I've spent more time this past year in hospital/doctor waiting rooms that I care to recall. Between mine and my oldest son, we logged in dozens of hours and racked up thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills. Much of the time was spent in the germy chairs surrounded by people from all literally all kinds of places. Frustrated people. Tired people. Desperate people. People looking for answers. I have somewhat more patience than many for situations like this, because I am such a people watcher and analyzer. Does it really make sense to yell at the receptionist because you couldn't find a parking place? Is it in your best interest to yell at the person you are with when their name is finally called, "Don't act like you're getting too much better--we haven't got that insurance check yet! And be sure to turn your arm some right before they take that X-ray picture!".
Regardless of the intensity and duration of whatever I am facing, I ALWAYS walk (or roll) away from my appointments so thankful that it isn't as bad as someone else I saw that day. I was reminded of this today when I had to take the middle child for an initial appointment with a pediatric specialist at University Medical Center. Sure, we had to park a long way away. We had to wait a while to have about 2 1/2 minutes face time with the doctor who charges over $100 per visit. We aren't done yet with this process. But you know what? When we left, he walked. He talked coherently (for a 10 year old boy, anyway). He went to the bathroon unassisted. He laughed. We passed at least 10 other parents with their children that don't do those things, and probably never will, and it broke my heart all over again. I know I am blessed, and I am most thankful.