3 Hours I’ll Never Get Back

I spent the day in hell yesterday. Hard to do when you don’t actually believe in hell (gasp–did I just say that out loud? Don’t worry, I fully believe in heaven, where I assume I will go). But I’m being metaphorical here anyway. Yesterday, I spent 3 hours at the university healthcare clinic.

Quick background: Thomas started  coughing over the weekend; took him to pediatrician Tues. morning, where they insinuated I was the most neglectful mother ever while they gave him a breathing treatment for his pneumonia; Wednesday they had us scheduled at the clinic to see a pulmonary specialist at the hospital clinic. Yee Haw! Welcome to Christmas break!

So, I’m just going to be real up front with you: despite my very liberal tendencies, even I sometimes judge people. It’s just that I usually wait until the very last possible moment to do it. I try, try, try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I ascribe wholeheartedly to the idea that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But sometimes, people just really want you see what idiots they are, no matter how hard you try to look away.

Sensing my bitterness? No, we did not have fun at the health clinic for 3 hours. (As a side note–thank God my kids can entertain themselves. Thomas was perfectly behaved, despite being the only kid without an electronic device to zone out with. I, on the other hand, would have had an ADHD freak out without my iPhone to entertain me.)

First, we waited 1/2 hour to be called up so they could make a photocopy of our insurance. Apparently this is a very complicated matter. I wouldn’t know, not being a copy machine expert, myself. The waiting room itself was highly entertaining. I was still fairly cheerful at this point, so I smiled at the bearded lady, the man talking at ear-splitting decibels to himself, the woman trying to choke her infant by stuffing a cookie into her newborn’s mouth, and the family of 5 who were unwrapping the fake presents under the tree, despite them being only props. Not judging.

Next we waited another 1/2 hour, and were finally called back to a breathing test with a very loud and abrasive lady who became extremely irritated with my son when he did not return her rather rude, “Merry Christmas.” So she said it about 10 more times, very sarcastically, just to see if that would change his mind. Then she gave me the, “You should really teach your kid some manners” eye roll. Never mind that my kid can’t really focus on what she’s saying because he is half dead with pneumonia and is dealing with skin-crawling OCD because of all the noise and dirt surrounding us.

She took us to another room, where she promptly slammed the door on us in a huff. The first words out of my intelligent son’s mouth were, “But what if we were Jewish?” So I took a few moments to explain that some loud mouth nurses really hate Jewish people or really anyone who refuses to wish them a Merry Christmas. It was a good lesson in tolerance. That is, tolerance for loud mouth nurses who slam doors on little kids with pneumonia.

We finally saw a doctor. Then had to trek downstairs to another waiting room for an x-ray, then back up to the original waiting room, where we waited for another 1/2 hour before I finally lost it. I think it was pretty clear when my text messages to John started containing phrases like, “punch someone in the face,” that my usual level sweet self had taken a turn for the worst.

In the end, we did get out of the hellish clinic. And then, as if to punish us for all our bad thoughts and judgements, we pulled out of the parking garage and into the horrible traffic jam of  UK Basketball game letting out. I may or may not have cut a few people off on my way home.

The good news is–It’s all up from here, people!

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