Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Waiting Room

Yesterday was kind of miraculous.

The past few days we've been insanely busy getting ready for school. And with Mommy going back to school this fall as well - things have been more insane than usual. Yesterday was a day when I had to get a lot of things done for Maggie to head back to school. One of the things was getting her hair cut (which was amazing and she was wonderful during). The other incredibly important thing was to have her prescription filled for her Biphenten. It helps her remain calm, keep focus and slows down her impulse reactions so that she can think them through slightly before making a choice.

I picked up the bottle to call in the refill and groaned. There were no refills. Thinking back as to how this could have happened, I groaned again. I got a call a few weeks ago from the pediatrician’s office saying that our before school checkup was postponed because the doctor was taking a vacation. That was fine except that we all forgot about the refill.

In a slight panic, I called the doctor’s office - no one was there. I called my family doctor - also on vacation. I called the pharmacy to see if there was anything that could be done and their response notched my panic that much higher - “Go to the emergency room and ask them to write a prescription for you”.

If anyone has been to a Canadian emergency room in the last little while, they can relate to the possible hours you may have to wait to be seen, the crowded waiting room, the many noises and the dreaded order of admission - you get seen based on your immediate need. Someone with a more serious issue gets in before you do. I was thinking that a prescription was the bottom of the rung. At this point though, I was out of options. So, I packed up my mom purse with books, tablet and things for drawing pictures before taking Maggie and heading to the emergency room. I assumed they’d want to at least see who the prescription was for, since the ER can’t generally dole out things without having a record of seeing the patient.

We went in and explained the situation and the girl at the desk patiently took all of our information. When I laughed that we were having a heck of a day, she smiled and said she was too, but seemed in a lighter mood. She assured me that I’d done the right thing by coming in and was really kind to Maggie when she gave her the admittance bracelet.

Maggie continued to be amazing as we sat and waited our turn. We read a book and watched a bit of the TV with Maggie quietly asking questions and wiggling in her seat. Before long, they called Maggie’s name and we were off to see the nurse. It was so nice to round the corner and see another friendly face. She sat Maggie down, looked at her chart and started to take Maggie’s vitals as required - answering all of Maggie’s curious questions along the way “What is that for? Why doesn't she have a thing to hear hearts around her neck?” and even sat still when she was getting her temperature taken in her ear! I was completely amazed and so very proud. I was still on edge though because we weren't on the home stretch yet… still more waiting to do!

But this is the part that blew my mind… and the reason I was so impressed as to take the time to write this… The nurse looked at Maggie a moment and then quietly asked me “Is she Autistic?”. I raised my brows in surprise and admitted that she was. It was surprising, because I’ve never had anyone ask me before. When I answered, she nodded and smiled and quietly rocked my world “Well, we won’t send her back to the waiting room. You can wait in this quiet room here.” She put us in a small blue examination room by ourselves to wait for the doctor. It was pretty much rocked my entire world and I am still smiling. That little kindness went a long way. A looong way. The “waiting” in “Waiting room” for everyone else means “Waiting for the Doctor to see you.” but for us it means “Waiting for the inevitable meltdown.”.

Inside the blue room, Maggie was distracted by the new surroundings. She had lots to look at it, and when she was done looking, we drew pictures. By the time the doctor came in to hand me a prescription with a jovial “Betcha need this for the start of school eh? I've been in the same boat before - have a good weekend!”, Maggie was still pleasantly occupied and still quite happy.

The thoughtfulness of the ER nurse may seem like a small boon, but it had a huge impact on our day. It could have gone downhill so fast, but her seemingly small concession saved our outing - and my sanity!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Janet! I was wondering if you could answer a question about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)