Hospitals are exactly like airports. People come and go, dragging baggage, directed to various floors and waiting areas, taking off and arriving. It's confusing but somehow it all works. I don't know who the air traffic controllers of the hospital world are, but they are the unsung heroes who keep everything going.
Just as if I was taking off for an exotic locale, I was instructed to arrive two hours before my first procedure, which was the first stage of the sentinal node biopsy. I was going to head down to nuclear medicine at 12:30 for the radioactive injection and imaging, in preparation for my 2:30 surgery. So naturally, I was told to arrive at 10:30.
Has somebody done a study and figured out that most people are an hour and half late for appointments, so they give themselves this two hour lead time? When I was a kid my parents had a friend who was always late, and I remember them telling him to come to dinner an hour before they wanted him to ensure his arrival. Maybe hospitals have had to learn the same lesson my parents had to - lie if you want somebody to show up.
I'd done a pre-registration on the phone the day before, and then we were told where to wait. We arrived on time and a very nice volunteer in a pink coat checked me in and said they were running late.
Of course they are.
We sat in this waiting area for close to two hours. These people are all waiting for loved ones to come out of surgery or were waiting for their own surgeries to start.
Now, you might have expected me to be sitting there, in fear, freaked out, nervous, thinking about death, thinking about my family, thinking about the loss of one of my body parts, fearful of impending pain and recovery....but what I was really thinking the entire time was how badly I wanted a cup of coffee.
Having ADD and being unable to project into the future can be a blessing sometimes.
People kept walking by me with these steaming, hot cups of coffee. It smelled so good, and the curls of steam rising above the paper cups looked so comforting. I felt seriously deprived.
Really, could it hurt that much to have one little cup? As I pondered this, my name was called. "Ann? You are wanted in pre-op."
Music to a girl's ears.