Hurry Up And Wait
After all of my usual morning ablutions and minor chores – make tea, sort out my daily meds, and prop my eyes open with toothpicks so I don’t nod off at the kitchen table. I have nothing left to do but wait.
Rather than wait at home I figured that I might as well loiter at St. Arbucks. There are two advantages to that
- I don’t find myself wasting brain cells watching the Today Show
- At St. Arbucks I can get a croissant.
The ones we had left at home had a nice blue patina. There are very few blue foods and I won’t eat most of those.
When the proper time came I hauled my carcass to the Toyota and hustled to beat another one of Terre Haute’s (That’s French for, “I hear a train. Step on it.”) many freight trains to the crossing. I didn’t want to be late – not after all of the time I spent waiting. As if it really mattered.
Per instructions I arrived at the Doctor’s office 15 minutes before my appointment time – and then I waited another 25 minutes before the Nurse called my name.
The Nurse is a most pleasant person. She gave me a Flu Shot, took my Blood Pressure (110/70, thank you), weighed me (MYOB), and asked me the standard 125 questions. After that she got up and said those dreaded words, “The Doctor will see you shortly, but he is running a few minutes late.” I made a mental guess about how long, “A few minutes late,” might be.
When the Good Doctor finally opened the door to my examination room/broom closet my solitude was at 27 minutes. My guess was 15 minutes. I’m such an optimist.
He then started asking me more questions and then, without warning, he started doing his Donald Trump impression – again. He did that on my last visit three months ago. This time I stopped him, reminding him that he had already done this shtick. He looked disappointed so I didn’t stop him when he got up on his figurative soap box and expounded on the Presidential race. I will not discuss politics with the guy who has my life in his hands.
After his impressions and stump speech he got back onto the healthcare track. He listened, he poked, and he thumped me. He seemed satisfied, but then said he wanted to send me to their “Lab” for a blood draw for some tests.
I’m cool with that. The Lab is just down the hall from his office.
With a handshake and another quick Trump impression – he was gone. Elapsed time with him: 13 minutes.
Over the years I’ve had enough blood taken out of me to supply half a dozen teenage slasher movies. After making another appointment for three months down the road, I galumphed on down the hall to fill a couple vials with my blood.
There was a new Nurse/Aide/ person in charge there. She was very professional – until she noticed that my last name is Kraft. Then she transformed into just another hungry person wishing it was lunch time.
“Y’know, Mr. Kraft, I really love Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I make up a whole box and add a little Pepper Jack cheese into it and I can sit and eat the whole thing.”
What do you say to that? I tried. I just wanted to get out of there.
“Well,” I said, “It is the ultimate comfort food.”
“Oh, Mr. Kraft, isn’t that the truth? I just sit there and eat it all.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I am not part of that Kraft family. If I was I wouldn’t be going to this walk-in clinic. I’d be jetting off to the Mayo Clinic. I didn’t want to say the word “Mayo” in front of her. She was starving and I didn’t want to torture her.
The Flu shot had been into my left arm and the blood draw from my right. A question popped into my head. Since the Flu shot was just minutes before the blood letting – would some of the Flu vaccine now be inside the little glass vials filled with my blood? If I come down with the Flu I will pursue this further.
Time I arrived: 9 AM
Time departed: 10:30 AM
90 minutes total, including 13 minutes with Doctor Trump and 6 minutes with Nurse Macaroni.
I did a lot of waiting today. I have two holes in my arms and I am famished. It’s too early for lunch, but I don’t care. When I get home I’m going to fix myself a big bowl of something, maybe some Grits.