Carefully Removing The Bandages

Last week, no matter how much care my aunt used when assisting my grandmother transfer from her bed to her wheelchair, she lost her own balance, causing my grandmother to slide to the right a little when my grandmother scrapped her right shin against the sharp metal of the wheelchair, causing my grandmother to bleed from the deep cut.  My grandmother takes special medicine to prevent blood clots.

Yesterday afternoon, my aunt and I drove my grandmother down to the hospital to have her stitches removed.

Upon our arrival to Bronson Hospital, my aunt got my grandmother signed in.

We followed a nurse who wheeled my grandmother down the hall, into an examination room.

Like my aunt and grandmother, I was overcome by sleep.  The drowsiness took over my mind like tides crashing to the sandy shore on a blistering hot day.

Neither one of us removed our coats, because we assumed we wouldn’t be there very long.

Twenty minutes went by.  No doctor came into the exam room.

My aunt opened the door of the exam room we were waiting in, and stuck her head out the door to ask a nearby nurse, “Excuse me.  Can you tell me how long the doctor is going to be?  We’ve been waiting her for at least twenty minutes now, and no one has come in to tell us anything.  Did the doctor forget about us.?”

I heard the nurse say, “The doctor is with another patient right now.  He’ll be in just as soon as he done.”

I drifted off to sleep again, as did my aunt and my grandmother.

Upon awakening from my sleep, I removed my cell phone from my purse to check the time.  It was going on six o’clock.  All together, we had been waiting in there for approximately an hour.

Putting my cell phone back into my purse, I stretched my arms, yawned, and rubbed my eyes, while saying to my aunt, “Where the heck are they all this time.  The doctor should be done with that one patient by now.  We’ve got to eat something, especially considering we’re diabetic.  If I don’t eat some dinner soon, I’m going to puke.  I’m going to see what’s taking them so long.”

Walking over to the door, I opened it and went outside of it, looking for a nurse.  Two of them were standing nearby socializing.  I remember thinking, It’s obvious those women became nurses for the big paycheck.  It certainly wasn’t because they cared about people.  Surely, there must be something they could be doing to occupy their time. 

I asked the one nurse, “Excuse me, I’m not trying to be difficult, but can you tell me how long the doctor is going to be?  We’ve been waiting for a little over an hour.  It’s dinner time right now.  We haven’t eaten anything since lunch.  My aunt and I are diabetic.”

She picked up a clipboard from the desk, making believe she was busy, when clearly she wasn’t.  Glaring at me, she responded, “Well if you knew you were diabetic, why didn’t you come earlier.  You shouldn’t have waited until dinner time to take care of your business at this hospital.”

“Ma’am, we couldn’t come any earlier today, because earlier today, we had some other places we needed to be.  Furthermore, we came to get my grandmother’s stitches removed.  What could be taking the doctor so long?”  I said sternly.  By this time the flames in my blood elevated a bit.

The nurse responded by saying, “I told you people before, the doctor is with another patient.”

I responded, “All this time he is with that same patient.  What goes on here?  Are you telling me that there is only one doctor working in this entire hospital.  This hospital doesn’t employ any more than one doctor.”

Point down with her finger while still holding the clipboard with the other hand, she responded in a nasty tone, “For these eight rooms, yes.  If you so hungry, why don’t you go eat something.  Nobody is stopping you.”

“Ma’am, I told you my aunt is diabetic too.  Besides, we’re here to have my grandmother’s stitches removed.  We can’t leave from here.”

“Sure you can.  You can leave your grandmother in the exam room while you and your aunt go to the cafeteria and eat.”

“No.  We’re not going to do that.  Besides, she needs to eat too.”

“Then you’ll have to wait until the doctor is finished.”

“Ma’am, when I miss a meal during the day, and have to wait a long time before I can eat, I end up puking.  What am I supposed to do if I get sick and puke?”

“I don’t know,” she said gruffly while shrugging her shoulders.

Walking back into the exam room, I slammed the door.

After waiting another forty-five minutes in the exam room, the doctor finally came in. He apologized for the wait and for our inconvenience.

Carefully removing the bandage from my grandmother’s right shin, he snipped the stitches with a small scissors, and said, “Everything looks good.  There’s no sign of infection.  Her leg is all set.  Now, we’ve got to get you signed out.  If you can wait a few moments longer, I’ll log everything into the computer and have the nurse get you signed out.”

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015


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