Musing in the waiting room

To be fair, it was entirely our own fault and on behalf of us both, I accept full responsibility for the situation Husby and I found ourselves in earlier.

There was an appointment and we were on time.

You know how it goes with the law of inverses (or Murphy’s or Sod’s law, or whomsoever’s law you wish to ascribe it to). Had we been running late, our names would have been called five minutes before we were through the door and we would’ve been a double-helping of hot mess.

As it was, we were prepared. We allowed time. We made provision for slow walking and hot weather. We built in space to amble and chat along the way.

So of course, upon arrival, we discovered an expected waiting time of over an hour.

But it’s the NHS, so it’s free, and the doctor we had an appointment with is doing a really amazing job of fixing Husby (or, at least, diminishing the effects of his kamikaze endocrine system) so we waited with nary a grumble.

And in the meantime, there was a waiting room (and, later, a sub-waiting room, which is the same thing but smaller and 10 yards further up the corridor) to ponder.

I don’t know about you, but I really like waiting rooms (as long as I have time to enjoy them and am not dying of some horrible disease minor germ at the time) because I get to people-watch – one of my favourite things. I just find People endlessly fascinating.

I think it might well be to do with my clark-like personality (if you’ve come this far without copping onto the Wakefield Doctrine, go no further til it’s done, y’all) and how I like to absorb, think and analyse.

There seemed to be three distinct groups of people in each waiting room – those who were doing something in an outwards manner; talking, singing, jiggling around – those who were containing themselves: reading books or papers (or Kindles) or playing on their phones unobtrusively – and there were those who were watching everyone else.

There was the very heavily made-up girl with her made-up mother, who chatted noisily, commented, pulled faces, huffed and puffed about the wait and finally ended up pacing the corridor, pirouetting occasionally in time to her iPod.

There was the woman who sat slumped in her chair, swigging a bottle of juice, watching and watching everyone.

There was the very sharply dressed man absolutely intent on his crossword puzzle – the rest of us might as well have been invisible.

There were the two women who chatted quietly to one another and enthusiastically to the small boy in the buggy who was with them and seemed to derive inordinate pleasure from chucking his toy onto the floor for them to retrieve.

There was the very masculinely dressed man who came and stood next to me to use the water cooler, who smelled delicious (but oddly feminine!)

There was the sweet old couple who spent half the time trying to talk to one another and the other half telling the other one they couldn’t hear what they were saying.

There were the mother and daughter duo who hardly spoke a word and didn’t seem to look at anyone, but spent their time seemingly looking inwards.

And then there was Husby, who sat, jumped up to get an abandoned paper and a pamphlet on medic alert jewellery, read them, commented on the stocks (really? since when?) put them down and fell asleep.

And me, who watched everyone else, arms folded, very still.

But that all only took so long, and in the waiting room, everyone is rather static, so for entertainment I watched the surroundings.

There were lots of leaflets to do with giving up smoking (cos, you know, it’s bad for your health).

There were four pamphlets describing some of the services offered by the hospital, but the more I looked at them, the more they annoyed me because they were ordered bluegreenredpurple and I felt they should be greenbluepurplered, because I’m like that, and to me it made more sense.

There were wall-mounted, oscillating fans, which provided several minutes of thought – firstly that standard table fans could be mounted (which sufficiently explained the reason you can make the head of a table-fan tilt back so far) – secondly how much money it must take to run a hospital with two fans in each waiting area and, say, 80 waiting areas throughout the hospital (as a conservative estimate) but because I don’t know the KWH of a rotating fan, I came up with very little, but even if it was as little as Β£0.02 per hour, 10 hours per day for five months of summer, that works out at about Β£784, which is a lot for just fans…thirdly I got into the relationship (if there were any to be found) between osseous, oscilating, and cilia. I couldn’t find a relationship even though the words are ostensibly similar.

Then there were people passing in the corridor – doctors striding; a handyman with his handyman bag of tools walking first one way, then back the other inside 15 minutes; porters pushing beds and people in wheelchairs; medical students chatting to one another; nurses pattering quickly along in their smart uniforms.

Then I got onto the word games – reading one of the notices and seeing how many words I could make out of one of the words present (lots). And then my thoughts started to cycle and I noticed that I’d settled into a rut of looking at the same items and thinking the same thoughts.

It wasn’t long then until I got fed up of waiting and suggested to Husby that he check his blood sugar, using White Man’s Magic* to bring the appointment forward. He got out his glucometer, pricked his finger, dabbed the bead of red to the test strip…and his name was called.

It was a thoroughly good appointment in the end.

The doc reckons that with the increases in his current medicines and some new medicine, he should be feeling more energetic and back to normal in a relatively short while. This is the best news.

With a new medicine, there is a small chance that a degree of his fertility may return – they will check in three months time. In the meantime I am staying firmly off that rug – I want an absolutely concrete affirmative that there has been significant change before I get any of my hopes up. The basket is in the cupboard and the eggs are being ignored – there will be no counting of chickens just yet.

