Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)
TITLE: The Wait
By Chenel Moore
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With the final decision made, I did it. I went to the emergency room. As I entered through the cold, uninviting double glass sliding doors, my mind was boggled with intense speculation. I didnít want to be there, but I knew I needed help. So many thoughts race through your mind when you donít know what is ailing you. But I was determined to exercise the unproven muscles of faith and trust that I would walk out differently than the way that I was now walking in.
I braced myself for the check-in procedure. I hoped that I would get a nice nurse, but you never know these days since customer service is nothing more than an item on a bureaucratic checklist. Needless to say the check-in was made dubious when it was discovered that I was not insured. How would I handle my obligation to this hospital they wanted to know? I negotiated as best as I could from an obvious position of powerlessness. I had no idea how I would pay the bill. I only knew that I needed help and that coming here was my last resort.
When I was led to the waiting room I sat down on the hard plastic chair and looked around at the other people who were also waiting. Some looked very sick. Others looked perfectly ok. There were young men, old men and mothers with babies. We were all different shapes, colors and backgrounds. But all of us shared one common factor. We all needed to be admitted to find out what was wrong with us.
My name was called and I was led to a small room where a nurse took my vital statistics. I was relieved to hear that they were all normal. She filled out my chart and asked me for some basic information and then sent me back into the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity.
Finally, I was sent to the examination room. A young intern looked at my chart and did a quick examination. I could tell he was so tired and was doing just enough work to cover his obligation. When I tried to describe my pain, he quickly cut me off and told me that everything appeared to be all right and then ordered x-rays and blood tests.
I came back from my tests and waited for the internís diagnosis. He gave me a clean bill of health. When I asked him why I was in such pain he told me that he didnít find anything wrong with me but told me if the pain worsened, or if I developed a fever, nausea or diarrhea to come back.
I was in disbelief. There I was sitting on a sterile silver examination table, stripped naked and fully exposed. He had in his possession my x-rays, blood test and my vital statistics, all of the keys, which provided him with the ability to look into the transparent windows of my soul. I desperately wanted to beg for the cure, any cure that would make this pain go away. This experience was like fishing in a pond with no hope for a catch. Suddenly, it was clear. He had done everything according to his systemic procedure and would do no more. I was told to make an appointment with my physician in three days but to go home.
I sighed realizing that it was a losing battle. It was always like this. I dressed myself and then walked out of the exit doors through the waiting room. I quickly glanced around at the other patients who were still fishing for the answer and shuttered in a feeble attempt to shake off the coldness of defeat as I walked back out through the double sliding glass doors.
When I got to my car, I thought to myself that this church was just like the last one.