Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It was deja vu walking through the lobby of the hospital. The familiar antiseptic smell triggered the memory reel. This time it wasn't my petite little mother who was the patient, but rather, my petite little sister. It was day surgery, so the visit wasn't charged with the same dread and anxiety of my previous experiences with my gravely ill mother. But it was still hard  ... my sister had frequented the same hallways with me so many years ago, and I am sure it added a layer of stress for her.

It should have been called ALL DAY surgery ... cause she practically had to wait that long. It was like a game of elimination. We were moved through a labrynth of waiting rooms (appropriately named), each a little smaller and more intimate than the last; each with their own special feature ... the hospital fashion must have - the gown; bloodwork; the hydration IV; the other IV; the heated recliner waiting chair; the visit from the anesthetist; and finally the pre-op checklist.

Ever notice how waiting room TV seems to be stalled either on frenetic game shows or kiddie puppet shows? If that doesn't work out for you there is always the magazine selection that reads like an archive of vintage editions. Sis and I passed the time laughing about things we did as kids and whispering out of the sides of our mouths about the fate of the various people also waititng for procedures. Sitting in a room full of strangers with only an open ended hospital frock to cover yourself creates a level playing field; eveyone is equal in their vulnerability. Sis inadvertently flashed her best bare back side as she attempted to negotiate the IV pole while trying to find closure with the gown. Everyone chuckled when the nurse reminded her that she would never see that man again. No vanity here! I tried to make my sweet little sister laugh, took pictures of her for future clout, and most importantly, tried to make her feel supported.

I remember spending the same kind of nervous, silly, giddy time with my mom as we waited ... and waited. I have come to appreciate these snippets in time when we have nothing to do but "be" - together.

Sis is a trouper and is on her way back to her healthy, strong vibrant self. Almost. She just has to be a little more patient ... and wait - just a little longer.


  1. I also find I enjoy these unexpected waits at times. But I dislike wearing the tiny gowns ;).

  2. You are a great daughter and a great sis! Lucky family :)

  3. I hope the surgery went ok and that after all that waiting, you both got to go home. I always get frustrated waiting at the hospital, even if it's for good things (like babies). Thank you so much for all your warm and kind comments on my blogs. You are so comforting. Also, that blog book looked amazing!!

  4. I think my sister would be able to identify with this post. She was with me every step of the way four years ago and I couldn't have done it without her love and support.
    Hope your sister is well and on the way to recovery


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