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Monday, September 17, 2012

Scratch It

Today was one of those days when we had early appointments at the hospital. In our usual fashion, we had trouble falling asleep knowing that we would have to be up at 5:30 to get there at the right time. That's life, no big deal. On these early-morning days, we have Trent's blood drawn at the lab and then go up to the clinic for a preliminary visit with a nurse. Then we go and eat some breakfast to kill time until the doctors finish rounds and arrive at the clinic.

Since we got such an early start today, I headed to the pharmacy while Trent headed back to the clinic. The pharmacy wasn't going to open for more than half an hour, but that didn't bother me. I have come to see these waiting times as a gift. They are an opportunity for me to sit and read a book or play a game, or some other recreational-type activity. I sit in the quiet hallway, enjoy some time reading, and all is well with the world.

Unfortunately for some people, they find these waits to be torture, something that fills them with resentment and anger. A man came and sat in the pharmacy area and was apparently calling his insurance company regarding approvals for medications. This little area sometimes has spotty cell phone reception, and I am presuming that he lost contact on the call. Hey, I know how frustrating it can be to have to make multiple calls to straighten things out. But I don't get mad at the person I was talking to. This man, however, was not of that mindset. "Friggety-biggety g-d blankety whozits, etcetera!" "My, my, I thought." I know something he doesn't know. We can choose how we react to others and to things that happen. His choice was to be not just angry but explosively furious. When the pharmacy opened, he probably ended up treating the staff with rudeness and cruelty. Where I was enjoying a little oasis in my day, he was seeing a deliberate attempt to inconvenience him and ruin his day. Ah, well.

Less than ten minutes before the pharmacy opened, an already-angry woman pulled on the locked door and cursed when she saw the sign stating the opening time of 9:00. "How do you drop something off?" she snarled. "I don't think you can," I said, "but the pharmacy opens in less than ten minutes." She turned on her "you are too stupid to be allowed to live and I wish I could kill you" voice and said, "Well, that isn't much help for someone who needs to be at work at 9:00, now, is it?" I shrugged and she stomped off, looking for someone else to put on her hit list. I resisted even the thought that if she needed to be at work at 9:00, she was going to be late anyway. Plus I didn't want to be punched in the face!

I picked up the medication for Trent and met him coming out of his clinic visit. We went on to another appointment, and had to go to another pharmacy as a result of that visit. In true Trent fashion, he made some silly jokes with the person who helped us. She said she appreciated it because laughter is the best medicine. I shared my experiences with people's crankiness earlier and told her it made me think of something my little Gram used to say about people who had a bad case of crankiness. "They just need to scratch their mad place and get glad again!" 

We all have times when we get out of sorts. If we are lucky, we can recognize what is going on, scratch our mad place, and become glad again!