“Wait” is my year word for 2018. Who knew I would need such a word on which to rely? Well, I guess we all know who knew. But it wasn’t me, at the time it came to me.
I, along with my sister, have spent the entire month of August in waiting rooms at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, right here in Winston-Salem. Baptist is a teaching hospital, and according to the standing adverts in several now familiar waiting rooms, rated the “best in the state” and “one of the top in the nation” in neurology, according to U.S. News & World Report. That rating has been a source of consolation, but I am going to tell you, the waiting rooms would not receive such accolades.
There are waiting rooms, and then there are waiting rooms. I never knew there were so many kinds of waiting rooms. There is one for everything…for the CT scans, for the blood draws, for the EKGs, for the families while their loved ones are in surgery, for the doctors’ appointments, and for admissions and for discharges. There are waiting areas, not to be confused with actual rooms, for the transport vans to arrive and drop. I think there are waiting rooms for the waiting rooms.
My step-dad is enduring a medical crisis, and Baby Sister and I are his “go-to” people. We’ve developed a criteria for a good waiting room, and here is it, in no particular order:
Good magazines. Up-to date, but Field & Stream doesn’t cut it.
Snacks. Close by, not three floors down, and seven corridors to the left and right.
Comfortable seating. Preferably a recliner or two. Definitely a sofa or two.
Available blankets and pillows. We would greatly appreciate the warmed up kind, please. Those places are like a butcher’s freezer.
Attractive wall art. I guess cows are acceptable.
T.V. with working remotes. NOT tuned and locked in to Fox News, for Lord’s sake. A loop of all seasons of Big Bang Theory might be nice.
And frankly, a complimentary cocktail bar would be a real perk, but I’m guessing that is just crazy dreaming.
Our Five Star ratings go to the Neurology Waiting Room, 4th floor, Janeway Tower and the Family Waiting Room of Surgical Services. They both have huge windows overlooking the city to the west and the helicopter pad. We can see the comings and goings of the emergency chopper, the weather, and feel like life still moves forward.
I have to say that Family waiting at the Neuro ICU, Ardmore 5th floor, is pretty good, too. Maybe four stars. There’s a little kitchen with microwave and fridge. One family we talked to had set up a nice little camp at one end of the lounge. They’d been there a week, and were from out-of-town. There is always someone who is worse off than you, if you look around.