An Unexpected Journey (Part 6)

The OR Waiting Room (1/28/20)

Bad coffee. Numerous conversations. Concerned looks. An unwelcome guest. What are – nix that – I suppose this is more like a $100,000 Pyramid list than a Jeopardy question. So, the answer is “Things found in the OR waiting room.” My lovely wife is having breast cancer surgery…and I am here. I was one of only three people waiting, while our loved ones are being sliced and diced, just a few short minutes ago. But now there’s over a dozen anxiously awaiting family and friends occupying this OR waiting room. A place where everyone’s welcome. Well, apparently almost everyone.

A portly fellow, I’d say probably straddling the age of 40, was just surprised by a female visitor. Presumably she came to show support for him and his loved one, but the befuddled fella immediately asked, “What are YOU doing here?” The apparent “intruder” responded with something akin to being able to fit this stop into her hectic day before her 10:00 a.m. appointment elsewhere. My hunch is the portly one wished she wouldn’t have arrived at all, for he did not utter another word.

The intruder spoke non-stop (at a high decibel) for a good while, until she whipped out a sandwich from her purse and eagerly began ingesting. That was the only time the poor fellow had a little relief, except for when the one-sided conversationalist made good use of the coffee machine around the corner. I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically (on the inside) when the woman, returning from the coffee area, quipped, “I got decaf. I don’t think I need any more caffeine today.”

I’m glad I started this entry, this way. I think it has made time go a little faster during this waiting period. The waiting room’s message board shows that patient #517 entered the OR at 8:06 a.m. Number 517 is Rhonda, and it is now 9:24 a.m. My wife’s surgery time was estimated to be approximately 90 minutes. We are getting pretty (BREAKING NEWS – I just shot out of my chair after hearing the waiting room spokesperson, addressing those of us assembled in the room, softly say, “Jim?” Speaking of hearing, I guess the representative had said, “Jenny?” How embarrassing.) So, what I was trying to say before was that we are getting pretty close to that estimated time of 90 minutes.

I am thankful my mind has been preoccupied with this pen and paper in front of me, instead of being consumed with what’s happening to my lovely wife somewhere in this hospital. Rhonda has not had a broken bone or a torn anything, let alone a surgery of any type, in the 36 plus years we’ve been an item. This is a new experience for us both. As we’ve grown older, the missus and I are more about having experiences than receiving gifts. But this is NOT what we had in mind! It is what it is. Rhonda’s a trooper. I’ll have to deal with the situation the best I can. And God is good!


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