Friday, July 13, 2012

Smidge Post - The One With The Old Person

Cuz I'm a bad blogger and a good "delegator" (that's a word, no matter what spell check says) and because Smidge is awesome, here is another Smidge post. Happy Friday peeps!

ER’s and why one old person can make it better

Recently I hurt my knee.  At 1st it was just annoying so I did what every good athlete does, pretended it would go away on its own and kept playing on it. But then I was running down the 1st base line during a softball game and felt the dreaded “pop” every athlete fears. It then became clear that it was time for me to get a professional opinion. 

It’s important that I tell you that I don’t like Doctors. Because 90% of the time you wait in their offices for hours telling the same thing to 3 different nurses and then get 30 seconds to actually talk with the Doc, who spends most of that time looking at the computer screen and not really listening to what you’re saying. Then they say they aren’t really sure what’s wrong but they can give you something they think will help, hands you a piece of paper and says “you can pay the nurse up front” and off they go. (At least that’s what I think, maybe I need to find better doctors?) 

Anyway I was told by my friend “the nurse” that Monday mornings are the best time to go to the ER because it’s empty. So the next morning I had my younger sister Belle drop me off and I limped inside to wait my turn to talk with a Doctor. As I sat in the corner of the waiting room hoping the triage nurse would call me already so I could get away from the crying baby and other sickly looking people, an old man in a wheel chair came in with his son.  

Another important piece of information about me is that I’m really nosey! I love knowing everyone else’s business. 

So I listened in as the son spoke to the check-in desk. Winds up they are just looking for his mom who was brought in earlier, the Clerk looked up and pointed the two in the direction of his mom’s room. Just as they were about to turn away the Old Man says “wait I want to check in.” The son tries to explain that they don’t need to check in, they are just going to see mom but the old man is insistent, he wants to see a doctor as well. 

At this point I’m FINALLY called back to start my first of many conversations about “why I’m here today” and I leave giving the old man and his son one last look and feeling very bad the poor guy has to go thru this with his mom already sick somewhere.

45 min later I’m waiting alone in my 3rd waiting room for someone to “come get me” when the old man is brought in with his son, who leaves almost right away to check on mom. The old man took one look at me and said “semper fi”. Articulate as I am I said “huh” and that was enough to get him rolling. 

It seems he saw my shirt in the 1st waiting room and wanted to know if I was in the Marines. I’m not, but I was sporting one of my many college t-shirts with the schools initials which happens to be just one letter off of USMC. I explained this to him (it’s not the 1st time someone has asked) and he said that he always asks because he was in the service for like 30 years, did 2 tours in Vietnam. I thanked him for that and so started a wonderful conversation that would tell me more about his life then you’d think possible in 20 minutes. 

I found out that his anniversary was the next day, along with his birthday, and that he and his wife were supposed to go to Mount Airy Lodge to celebrate but she was brought in with chest pains the night before, so he wasn’t sure what they would do now. I learned about his years in the military, and how proud he was of that time. And how he was having problems with his hips the last few days which is why he wanted to see the Doctor. 

When the nurse FINALLY showed up to take me to the next room (which wound up being a hallway I sat in for 3 more hours before finally being released with a knee brace and a “follow up with an orthopedic doctor cause I don’t see anything wrong” that 2 weeks later I found out was really a tear in my cartilage)  I was upset with having to leave my new friend. 

The good news was that he was put in a room next to my hallway and I was able to overhear him talking to the hospital staff that came in and out of his room, which made my wait time go just a little faster. 

So what’s my point you ask? Well I guess it’s that sometimes it’s those unexpected meetings with random people that can really make your day just a little better. Oh and Doctor’s still totally suck! Take that and do with it what you will.



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1 comment:

  1. I was writhing in a little sympathetic knee pain. No fun!

    I love meetings like that. I will admit I have not been as open to strangers of late... I need to work on that!