Into the building they came one-by-one. Patients of different backgrounds and lifestyles all huddled in one room waiting to be seen. Some were limping, one had a cane, two had crutches, an older couple and I.
Truthfully, I did not know what to expect. My having to see a doctor for an ailment of some kind was unheard of. My health has been good for so long. However, the pain in my right foot was getting to be unbearable and I needed relief.
Normally, I am a bastion of coolness and calm, but today I'm a little nervous. Having worked in the medical field for a number of years I have taken plenty of people to doctor offices and hospitals and what have you. Now I am the one in need of medical attention.
Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc. That's all I hear as I wait. I tried reading a book I brought with me, no dice. I'm not much for television, so that's a no go. In my last hopes before outright panic sets in I look around the room and try to figure out 'how' some of these injuries occurred and to take my mind off of my fears. It felt good as I was the only one in the room not in need of an assisting device to help with my gait.
Finally just before 10, i am whisked away into an examination room. On the way back I pass by several other rooms with closed curtains and I felt tempted to stop and yell "I will take what is behind curtain number three." Much to my chagrin the words failed to come forth and my dignity was still intact. Whew!!! No problem, they will get me when I am asked to undress and put on the 'hospital gown', that despite all the advancements in technology and fabrics still, never quite seems big enough to keep my backside from having its own show. That moment never comes about. All I have to do is remove my right shoe and wait.
Waiting is no problem. Having spent some time in the military 'hurry up and wait' is well ingrained into my physche. What I failed to do is take into consideration the other patients that are there with me. Case in point. In the room next to me is a young lady with a walking boot on her foot, she went back just before I did. Mind you, I am not an ease dropper and there are only two pictures and an x-ray machine in the room with me. I looked at both of the pictures (of feet) and was left with not much else to do until the doctor arrived. So I listened. Read the next sentence very slowly and carefully. WRONG DECISION TO MAKE.
For the next couple of minutes or so the young lady proceeded to let everyone know, she was not enjoying this office visit. She screamed and yelled, and cried and offered up some impressive expletives. Being in the room next to hers did little to calm my nerves. In fact, it made my foot hurt more. I jumped several times out of my chair just from the shock of her screaming and the adrenaline sent a fresh surge of blood to my foot which caused it to throb more. Pain, pain, pain, pain. Did he have her in an iron maiden? The little red guy on my right shoulder with the pitchfork and horns was yelling "back door, back door." While on my left was a guy in a beautiful white robe calmly telling me "to stay." If anyone had taken a poll, it would have been a landslide victory for the red team. Yet, despite the attention I was getting, I stayed.
As if on cue and sensing my desire to 'jump ship' the nurse comes back in and takes x-rays of my foot and offer a smile of assurance. "The doctor will be in shortly."
Tea and donuts would have been better. I continued to wait, the doctor comes in and we have a short discussion on the problem and next course of action. 'My diagnosis' was nowhere near the one he gave me. So, having the initials DR does not make me an actual doctor? (I have been mislead). Well, my visit is over and, after paying my co-pay, I proudly shuffle into the waiting room and look at my fellow hobbled compatriots and smile. I have just joined a fraternity. Mind you, I doubt any of us set out to do so before our various injuries but we are now the weak, hobbled, lame and much less mobile.
All-in-all I had a good time and got to see and meet some interesting people. I wonder what we will all look like next year at the reunion? Haha