ” That’s me” , but yet he remained seated.
She smiled at him and asked ” Would you like to come with me, please.”
He shook his head ” No.”
He laughed, she laughed, and a handful of others laughed along as he got up and followed her.
We saw the lady doctor a little while later with a latex glove on her hand, ” Well ,there you go,” I said “That’s why he didn’t want to go with her.”
Everything was funny by now.
By this time the young irritated man had positioned himself in the first chair of the first row of seats. Annoyance eminating from him. I found it so comical.
Look at him, I said to Polly Anna ” As soon as his doctor comes out, he’s gonna grab him and tell “I’M NEXT.” That poor guy, we should call him over to sit with us, he’d be having more fun” Moments later his doctor came and called his name.
We made small talk with the people around us, slipped out for a smoke, plugged the meter a few times, ran out of change, wondered if we would get a parking ticket, I kept thinking , how much longer can it possibly be.
My doctor came, by this time I was only half paying attention, given up on ever being called, when he said my name. ” Oh ! That’s me!” I started clapping, “Yay!”
I quickly gathered up my purse and followed him to his office. It wasn’t the big Price is Right whoop I would love to give, but the best that an introvert like myself can do.
The doctor gave me a smile and a Good Morning when I got to his office.
Oh good, I thought he’s in a good mood. My silliness has made him happy.
It’s going to be a great appointment.