Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Patience of Patients

After spending a little time in the emergency room the other day, I've learned a few things:

1) The order in which one gets seen by a doctor seems to be decided by the same formula as what becomes a top story on cable news. The guy who has a superficial, yet dramatic looking cut on his forehead gets seen quickly. As for Mr. Three-Day-Long-Unexplainable-Chest-Pain, he's waited this long to see a doctor, a little bit more won't hurt (in the metaphorical sense of course).

2) Despite what TV shows like to portray, the only thing "exciting" about an emergency room is trying not to catch whatever the person sitting to the left or right of you has. (I generally try to sit next to the person with the most obvious and non-communicable aliment. Heavy bandaging is usually a good sign. Though considering point #1, the turnover at those seats is far higher than the ones by the guy sniffling in the corner.)

3) Would it kill someone to design a waiting room that isn't depressing to be in? Sorry... poor choice of terms. But really, if you are going to be there for ages (please see point #4 to prove that this is a literal statement), the room you sit in should not be oddly dark at all hours with a paint color best described as pea green gross. It's already bad enough your body hurts; your eyes shouldn't have to as well (unless, of course, it was your eyes that landed you there in the first place) .

4) Time becomes plastic in a waiting room. Quantum physicists should study the mutations of time while sitting in an uncomfortable, hard plastic chair. I'm pretty sure its "fabric" is getting stretched a bit.

5) Being slightly of the hypochondriac variety gives you many opportunities to relearn these lessons. Many, many opportunities.
posted by jw