Monday, October 18, 2010

The Waiting Room Diary

At the doctor's office the other day, I was tired of waiting, so I whipped out my notebook and started writing. This is what I wrote:

At one point in the waiting room, you think you might have to wait forever. The ticking clock further solidifies this feeling, and the nerves you felt upon first entering the room begin to abate. Noises outside in the hall confirm the presence of life. But you are insulated from it, stuck.

The sense of anticipation of the welcoming knock on the door becomes almost unbearable until you're sure it won't come at all. And still the clock moves. First ten minutes. Now fifteen. Latest count, 21 minutes. You realize you wouldn't last an hour in solitary confinement except that in solitary confinement, you have the small comfort of knowing relief is at bay for a day, a week. You can relax somehow. Here, you can't.

So the tension builds. You've looked at the picture on the calendar hanging across the room 17 times now but you don't take the time to study it. You only give it a quick glance because the knock might interrupt your artistic perusal of the piece. Yet, that knock hasn't come for 27 minutes.

Maybe they really did forget about you. Maybe you should open the door a crack and see if anyone would notice. But no, that wouldn't be proper or at all the thing to do. After all, you were raised to be polite and respectful and rushing said doctor might result in a less than desirable outcome to your appointment.

So you sit. And wait. Thirty minutes. Really? A half hour? This would not be tolerated at a fast food chain. Of course, the doctor doesn't have 'fast' in her title --


To be fair, the doctor more than made up for her running late by spending lots of time with me to listen to my concerns about my health. I still haven't made a decision on said health yet, but I'm getting a second opinion this week.

What will that waiting room diary look like, I wonder?


  1. This is why I always have a notebook. I girl I knew, used to write everything the mechanic told her in a notebook, without saying anything, and it terrified the dude so much, he fixed her car for free! He thought she was planning to take it to the media. ;)

  2. Notebooks are awesome and you've totally captured what sitting in the doctor's office is like.

  3. I can so relate to what you wrote - I have done this exact same thing so many times and I wonder. . . . . . why do they stick patients in a room by themselves and just make them wait and wait. Even leaving the door open would help.
    Bringing a notebook is a good idea though:-)\
    Thanks for sharing. LU

  4. It's easier, without a doubt, to wait in the waiting room. I like to people watch and wonder why they are there. The runny noses and coughs, crippling arthritis, sprains and breaks are easy to spot. in an examination room, We wait on the Lord as much as on the doctor. What a reminder that He knows us in minute detail. After all, He made us!

  5. Love that you brought a notebook...and used the time to write. You nailed that waiting anxiety just perfectly.

    Hope the health issues are on their way to resolving...

  6. I've never thought to take a notebook like that with me. Instead I sit and worry and study those awful pictures too!

  7. Hm, an intriguing opening to a story. Your post raises lots of questions ... why the patient is there, where is that doctor, does he/she ever show up, does someone else enter the room instead? Who ever thought you could get a story out of waiting for a doctor :)

  8. I'm glad you had something to do! I don't understand the long drawn out waits at the Dr.'s office. I wish they would just schedule me an hour later. I'm praying for you as you come to a decision.

  9. You're lucky. Some people could write a whole novel while waiting for their doctor!

  10. I'm too nosy to write at the doctor's ...

    There will be a blog award waiting for you over on mine tomorrow (Wednesday).

  11. I always have to have a notepad on me, otherwise I'd get bored so quickly and hate waiting, especially when I'm nervous.

    Good luck for next week.

  12. I'm not good at waiting in a little room. At least you made good use of your time!

  13. You got the feeling of waiting down perfectly.....I can relate to this as my husband and I were stuck in the exam room for almost 3 hours yesterday, ugh.


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