Monday, February 21, 2011

Microcosm of Humanity

So, I had a follow-up appointment at the doctor's office this morning that I had rescheduled 3 times. I figured I couldn't put it off any longer. I did not choose this doctor, he was chosen for me by my HMO. This office has a waiting room the size of my bathroom with about 9 chairs squeezed in, no magazines, only some medical ads on the walls and a big screen on the wall showing some medical programming. When I got there, I signed in and there was only 1 person in the waiting room. I was called back to do the triage bit: weight (I lost 8 pounds in the last 4 weeks!), temperature, blood pressure. There were no examination rooms available, so I was told to go back and wait.

I figured it wouldn't be too long, so finished my sodoku game while 3 more people arrived and 1 person came out to wait for his next appointment to be scheduled. It took about 15-20 minutes of chatty silliness from the nurses and office staff to get back to him. He was an old black man, arms crossed, legs crossed, folded into himself. When he finally reminded them of his purpose, and got instructions in a slightly condescending tone, he left muttering "Lord have mercy." I forgot to mention that the computer in the triage room had Facebook up. But why not? They obviously didn't have much work to do! I finished 2 more Sodoku games while a man came in wearing an undershirt to ask the ladies to read out his paper that he had pneumonia. He left laughing. Another older man left with instructions to see a GI, which he didn't understand. An old man, who obviously had some serious health problems arrived with his 20-something daughter (I think) to drive him, sign him in, take care of the Medicaid stuff, etc. While they waited, he pulled out a thick novel and turned to his place in the first quarter of the book. "Do you think I'll have time to finish this here?" he joked. A young couple came in with a double stroller with 2 toddlers strapped in and a stroller with an infant car seat with their 1-month-old. All floor space was now taken up. Shortly after they arrived, a middle-aged white woman on a slant came in and checked in and started baby-talk with the adorable children. She was missing half her teeth. I gave up on the next sodoku game because I messed up somewhere. An hour after I arrived, I texted Nick on my phone that I was still waiting. Less than 5 minutes later, I was taken back to a room. Then I waited about 10 more minutes.

I forgot to mention that one of the times I had to reschedule was because when I went to have the blood tests that he ordered, I was told that I had to be fasting for one of them. Yeah, thanks for the wasted time/gas, doctor! Why couldn't they have told me that at the doctor's office?

Anyway, my doctor is elderly and of some Asian descent. That doesn't concern me. What does bother me is when he can't think of the word "symptoms."

Through this experience, I was patient, unbothered - mostly - and interested in those around me. I was stirred to start praying for the other people in the waiting room. Now, I am kind of shy, so my prayers were in my head and under my breath. (They may have thought I was a weirdo.) But, I felt that I was actually seeing some of them through God's eyes. His heart will give you the most breathtaking empathy. Lord, let me see each of Your children as You do! Guide me in Your ways!

Just one picture from this weekend's amazing Holy Spirit joy at OHOP (Nick in front)


  1. Wow, it sounds like you had quite an experience! Isn't it super fun to go to the doctor? :) But I love how you just went with it instead of getting irritated, like I most likely would have done. Slowing down and taking the time to look at the people around us, instead of focusing only on our own schedule, really does open the door to compassion. Thanks for this great reminder!

  2. A frustrating experience turned around for an opportunity in our Awesome God, to show up and touch those whom He longs to embrace...and you allowed Him to utilize you!

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