I went in for a CT scan today. Nothing really interesting about that. I didn’t wait around to talk to the radiologist. No news is good news, right?
As I sat there drinking my huge cups of “contrast” before going in, the door swung open, and an elderly man walked out with the nurse. He looked so tired and frail and I thought for sure someone would have accompanied him. He made it over a few seats over from me….and sat there for a while. He tried to make a phone call with a Jitterbug-looking phone….you’ve seen the commercials. He slumped down for a bit to rest and then he got up…..and slowly walked over to the receptionist desk to ask if there was a phone he could use and they pointed him around the corner. About 10 minutes later, it was my turn to go back for my scan. And I couldn’t go…..I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to go and check on that old man.
Leaving the waiting area, I went down the hall, following where I’d last seen him, and as I turned the corner….there he was……struggling with the phone on the wall:
Excuse me….sir? Have you….made your phone call yet?
It took him a bit to turn around….so I moved around so he could see me and repeated my question. He held out the handset and said:
I can’t……seem to make……a phone call.
I told him that my phone wasn’t working either and it was probably the fact that we were in the basement. I asked if he was waiting for a ride home and he said yes but he needed to call someone to pick him up. I helped him to the elevator and explained that he would need to go to the first floor to get cell reception. He smiled, said thank you, and stepped into the elevator.
I went back to my chair and couldn’t hold back tears. I know the people sitting there thought I was upset about being there…..but seeing that old man struggle so much just to cross the long waiting room….and all he wanted to do was make a simple phone call…..and so many people just watching but no one really paying attention…..it was too much for me.
When the scan was over….the nurse was taking out my IV and the technician came out of the adjacent room: Ashley….I have to ask…..is this your artwork?