A line stole and revised from the movies pops in my head as I sit in the emergency room all afternoon. Oh, not for me. I am here with a family member who has been down graded from a possible heart patient to visitor. We stay lighthearted as we laugh and joke about this because it’s been two hours with no doctor visit or tests. Our time is passed by the same unending questions and routines which are repeated by every nurse who walks in, mixed of course with the usual patient sounds in a busy ER.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, and then the Doctor comes in. A small smile crosses my lips as he reminds me of W.C. Fields. A happy man with a light humored demeanor, mentioning tests, and vanishing as quickly as he appeared. Our waiting continues as we sit chatting passing the afternoon away. Interruptung our conversation, a child screams his disdain for the procedures they are forcing upon him giving one the impression he was not used to having his demands ignored. Then an elder woman in a curtained room next to us is softly crying. She was told the EMTS could not take her home but, she was welcome to wait in the lobby until she found someone to take her home. It was heart wrenching to hear her explain she had no one. My first thought was whether I had enough to get her a cab or could offer her a ride. I am financially burdened and feared what family would do if she was injured after being dropped home. So I was very dismayed that I could not help either by design or fear. In answer to a short prayer my heart quickly lightened as a nurse announced that they located a friend who would pick her up shortly. The woman’s breath released and she stepped a little lighter on her way to the lobby. Gratitude….the woman had a friend when she needed one most and the child had left.
Finally it is time for a test which helps break up the need for patience required in waiting. So my family member is whisked away and returns a short time later. We continue conversing realizing how many people have been brought into the emergency room since we arrived. It is definitely a busy afternoon in the ER which is filled to capacity. And now our time to leave has arrived. So once again today, I feel gratitude…an outcome far better than the fear I had upon arrival, a woman found a friend, and more people seemed to walk out than were admitted. I must not forget that amidst it all I was even presented a reason or two to smile.