*White Man’s Magic – I first discovered this delightful tool described in Gerald Durrell’s book ‘Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons’. He goes on a trip to one of the smaller islands off Madagascar, and there he, two colleagues and a few Madagascan guides become stranded. One of the locals in particular becomes rather antsy after a two hour wait for a helicopter with a storm brewing, so Gerald decides to employ the trick of putting the kettle on (no mean feat when without electricity, on a small, deserted island), telling the chap that as soon as the kettle begins to boil, the helicopter will arrive. The guy was incredulous…until it happened in just the manner described to him. The moral of the story is, if you are waiting for something to happen, engage in another activity which would be inconveniently interrupted by the original event’s occurrence, were it to happen within the duration of the second activity. You can be sure that the original, awaited event will happen much faster if only it can be sure of being inconvenient as it does so…

Ten Things of Thankful #4

1. The NHS – given the stories I am hearing about over in the Facebook infertility group Why NO kids?, people are paying a lot for treatments and consultations we are enjoying for free. Some of them can’t afford it or their insurance won’t cover it, so that’s the end of it all. We in the UK are truly blessed by this, even if we often find fault.
2. Husby is going to get better, or at least, it can only go up from here.
3. We had a great chat with a GP from our church and have arrived at a reinforced viewpoint with regard to ICSI – we are prepared to go for it if it’s offered, but not to store any embryos and not to create any more than will be implanted. We will happily facilitate what should have happened naturally, but will not go further than that.
4. I helped to get Neff out of a bad mood (eventually) because the poor boy has a sore throat and was finding life just a little too hard. It’s amazing what the promise of new Hotwheels will do…
5. I got my shopping done and am looking forward to the weekend menu
6. At this stage, one of my good friends is still set to visit for the weekend and we’re going to have a blast
7. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop goes LIVE on Saturday (there’s still more prep for me here!)
8. My family are awesome
9. I was driving home in the sunshine and the Beatles ‘Day Tripper’ came on the radio

10. The sun is warm and I have my health.


10 thoughts on “Musing in the waiting room

  1. Heheh it made me giggle when I realised that you'd done the same topic on the same day (I know a different slant, but still; I reckon that counts XD) I love to hear about other people's people-watching cos I can pretty much only watch the English – I adore hearing about other cultures and communities…*nudge nudge*


  2. I'm glad you think it's beginning to work. I guess if the advent of the blog hop is anything to go by, then yes, it is.

    I just loved how neatly the Wakefield Doctrine fit *perfectly* as I waited.

    And yes – a positive direction for now, without getting carried away πŸ™‚ This is good.


  3. Waiting rooms are perfect observation places, because there is a reason for the people to be there. Some (waiting rooms) are more transitory than others, i.e. transportation (airline terminals, train stations and bus stations), others definitive, i.e. hospitals, courts, and there is also the very transitive, which would be lines in supermarkets, sitting in traffic.

    I totally agree about how we can become totally engrossed, we are after all the ones who live in the reality of the Outsider. But now that you point it out, there is something different about people in waiting rooms, probably not in a way that *they* notice… but how an observer would notice. I think that most people (the rogers and the scotts) are never aware of themselves in the way that you can be aware of them as they sit…waiting.

    It sounds like your path continues with a positive direction. I applaud and admire your efforts to stay away from 'the future' and instead make the most of, (including having a positive feeling about) the present. While I think we all benefit from having a positive attitude, it is best to have (that attitude) about the things that are happening now, and leaving the future to become an extension of this positive path, as opposed to attempting to alter the future (from the present).

    Looking forward to the blog hop. I wrote about going live at 7pm Saturday, but I believe I should have said 7pm Friday for the blog to remain live for the day.
    You are already demonstrating some of the good things that derive from the conscious effort to maintain a sense of gratitude.


  4. Lol! I think different people respond in different ways. I consider myself lucky that I have the kind of brain which can get utterly lost in the mundane like that.

    I'm glad we had a good day. Jury's still out on The Plan but if it involves Husby getting better, that would be great.


  5. I thought of that, but then I was annoyed that orange and yellow were left out, so I re-ordered them around the colour wheel to fit without anything missing in the middle.

    And yes, any good news is a great thing. We can only go up from here. Which is nice, in a way.


  6. Interesting to hear your views on waiting… I'm a very bad waiter (as it were) and always dump my Husby out of the car with nine seconds to spare then spend ten minutes parking the car to walk in to the department just as he gets called… otherwise I am a bad wife and refuse to go and make him go alone on the train . Very glad you've had a good day. Maybe God's plan is a reasonable one after all xx


  7. I think the colour order should actually have been red-green-blue-purple, because that puts them in rainbow order.

    Oh, and good to hear good news of any kind. Yaaay πŸ™‚


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