Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Waiting Room

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!

15 comments:

  1. I hope that the surgery goes well and that your mom has a complete recovery. I used to be extremely impatient as well, but as I get older I am just happy to have the "time"...know what I mean? LOL. Sounds like an interesting bunch you get to watch today. Prayers for you and your family!

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    1. Thank you Penny! I always try to throw humor into a situation if I can :)

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  2. I hope your mom's surgery goes well, and that her recovery is smooth. Waiting rooms are great places for people watching, aren't they? Sounds like you've found a creative way to pass time during her operation :-)

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    1. Thank you! :). Creativity is how we roll right? Makes little sense to sit and let anxiety take over!

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  3. Your curiosity about people is a wonderful antidote for boredom. Hope all goes well with your Mom's surgery and she's back up on her own two feet real soon.

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  4. Don't know you that well Michelle, but it doesn't surprise me @ all that you're no good @ waiting around!

    I hope it all goes well An artificial hip! Not so unusual in these strange times.
    Cheers, ic

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    1. Ha Ha Ian! You have me pretty well figured out. I like to be in action not in limbo, but I'm learning that waiting is sometimes necessary. So you might say I'm learning acceptance. Modern medicine...pretty cool eh?

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  5. I am the WORST at waiting. I get so impatient and by nature I am a worry wart, so not a good combo. People watching helps, though! I hope your mom is feeling okay and wish her a speedy recovery!!
    http://www.mondaysnugget.com/

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  6. I hope your Mom is recovering well! I also love to people watch and create stories for each person in my head! I've been doing this since I was little and I'm glad I'm not the only one!

    Jennifer

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  7. Michelle, best wishes for your mother’s full recovery! I remember reading in your previous posts that you are a “preacher’s kid.” Very nice that your father is now an Episcopalian Bishop, and wonderful that you can both be there together waiting. I enjoy people watching too. You have excellent observation skills, and how creative to think of a story for each person you see.

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    1. Thank you Marilyn! I'm getting ready to do a follow up post. Hope you are well!

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  8. I truly hope that everything went well with your mothers surgery and her hip now works much better plus the new hip will not give her any future trouble. It's good that you and your father was there to give her that extra peace of mind too.
    I have no doubt that you will write a wonderful piece in the future about what you observed that day. Let me know how mum's doing. Take care.

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    1. Thank you! What a great idea...a follow up post :) It's going to be a long road, as she's 71. But she's already up and walking around with her walker in PT. She's like me in that she won't be kept down long!

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