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Waiting for Bad News (standard:non fiction, 2075 words)
Author: Bentley LynnAdded: Sep 20 2003Views/Reads: 1633/1101Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A true story explaining my feelings on a diagnosis of my husbands illness. Getting inside my feelings and realizing what he means to me.
 



Over the past six months, I have sat in over a dozen doctor's waiting
rooms, waiting for my husband, test after test after test, sitting 
there in those unfriendly, tiny little waiting rooms, a dozen blue 
cloth stained chairs shoved up against the walls, with the perfectly 
arranged magazines in a rack and few old Dr. Seuss books for the kids.  
I despise waiting.  And it's always the same, telling us he needs to 
have more tests.  This time, it's more than just a test; he is having a 
surgical procedure including an aggressive biopsy.  This time the test 
will finally tell us what is wrong, why he has been suffering with 
non-stop pain, why he is missing work because he can't get out of bed; 
tossing and turning all night from the persistent pains in his stomach. 
 This time it's different, this time I am in the hospital waiting room 
and I'm just another 'waiter', waiting for bad news.  The waiting is 
almost intolerable. 

As I look around, I notice a sign on the wall; it reads "Outpatient
Surgery Waiting Room".  The sign is dark brown in color which makes the 
white lettering stick out, making me more aware of why I am here, with 
the white scattered dots below for those who can not see it, can touch 
it and feel the same thing I am feeling.  Feel the agony of waiting for 
the doctors to tell you the fate of your loved one.  I wish I didn't 
see that sign, I wish I couldn't see the other people waiting here.  I 
sit here, watching all of them wait, stirring in my seat, fidgeting on 
this couch with its little pink flowers on a beige background, its worn 
out cushions that hold a familiar hospital stench, it was put here to 
try and make me feel comfortable, to cushion the blow of bad news.  
There's a shiny, fake cherry wood coffee table which holds magazines: 
Sports Illustrated, Vogue and Cosmopolitan, all torn on the edges and 
lay scattered around on the surface-it holds my feet as I try to relax. 
 The coffee stains on the carpet staring at me, telling me that so many 
other 'waiters' have waited here for bad news-perhaps good news.  To 
the right of the couch are three chairs, all made with brown leather, 
the seams held together by large tarnished brass buttons.  Another 
couch is across from me, draped in blue and white checked material and 
two more brown leather chairs to the left.  There is a T.V. mounted on 
the wall, broadcasting some talk show about how a mother's daughter is 
sleeping with the mother's husband, and below the T.V. is a hutch, 
which matches the coffee table, it holds a coffee pot half-filled with 
coffee, some stale Krispy Kreme's and some more magazines.  Behind me 
is an old, gray desk, with metal legs and a yellow surface, where a 
candy striper sits, sitting there with her emery board filing away at 
her long, unpolished fingernails.  She is there to help us 'waiters', 
just in case we need anything. 

Three 'waiters', an older gentleman with one leg crossed over the other,
his white socks sticking out for the world to see, his hands folded in 
his lap praying to himself; a younger man in his off-white dress shirt, 
his tie barely hanging on to the shirt collar, with his beard growing 
in as if he hadn't shaved in a week; and a younger woman dressed in a 
light purple sundress, its straps tied together behind her neck, with 
her hair pulled up perfectly on to the top of her head, occupy the 
three leather chairs to my right.  The younger man and woman-whom I 
assume are married-discuss what ifs.  What if it's serious, what if 
she's going to die; I hate what ifs.  The man bows his head, rubbing 
his fingers through his thick black hair, repeating over and over, "I 
don't know, I don't know".  I can't listen to them; I shouldn't be 
listening to them.  I turn to the clock mounted up above the T.V., 15 
minutes passed.  That's it?  15 minutes!  Oh, dear God, I can't just 
sit here.  I reach for my backpack, my husbands backpack, the blue worn 
out backpack that I remember buying for him 5 years ago, the shoulder 
traps have strands of thread hanging down, the brown suede bottom is 
beginning to wear thin, the zippers are beginning to stick as you open 
and close it, is full of things to keep me busy: a crossword puzzle 
book, candy, my cell phone and a magazine.  This backpack, my waiting 
companion, has been in every waiting room with me so far.  I gently 
open my companion and pull out the crossword book.  I flip through the 
pages to try and find a good puzzle to keep my mind of the waiting.  I 
don't want to think about it.  I don't want to think about what ifs, 
another set of test results, another set of bad news-I am impatient.  
Find a puzzle, hurry!  Find one that can take me away from here.  I 
quickly turn the pages, faster and faster; I try to find a puzzle, this 
one?  No!  This one?  No!  I can't find one.  I don't want to wait.  I 
need to take a walk, a nice relaxing walk, the type of walk I have 
taken many times over the past 6 months.  I grab my companion, shove 
the puzzle book inside and get up to leave the waiting room.  The other 


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