Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room sometimes hurts more than the injury that brought you to the dreaded hell hole in the first place.
Currently, I’m in such painful doldrums. My left knee decided to go out while I was in the middle of running a half marathon last Saturday. Despite my constant prodding and pushing, it refuses to track back in and answers back to my remedy with a POP POP POP. Obviously, it holds grudges when provoked. Now, I’ve been forced by this uncooperative joint to hobble on over to my orthopedist and get it checked out.
Which is why I’m in this God-forsaken waiting room with nothing to do. I can’t get enough reception to play with my iPhone. I forgot a book. And I don’t feel like talking to the gaggle of ladies in wheelchairs encircling me.
Why exactly are they surrounding me? I look to the nurses, who have the protection of a sliding glass window, bullet proof no doubt. How long have these ladies been waiting here? The look in their bifocal covered eyes tells me they’ve grown tired as well. They, too, are aware of the lawless situation. I feel slightly like a “Lord of the Flies” scenario may shortly occur. They have canes and steel wheels. I have a bum knee and a sharp mouth. Thank goodness I have little meat on my bones to eat, and hopefully will be spared. I slather on some Vick’s vapor rub and hope the smell of death wards them off for a few seconds longer.
A voice disturbs my anarchical delusions. A nurse sweetly calls out a name. Not mine, of course. She calls again, and this time a man jolts awake mid snore. His hips creak, stiff from remaining in the same chair from a two hour wait as he enters through another door. The exit is elsewhere, which worries me since you never see people leave. All we need is Wes Craven to roll some film, and I’m sure something sinister would occur. Is that a saw I hear? Hopefully to split open a cast and not that gentleman’s balding head.
After a half an hour, my mind starts to create its own games. It produces elaborate stories for each of the patients waiting with me. The frat boy with the neck brace obviously drank a little too much Jungle Juice, tried to make the moves on a blonde leaning on a balcony and took a header off a second floor. He catches me staring at him and gives me a WTF glare.
A young child with a broken arm smiles tenderly at me. She really didn’t break her wrist. She fibbed and said she fell of the bed to get sympathy after a fight with her brother. Hairline fracture, my butt.
And, the middle-aged woman gimping around with the screwed up looking knee cap obviously ran without training. Ok, this one I know is true. But I’ll tell the doc I received the injury from chasing a bank robber down a flight of steps. He shot at me, like all country thieves do, and while dodging bullets like Neo, my knee popped and I went down. I’ll be presented with a police medal next week.
Finally, I win the lottery. The nurse calls my name. I’m not sure if Saint Peter’s voice will sound just as sweet. I might not ever get the chance to find out, so I relish in this moment a while longer. As I flop toward the bright light behind the door, I feel the piercing stares of those who arrived after me, and two that appeared before. Their minds click away like an old fashioned calculator, trying to determine how many more people will be summoned before it’s their turn.
I smile to myself. Until I realize that all the doors throughout the hallway remain closed, excluding one. My wait is not over. It’s only just begun. And I don’t even have a fellow survivors of the ordeal to help me bide my time. Wait, are those plastic gloves in that box?