As I sat for several hours waiting to see a doctor, I thought about how a place can change your life. You go in as one person and you leave as another. A line of demarcation that once crossed, you will not ever be the same again. This is never more true than at a medical appointment.
As I tried to be a patient patient until called to meet with the world-renowned specialist, I began to understand that it’s not only the diagnosis that can make you different, but the time spent waiting. Once you learn what the professional in the white coat knows, you can process the information, put plans in motion and begin to adapt. It’s possible that you’ll depart with your tomorrows looking just as they did when you arrived. But the minutes in those hard, unforgiving chairs have an impact far beyond your aching back: A toll is paid regardless of your good news / bad news ratio. And when next you find yourself in the same position, every moment that has come before in this kind of limbo sits right there with you.
I left this particular appointment with promising possibilities. But all that passed between the elevator up and the elevator down left its mark. On my butt, yes, but even more so on my psyche.