The beginning scene of my very own Stanley Kubrick movie featured a curious character who entered the waiting room. I’m sure she had a purpose for being there. She had to have a purpose there! To show up at a hospital waiting room for anything else other than to get health care help is so contrary to my mind that the thought has no ability to be even allowed. But this character, a lady who appeared to be in her late 50’s had come in to our area of the waiting room looking for a remote control for the televisions that were up on the wall of the waiting rooms. Neither of them were on, but she was determined to find a way to turn them on! And fortunately, she was no discriminator of persons. She made sure that everyone was invited into the search for the remotes, regardless of their apparent malady. I’m not sure the lady with severe abdominal pain was really up for the search, or the disruption.

No remotes! Anywhere! No matter. Televisions can be turned on and channels changed with buttons on the body of the TV. But it’s not straightforward for everyone to figure out. Our waiting room companion was just such a person. Buttons that don’t work can be assisted with smacks to the side of the TV. Questions about the process don’t have to stay in the mind. They are even better when muttered as though a curse out loud for all to hear. What could be so important that the TV needed to be on?

Thankfully, there are always plenty of staff standing around doing nothing in an emergency waiting room, and one such nurse saw the critical problem that needed to be solved.  She came over and assisted our new waiting room companion with finding a way to get the television going without the use of the remote. A chorus of angels sang as the apt nurse pulled it off! TV on! Channels changed! Just in time for a new car!

How excited we all were when everything happening on the television was repeated by our new friend. With enthusiasm. Her concern was evident as she repeatedly asked in a loud voice if the TV was too loud. And don’t worry, the downtime between exciting drama was filled with arcane personal questions of anyone who was near.

I didn’t realize then that the waiting had just started. After the confirmation that I had a stroke, I didn’t get admitted… I got sent home. Cut loose. There was an appointment for the end of the week set up, at the TIA clinic. There was supposed to be an assessment at that appointment, and more information would come. But no admission.