Waiting at the Hospital

Hi, everyone! Today I’m starting a weekly meme called WONDERFUL LIFE WEDNESDAY. As the name goes, posts come out weekly on Wednesdays and are about the things I’m thankful for the past week ( because life is awesome with its roller coaster rides). I got the idea from a meme I saw my Facebook friends are doing and thought why not do it every day or at least every week. It’ll be more fun if you join!

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Last Friday, my brother and I spent almost an entire day at the hospital for his checkup. We went in the morning for laboratory tests and came back in the afternoon for the results. A nurse went about my brother and, thinking that my 20 yr old brother couldn’t handle needles, I let myself in the room as well. Now that I think about it, I might have caused unnecessary embarrassment on his part.

When we got back in the afternoon around 2pm, a nurse told him that results were already forwarded to the business office for insurance documentation. However, when I asked for it at the said office, another nurse informed me that the person-in-charge of disposing documents was out for lunch and wouldn’t be back in 30 minutes. Some late lunch, huh. Perhaps this nurse took pity on us because, after an hour of sitting idly near a vending machine at the lobby, she called me and said she’d look for the papers herself. Yet, she couldn’t find them. I figured maybe there was a slip up at the laboratory so I sent my brother down the hall to ask for it again, and voilà, there it was. It was just there all along, underneath a stack of other people’s results.

With results in hand, we then proceeded to the information counter to have our names listed. My brother’s insurance policy doesn’t cover checkups at private clinics so we waited for the doctor in the Emergency section for a consultation. My brother and I assumed it wouldn’t be a long wait because somehow the word ’emergency’ registered ‘quick’ and ‘few people’ in both our heads so it was a surprise for me to see a long queue at the lobby. Who were we fooling? We’re no emergency. I did learn from my sister though that a consultation at the Emergency section costs less than private clinics so I thought that was why they were there. All of us queuing for affordable medical attention.

In just an hour of sitting at the lobby with other patients, I realized how an emergency room could give you sadness like melodramas. Two stretchers and one wheelchair went past us and although it wasn’t a horrible sight, we later heard they were all sent to the ICU. Another stretcher went pass us carrying an elderly woman with a bandage on her forehead while nurses on her side talked about a CT scan. Just the thought of those people being taken special care of was saddening.

I know bloody things happen in a hospital but it was the first time for me to see things up close. I’m sure others have seen worse, and probably some have been on the other side of an ICU’s door waiting; none of which is comforting. I fully realized how lucky we (everyone else in that lobby who seemed healthy and definitely unharmed) must have been. We were all lucky not to  have bandages on our heads or oxygen tubes on our mouths and noses. We were all fortunate to sit there patiently waiting for the doctor to see us, tinkering gadgets or sipping a drink while at it. Some of us might have felt unwell, but at least nothing too serious.

I also thought of the doctor single-handedly managing all these patients. What kind of concentration and intelligence she must have to work efficiently? It’s a tough profession, all right, which also calls for a person to toughen up. Same goes for the nurses handling the patients and executing doctors’ orders. It was also then that I prayed my brother’s health wasn’t at risk although I did kid him about getting admitted at the place for spending all day and all night in front of his computer playing whatever RPG is on trend. I also prayed for critical patients to get well.

The fact that life is precious confronted me once again in real-time. That every single day we wake up alive is a time to rejoice and give thanks to God. Life, albeit the struggle and pain, is beautiful. It can pass by so smoothly and quickly just like those stretchers. Every single waking moment is a blessing no one should take for granted. A hug, kiss, wave or a hello. A loving look and a quiet moment. We always have that opportunity to express how we feel and experience life.

Being ill and having a sick member in the family is always unwanted. I regret feeling annoyed with the time I spent on waiting and waiting in that lobby. I didn’t realize it then but that was also a time shared with my brother. We rarely do things together now so that was also a blessing. We finally got our turn for a consultation later that afternoon and learned that aside from antibiotics and two bananas per meal all was well.

PS. Yesterday my brother reformatted my laptop which speaks a lot on his patience and my..well,dying gadget. I’m not giving up on this and so yippee! Thank you, bro.

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