Things at the information desk are usually pretty dull. I sit there for four hours and occasionally give someone the room number of his or her loved one so they can go and visit. Sometimes flowers are delivered. Sometimes the volunteer in the nearby gift shop asks me to watch the shop while she goes to the rest room, at which time I stand between the information desk and the shop so I can keep an eye on both. But that's really about it. I get a lot of reading done.
Rarely, someone I know stops by, as was the case yesterday. Suddenly a midwife from my old days at Women's Health stopped by. It was so good to see her. It had probably been decades since we had last met and I was getting all caught up on her current activities and the melodrama that had been my office after I left. It was easily as juicy a story as something you'd find on General Hospital.
We were just getting to the juicy part when a woman rushed in yelling for a wheelchair because there was a sick man outside. As I was getting the wheel chair for her, the man came through the front door. He was a walking vision of pain Doubled over, shaking, face red, crying a lot. She got him in the wheelchair and wheeled him off to the emergency room. She came back later to pick up the things she had left at the desk (she didn't know the man, just found him outside) and said he was being taken care of. (Given the state he was in, I wonder how he got to the hospital in the first place!)
Later in the afternoon a call came over the loudspeaker for essentially all hands on deck at room such-and-such I don't know for sure that the new emergency was for the guy we had sent off to emergency, but I checked the computer for room such-and-such and the patient was a 77 year old man who had been admitted that afternoon, so it's a good chance that it was. About 20 minutes later the emergency was called off. I hope the guy is OK.
In the morning the Today Show had been showing a picture that had gone viral on the internet of a baby who was born with a full head of hair, but this 8 month old baby who sat in the waiting room today was certainly a contender in the hair category (Grandma said I could take her picture, but didn't know I was going to use it here, so I have blurred out baby's face).
Grandma was there with baby and her sister who also had a huge mop of curls and had also been born with a full head of hair. They were all there, with Grandma's son-in-law waiting for the birth of this baby's niece who finally arrived...and also Grandma reported, had a full head of hair.
I was sitting with the family while watching the gift shop for the volunteer who had gone to the rest room. It was the end of the day and I had already shut down the information desk.
I'm getting to know more of what I'm doing at the hospital. UPS delivered a parcel and I knew where to deliver it (proud of myself for figuring it out, since it's not in the instruction book).
But the rest of the day was the usual calm and peaceful. I made several trips to the cafeteria, now that I've lost the silly uncomfortable feeling I had about going in there, to get a refill on my big glass of ice water. A very famiiar looking woman greeted me like a long lost friend. I didn't recognize her name and guess we had chatted at some time at the information desk.
The last hour of my four hour stint usually goes very slowly. There is less traffic through the front door, it seems, and other than a change of shift for the security guards who routinely patrol the hospital and sit in front of the door to the labor room to make sure nobody gets in who shouldn't be there, there is little of interest.
I was engrossed in my book, Bill Bryson's "The Road to little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain." At least I thought I was engrossed in it when someone kind of coughed and i realized I had fallen asleep and a woman was standng there needing directions. I was embarrassed.
After I had directed her I decided to wake myself up by walking down to the ER to get the wheelchair that had been used that morning. I have to return it to the volunteers' room at the end of the day. I got there and proved how really stupid I am. I could see it through a window in the ER waiting room but I couldn't find a way to get from where I was standing to the room where the wheelchair was. I could see the door to that room so I went outside and was going to go into the other room when I realized that I couldn't find the door which I had plainly seen when I was inside the waiting room.
I went back in again trying to figure out how in the world to get into that other room where I could clearly see the wheelchair. Fortunately before I made a total idiot of myself and asked someone how to open a door to get into that room, I realized that the "other room" I was looking into also had ME in it and I was looking at a mirror and the wheelchair was actually behind me.
Fortunately it was time for me to go home, so after returning the wheelchair and all the other stuff from the desk to the volunteers room, I stepped outside of the nicely air conditioned room into the sauna outside. I made a quick stop for dinner fixings and then came home and immediately fell alseep for an hour and a half, sleeping through Jeopardy and feeling totally discombobulated when I woke up. It was too light outside to be that late (I am not a fan of Daylight Savings Time).
Walt and I watched The Martian last night. I'd been wanting to see it ever since the movie came out, since I'd read the book and found it fascinating, but I missed it when it made the round of the theaters. They left an awful lot out of the book, but you certainly got the story in spades. Good movie, though why in God's name the Golden Globes people placed it in the "comedy" category, I haven't a clue!
Don't forget to VOTE today, Californians!