Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hospital Waiting Room

It was that dreaded appointment where I needed to go in for my glucose test.  I knew the basics of the test, but the details were a bit of a mystery.  Every lab does it a little differently.  I had to drink the sugary orange drink {I had no choice in flavor} in five minutes and then sit and wait for an hour.  

While waiting, I experienced a new way of life...a hospital waiting room.  I have spent a lot of time inside the hospital for work, but I have spent very little - if any time in the waiting room.  When I go to a waiting room as a professional, I typically accompany the doctor, social worker or chaplain.  It is almost 100% of the time to provide support after upsetting news is given.  But then, after my work is complete, I can leave.

While waiting I watched.  I watched people from all different walks of life attempt to make some sense of their day.  I watched and I learned.  To some this waiting room had become a place of refuge.  To others it was an opportunity to be unknown.  And for some it was a meeting place to catch up with friends and family in hopes of forgetting the previous hours, days or weeks of living within those four walls.  

This waiting room is a hard place to be in and a space that I do not hope to go back to.  Each person has a story and whether they force a smile or stare blankly ahead, they are doing the best that they can in that moment.  And while it is my instinct to offer support or strike up a conversation, this time it was much more powerful to just watch.

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