I drove to the East LA hospital for my ten day after surgery check-up. I got there right on time only to see the waiting area was jam packed. Out of twenty five chairs only three were empty. Kids rolled around the floor and screamed and wailed as though this was a place for the able bodied. I checked in with the receptionist. She told me the doctor had an emergency meeting and was running a bit behind schedule. “A half hour late?” I asked hopefully knowing that meant an hour.
She said, “An hour late.” Meaning I could be waiting until the cows come home.
I went downstairs and grabbed a book from my car. I came back to the doctor’s office and read and waited. I constantly checked my phone to see what time it was. An hour passed. Then some ghetto hip hop started blasting from an unknown area. The obvious point of obnoxiousness was from a Black woman in her forties. One song turned into a second. No one said anything. Since my injury my level of patience with inconsiderate behavior has been somewhere on the scale between Larry David and the Unabomber.
I self-righteously asked her, “Ma’am, do you mind turning off the music?”
“Because it’s annoying me.”
“I got to sit here and wait I gets to listen to my music.” This could also be translated into, ”Fuck you, you one armed bitch. What you going to do? What you going to do?”
Later I wished I told her off in an award winning speech about having consideration toward the maimed that would have shamed her and won me an ovation from the other patients. But instead I acted like the one armed bitch I am. I snitched on her which ended up working in her favor as she was treated next.
Finally, it was my turn. The doctor who operated on me was too busy so some other guy in scrubs came and saw me. He looked at my file, “So you’re pre-op.”
“I’m not really schooled in medical terminology, but I already had my surgery so I think I’m post-op.”
“Right right.” He said. He moved my arm and hand in a variety of poses and then told me to get x-rayed. They radiated me and I was told everything looked groovy. I could have my cast off at the end of the month. I was asked if I wanted a morning or afternoon appointment.
“Morning,” I begged, “I want this off as soon as possible.”