Waiting is really the ritual of passing time....well more like an art form.
Recently I have found myself practicing this art form more than others, more then normal at least.
I mean most of us have to be patient in general: waiting in grocery lines, the microwave to beep, the tea to brew, the dog to stop barking, the alcohol to take effect.
My most recent episode of waiting was in a medical venue, hospital waiting.
It reconfirmed that time passes differently in hospital waiting rooms.
They are like strange time machines.
The magazines and brochures only hold your attention so long and then you have to start making up stories about the others that are there just as panicked as you.
My visit was to wait for my dad's major back surgery.
He has spent his life lifting things, standing on hard floors, and way too much twisting and turning with heavy awkward weights. His vertebrae had collapsed and was now threatening to paralyse him if he didn't stabilize things.
I was keeping my mom company, as I felt it was not cool to have to wait alone and scared, no matter how brave one is.
I brought snacks and myself as distraction but in all honesty I was just as freaked out as everyone else there that had to relinquish control of their situation.
We saw all sorts of ways to process stress while there waiting.
We saw the bratty college kid and mom waiting for their loved one, and cracking under the pressure of time passing with little information.
We saw the doting children waiting for a mother they brought in via the ER.
The senior waiting for her life long love to have his back fixed.
The friends that refused to eat or move until they had heard word that their loved one was in recovery.
Then there is the "liaison" in the waiting room, the senior that sits at a desk and checks for updates from the operating rooms and recovery rooms that family is never allowed into.
the two women we saw that personed this desk were harsh women. The first was sharp and stern and snappy, clocking over a 1000 hours of volunteer time had made her a short fuse.
She was crunching on lemon scented hard candies most of her shift.
Her replacement after several hours was a knitter who leered over her reading glasses at everyone in the room, and shooting looks at people giggling or trying to lift the thick thick mood. She spilled several "chews" into a basket on her desk that us "waiters" could help ourselves to.
I took one, unwrapped it, smelled it and watched the senior next to me try and ID the flavor.
After 8+ hours of waiting we finally got word that my father was leaving the recovery room and being moved to his room. We were shuffled to the front desk to get a new "visitor badge" aka sticker and told his room number. This was a mass exodus of waiters and so we shuffled down the halls together
Yep that is one hip lady with sequined wings on her ass
and heavy metal heeled boots!
Nothing is more soothing than finally seeing your loved one and knowing they are still alive!
Seeing my father was no exception.
He made it thru his surgery and was now being drained, filled and monitored
When I asked how he was feeling he said it felt like
he had been "shot thru and thru"
it conjured up images of cowboys with arrows sticking out of them
In all fairness he does have an abdominal and a back incision
Now he is doing all his recovery work, and he is doing great!
Following instructions and walking up and down the block and wearing his superhero belt.