An Unexpected Place

I am sure I am not alone and this has happened with you or someone you know. It is going to a doctor, whether a new one or just a visit, perhaps routine or having an issue. It always calls for blood work, another pill or a test that may require more tests. It’s like a spinning wheel that you cannot get off.

Exactly where I have been the past two months and today was a long day of tests. Thank God they are over. The last two CT scans were nothing. It was the first one that took an effort to plan and get to the hospital out of my area for this test. Being on the road at 6 a.m. was not something I would want to do daily. I realized there are a lot of people on the road this early, as the traffic was backed up in several places. Why aren’t they at home drinking coffee and leaving later, and out of my way?

A new hospital to me but probably better than most that I am familiar with, as it was easy to get in, park and find my department. As I looked around from my seat at the registration desk, I saw a room and figured I would be placed in one for my procedure. Nope, I was led to a big room of many reclining chairs and IV pumps. As I entered, I felt my body just stop but my mind thinking I don’t like this. Fear hit. The thoughts of knowing each empty chair, had held many people with the same fear I felt, some hopeful and some hopeless as this is their chance to keep living. I was the first to be in this empty room as the Nurse handled my records and soon starte my IV.

One by one, the chairs filled from those older than me, the same age and then a young girl, maybe mid- twenties came in with her beanie hat on, knowing there was no hair underneath it. What I did like was that most patients had a support person beside them, which shocked me due to this Covid19 restrictions. Even though, it made me happy they had one by their side to talk to or just be there. Only two of us had nobody with us.

I was okay with this, being alone, until the injection was administered slowly. I could feel the medicine injected hit me and the heat although it was cold settle right below my rib cage. Oh my, I don’t like this either. Unsure what I expected but not that feeling. Each slow push, this sensation would return. The Nurse was very attentive, as she knew the first push was an eye-opening experience for me. Here I am in a room full of others, but in this time period of her finishing my injection, nobody else mattered. I had to deal with myself. I think I finally disconnected from it all especially when the man next to me was nauseous, as I was. He had a different procedure but we both were struggling. The thought of, ‘Oh Mr. please do not get sick because I will be right behind you.’ Not a good turn of events for the Nurses or others, if so. Mentally, I had to disengage and just be still. At this point, if this did not lessen, wondering if I could even drive home, or if I would faint upon standing due to the shock.

After an hour or so, I did feel back to normal, knowing I don’t want to deal with this sensation or a room as such ever again. It was then I looked over at the young girl, with a life ahead of her that may or may not be and knowing, too, she has been through way much more than I did in those few hours. It’s those I want to take their place, as I’m old. The filled seats, the IV pumps beeping, hearing the drips of the one next to me, the aroma of medical plastic, antiseptics used and that once warm blanket now room temperature on each of our bodies, was pretty surreal.

This is what many people deal with often. No doubt their first time walking in this big room of chairs with or without people, I am sure they did not like it either and fear struck them. Thankfully the medical technology has improved so much to have this available. Many will walk in, walk out and return. Many will walk in and walk out and not return. Hopefully, for the good.

I really liked the hospital and the people. I had a great Nurse but they were all awesome with the patients and working well together. If anything, this stopped me to realize a little more of what others go through when getting chemo, dialysis, platelets, infusions, etc. To have more empathy of the patients and a deeper appreciation of the Nurses. I watched both today as an outsider looking in, from my chair in the corner, of an unexpected place.

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