Waiting for a doctor’s appointment, of any kind, is never an enjoyable experience. 
Doctors’ offices are actually designed to incorporate “waiting” into your experience, thus the actual waiting room, filled with magazines, activities and books for children and/or the blaring TV set, with neither a volume nor a channel button, accessible.
Being the perpetual learner that I am, I actually googled the history of the doctor’s office waiting room.  Originally, most doctors practiced out of their home and the waiting room was established when patients complained about being examined in front of others.
Since I can emphatically affirm that I, too, would not like to be examined in front of strangers, I have come to embrace the waiting room concept.  Honestly speaking, I am not even sure that I enjoy having a conversation in front of a room full of strangers, and so I often either read a magazine article, answer text and email messages or, use hushed tones if I converse.  If I know I am in for a particularly long wait, I bring along my coffee or water bottle and a good book.
Unfortunately, this often leads to my need to use the restroom, which causes me a certain amount of internal stress because what if they call my name and I am in the bathroom?  After patiently waiting all this time, I don’t want them to think that I left and then, miss my turn. 
The result is usually that I “hold it” and hope that I have a chance to use the restroom prior to having to step on the scale, after my name has been called.
In the past several years, I have noticed, that there are now two waiting room experiences at a doctor’s office visit with the second one occurring in the exam room.  Rarely, if ever, does the doctor actually perform the pre-check (weight, blood pressure, barrage of questions regarding pain experiences, last medications …) and after answering all the questions and changing into an examining gown, I am often left sitting on a paper-covered, squishy table for, again, a long wait.
I am not sure which waiting time bothers me more: the one where I am amongst a noisy room full of strangers, or the one where I am wearing little clothing in a cold room full of sterile medical equipment.  Sometimes, I lay back on the table and try to take a little nap.  Sometimes, I actually get up and read all the wall chart information, wondering if my answer of “2” on a scale of 1 to 10 for my pain was actually correct.  Sometimes, I grab my phone and ‘connect’.  Sometimes, I examine their box of sterile gloves and try one on for sizing, wondering if a medium is too big or just right and does anyone in the medical community actually wear a small?  Sometimes, I just sit there, listening intently, so that I can predict exactly when the doctor will enter, making sure that I am found obediently on the examination table and not up, with my backside exposed, poking through drawers…
After I googled the history of the waiting room, I googled the etymology of the word “patient”.  It comes directly from Latin and means ‘enduring without complaint’.  The irony is not lost on me!


Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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