I find myself in the waiting room of the hospital...again. My mother is having surgery to replace her broken hip. As you may know, waiting patiently is not my specialty. My Dad is sitting next to me reading The Hunger Games on his Kindle. As I scrutinize his face, he appears completely at ease. He is well practiced in the virtue of patience. We were told the procedure would take 3 hours. My father has been in many waiting rooms in his 48 year career as Episcopal priest and more recently, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. My impatience clearly was not inherited from him. (Although being a "preacher's kid" I gave him plenty of opportunities to be impatient with me and my shenanigans through the years.) I personally have witnessed him being less than patient. But I digress. (Although that would be an interesting future post.) Juicy!
Five weeks ago my mother suffered a fall which resulted in a broken hip. She had surgery to repair the break and pins were placed. She faced a lengthy recovery. It was anticipated she could not put full weight on her left leg for three months. She was incredibly uncomfortable and depressed. It was difficult for her to get in and out of the house. Long story short at a follow up visit last week an X-ray revealed the pins had come loose and that a total hip replacement was necessary. So here we are again. In the same waiting room. But I have to say she was very positive as she was wheeled into surgery and that put me more at ease.
As I look around the room I see that I am surrounded by an eclectic group. There is a woman sitting across from me rapidly consuming a large bag of Cheetos which she washes down with an 18oz bottle of cola. I reserve judgement. There is a group of family members who collectively appear to have arguably the greatest tattoo collection in Indianapolis. There is an elderly woman clutching the hand of a beautiful young woman sitting next to her. The younger woman strokes her hand lovingly. I wonder if they are waiting to hear about the woman's husband, the young woman's father? Then there is the receptionist who, appearing bored beyond belief, is thumbing through her magazine for the third time.
As a journalist I tend to be observant. Ok, nosy. I'll admit it. As a writer it is a personality trait that comes in handy. People watching has always been a fun pastime for me. As I work on my deficient patience level, I typically engage in this activity. I find it soothing. I enjoy the act of creating a story for each one. Who knows, they might be replicated in character as part of a future written work of mine.
I have been here for an hour and I'm pleased to note that I am not feeling anxious or impatient. Progress! I am relaxed in the knowledge that my mother is getting the care she needs and I am grateful to be present with my Dad during her surgery. We are comfortable in her capable physician, who has an excellent beside manner. My Dad appreciates his humor and I appreciate the fact that he includes me in the conversations regarding my mother. We are told her recovery time will be significantly reduced, as with her brand new hip she will be able to walk out of here unassisted when before a wheelchair was required. Good stuff.
So I'll close for now and return to people watching. I have a whole new group to study and they appear to be good material at first glance. Thank you for passing the time with me!