Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Is It MY Turn Yet?

by Julie Coulter Bellon

I have spent the better part of every day this week either in a hospital emergency room, doctor's office, or veterinarian's office. I'm actually writing this from a doctor's office because I don't seem to be able to get anywhere near my home computer these days.

The streak of bad luck began Saturday afternoon when my son was fouled so hard at a basketball game that when he put his hands down to catch himself, the bones in his wrist buckled. After that, each child seemed to take their turn this week, and the streak seemingly ended when I had to take my dog to the veterinarian because she tore the ligaments in her knee. (Did you know dog knees are built the same as human knees? You can actually do knee surgery on a dog!)

The point is, I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms this week. I hate waiting rooms. In my first book, Through Love's Trials, the main character, Kenneth, talks about how much he hates to wait and how much he particularly hates waiting rooms. That was based totally on me. Yet after spending so much time waiting in waiting rooms the last few days I've noticed a few things.

Almost all the waiting rooms I've been in have a fish tank in them. Why is that? Is it supposed to be soothing? Is it a statement on the effectiveness of the doctor that they can keep fish alive so you'll be okay too?

There are no clocks in waiting rooms. Is that because they don't want you to know how long you've actually been in there? Perhaps they just want to play with your mind and see if you kept track of who came in after you so they can get a good laugh when you get mad that they took that guy first before you.

Waiting rooms have a wall of pamphlets that describe a whole bunch of diseases. I don't recommend reading them because you may start to feel those symptoms you read about and become convinced that you actually DO have Denghe fever.

I noticed that there are lots of chatty, nosy people in waiting rooms who are all dying to tell you what's wrong with them whether you want to hear it or not. And they always have something worse than what you have.

I learned that the stairs and elevators on the ground level of my local hospital are locked down after ten p.m. We actually had to have an elevator sent down for us.

I learned that small children are very curious about how a dog's temperature is taken and are very willing to discuss in minute detail with strangers and neighbors as to how the procedure is done.

I've learned about myself in waiting rooms. As my son's arm was being casted, the young woman who was doing it remarked that it looked like we'd been with our pediatrician a long time. We've actually been with Dr. Jones for seventeen years, from the moment I became a mother. When I was a new mom, I took my two week old baby in on a Friday afternoon because he had a cold and I was nervous. He prescribed some treatment and sent me home. On Sunday evening, Dr. Jones, who is one of the busiest doctors I know, called me to make sure the baby and I were all right. He won my loyalty that night not only because he's an amazing doctor, but because he cares about his patients in such a way it makes you feel like you are important and you matter to him. It's still that way to this day.

Which brings me to the last thing I noticed about waiting rooms this week. There were a lot of caring medical personnel who took care of us during some stressful circumstances and for that I am eternally grateful.

Well, they're calling our name finally. Hooray!!! The wait is OVER! Gotta go . . .

(I may really have Denghe fever. If I do not post next week, you will know why. Oh, and somebody be sure to tell the woman next to me that I've never seen anyone else have a fast growing bone infection cut out of their leg in an office. Sounds cool though.)


At 2/08/2007 8:17 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

Julie, we must not frequent the same hospital, though our week sounds a lot alike. I've spent the past week in the ICU waiting room at LDS Hospital. It does have a clock; it just doesn't change. I met family from half of the local big news stories of the week there and their stories made me want to cry. I bumped into a fellow graduate from my old high school in Idaho (his brother has been in a coma for ten days and I cried with him when his brother opened one eye and lifted two fingers.)I've grown closer to my siblings and their spouses who took turns with me making five minute visits once an hour to our brother we feared wouldn't survive his nearly ten hours on an operating table. But like you, I've learned a lot. I'm grateful for family and for medical professionals, some days I was just thankful to find a parking spot. I also learned my laptop is heavy and of no use to me when I leave the thumb drive home. And my brother? He's recovering, but the doctor warns his recovery likely won't be permanent.

At 2/08/2007 11:34 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Oh, Jennie, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother and the trials you've been through this week. I'll say a little prayer for you and your family.


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