“There’s nothing to do here,
some just whine and complain
in bed in the hospital
coming and going
asleep and awake
in bed at the hospital
tell me the story
of how you ended up here
I’ve heard it all in the hospital…” -Hospital Beds by Cold War Kids
This be Teddy.
Dude. Doctors Offices suck. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hospital. Going on rounds with my dad (Dr. Papa) is one of my favorite things to do. He explains all the syndromes and what not in layman terms and the nurses have the best sense of humor. I saw two in a fight one time (not unusual) and finally one snapped, “Oh go wipe some butt!” and that’s what she went off (presumably) to do. No nonsense. There was also an extensive debate in which case my dad was called over to hear the case about a nurse who had taken one jelly donut more than her allotment. Heaven forbid!
But doctors offices are an entirely different kettle of fish. The walls are white, they’re filled with the elderly and dying (not that we feel any better, but they often look like they’re dying of TB…), and the fluorescent lights are murder on our autonomic nervous systems. The only medical place that’s worse is the testing lab. At testing centers the nurses are CRAZY! At least in my experience. You may have had a nice, sane nurse draw your blood at a testing lab. Normal flobotomists are kind, it’s the testing centers that make them go psychotic. I almost growled at my last one, she refused to go near a cellphone. Inwardly, I said, “There are people surviving apartheids and genocides world wide. I think you can handle an electronic device.” But I refrained. And it had nothing to do with the needle she was holding above my arm. Obviously.
Excuse my rant. That little encounter was what inspired me to write this post actually. It just reinforced my slight distaste for waiting rooms of all kinds. Which led to the next question, how do we make them better?
My research led me online. Surely there must be clever anecdote there. But it was soon clear to me that these people had never spent extensive time in a waiting room. Or in any sort of public place for that matter. Ideas ranged from stealing some poor old elderly person’s wheelchair and zooming about to pretending to have multiple personality disorder. Erm, I dunno about you guys, but I’ll pass. So I suppose my suggestions will go about the more practical lines.
1. Bring water, a jacket, and a bag. The offices are often freakishly cold.
2. Bring some clementines, trailmix, or something else that’s sweet and filling. Depending on how much blood the nurse draws, you may get a wee bit dizzy. Protein and sugar generally help.
3. Ipod, Zune, or whatever you kids use to listen to these days. Oldies and Bluegrass are not my thing and nurses seem to have an affinity for them. Wear earbuds, not headphones. That way you can unplug one ear and listen for the nurse to call your name. Nothing is more embarrassing than having a nurse say, “Teddy? ….Teddy?……UM EXCUSE ME IS THERE A MISS TEDDY HERE?”
4. Now for the fun stuff : ) Bring something that delights your spirit. 9 times out of 10 you won’t know anyone there so you needn’t impress them with your lofty choice of literature. I like Meg Cabot books, especially ones that have pink hearts all over them. I’m not super girly, but romance novels are a weakness.
Also, the gameboy. Pie and I should do a post about Nintendo DS games, they’re very useful for waiting rooms. I personally like Pokemon. Soul Silver and Heart of Gold are phenomenal remakes that make me kind of nostalgic for the original Pokemon games. Dagnabit, this post is really letting my dorkiness out of the bag.
5. This goes along with the last one, but it really is my favorite new thing. My iphone5. It’s glorious. Useful beyond measure. Delicate, yet packed with useful items. So at this point, I just bring it and a pair of headphones. I know I just recommended ear buds, but every time I buy them they die within two months. So I’ve just decided to stick with my trusty old bomber headphones. They’re candy apple red, and have somehow lasted me 2 1/2 years. Best 40 dollars of my life. If you have earbuds that don’t somehow spontaneously combust, have at them.
What everyone has been raving about for years, are smartphone apps. So I am clearly not exactly on the cutting edge here. But, since I’ve only been rejoicing for a few grand months, these are my favorites thus far.
A. Facebook: needs no explanation
B. Pandora: lets you listen to your custom stations for free while using other applications. I listen to my account probably more often then I listen to my jam-packed iTunes library.
C. Kindle: Yes, it’s a tiny screen. But the font isn’t that difficult to read and it downloads books honestly faster than my actual kindle does. Plus you can disguise those embarrassing romance novels.
D. My Ancient Greek app: I’ve been lugging about my textbook for months now, and I feel so guilty every time I don’t read it. My Greek class is the highlight of my university curriculum, and I miss it dearly. Unfortunately, as with any language, it’s easy to forget. Especially dead languages since you don’t speak them. Ever really. This app is cool, because it’s rather like being quizzed with multiple choice flashcards. It has about ten vocabulary words per level that it cycles through in different formats. It has 110 levels!!!! I think I’m on level 5… just to give you an idea. Anyways, I’m not saying you should all learn ancient Greek, but it’s really nice to reassure yourself that your brain hasn’t completely gone to mush with some sort of stimulus.
E. Netflix: I can stream a movie or two a month on my allotted gigabyte usage and there are some days where you just need a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.
Ok, I’m majorly out of inspiration. In the end, waiting rooms are the epitome of uninteresting. So, basically, how do you make your waiting count? Because if I have to play another game of I Spy with Pie I might growl at a little old lady. Yeah, you heard me. I hope you don’t have any appointments today and feel energetic and joyful!