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For months I spoke, but no one listened. Not my dad’s primary care physician. Not the physician’s assistant. Not the nurse. I described the “attacks” my ninety-six-year-old dad was experiencing: loss of awareness of his social and physical environments; inability to stand on legs that had turned rubbery; skin that looked pasty and felt sweaty. “Give him orange juice,” I was told. “His sugar has probably dropped a bit. And don’t worry.”
A lot of waiting goes on in hospitals, and not just in the so-called “waiting rooms.”
I lie in bed waiting for the next day to arrive. It is a small room with an eraser board where, on the next day, I can mark the estimated gestational age at twenty-four weeks and two days, far short of a normal forty-week pregnancy. The bleeding that brought me here has stopped, and now I’ve startedRead More »
The Scene: The crowded waiting room of a busy, university hospital dermatology practice on a day when Mohs surgery and other treatments of skin cancers have been scheduled.
As a patient, you go to one of the business-like receptionists. After giving your name, date of birth, and insurance information, you are told that you can now sit down. No information is available about waiting times.
I head out of the emergency department of our local tertiary care hospital. The waiting room seems pitifully small, probably twenty chairs, with the security desk, check-in desk, triage station and the entrance doors in close proximity. There’s no space for pacing here, and sometimes not enough chairs.
I notice a familiar figure, dressed in bright red, who stands out from the others. With a start, I realize it’s Joyce, one of
I have vivid memories of the HIP (Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, a prepaid health plan) waiting room on East 23rd Street in Manhattan, which I often visited as an elementary school child. I most remember two things about that room: the magazines, and the anticipation of a possible shot.
I arrive in the waiting room nearly a half hour early and confirm my existence with two insurance cards and a questionnaire that asks me yet again to list my illnesses, allergies, and medications. Most seats are occupied by old people, older than me. Or maybe the same age. It’s difficult to say who is with whom because those who are not making love to their cell phones are paging through OK!, People andRead More »