Unlimited Patience Day

Why did I think that the older you are the more patience you have? Turns out you can never have enough, not when you live in a retirement home or are part of a healthcare system. Today was a routine check-up day at the hospital, meant to be an easy day with nothing to get excited about. It’s a 25 kilometer drive along road no. 4 in the notorious Sunday morning traffic but all went smoothly until the dreaded left-hand turn towards the end. I will not discuss the parking.

I checked in at the reception desk and to my pleasant surprise I found myself alone in the waiting room.  The dream of a quick visit slowly faded as more and more people drifted in and were called into the examination room. Soon every seat in the room was occupied. I once heard a great story about a guy who loses a sandal strap in the street. A few minutes later he sees a sign: “Shoe repairs while you wait”.  He goes in and hands over his broken sandal and is pointed to a bench full of people all apparently waiting for their shoes. “Your sign says repairs while you wait!” he yells and the shoemaker says, “So, wait!” So I waited and waited and fiddled with the NY Times crossword until finally…

Of course the moment the doctor completes his exam, slaps me on the back and says, “all’s well,” the long morning and endless waiting disappears in smoke. Three hours later I can hardly remember where I spent the morning.

Back at the retirement home I have to switch into high-patience gear again as I wait for a couple of residents with their walkers to shuffle into the elevator. Everything is back to normal.

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