Well, that was fun -- Tam showed up at my work noonish and I drove her over to the orthopedic specialist, so she'd have a (nominally) responsible adult around if they decided to get really interventionist about her collarbone. We arrived at the office with a comfortable ten-minute margin, only to be told by the I-couldn't-care-less young woman at the counter that Tam's appointment was still forty minutes away, at 1:10 p.m. rather than 12:40, "And they're all at lunch, anyway."
Tam checked the Official Text on her phone, which still read: Appointment, 12:40. Okay, there's always slippage.
Lunch sounded like a pretty good idea to me, so I asked, "Where do people go for lunch around here?"
Miss Congeniality reluctantly admitted there was a cafeteria on the ground floor. I gathered up my things -- hat, purse, cane -- and as Tam and I turned to go, it suddenly dawned on on the medical recptionist that we were, in fact, leaving, and she chided us, "If you leave now, I can't keep you checked in and if anyone gets back from lunch early, you'll miss out."
No lunch, then. We picked chairs in the waiting room and sat down. The only other person there had rolled in on her own chair, so there were plenty of choices. Over the next few minutes, more and more people showed up, one with her cellphone notifications set on maximum volume, which charmed Tam.
What we didn't know -- from the evidence later, what no one in the waiting room knew -- was that the extra half-hour was for X-rays, which has its own waiting room across the hall but which is all "walk-in;" and they stagger their lunches, so the work never stops.
So one after another, patients were parceled out to exam rooms, nurses did the usual pulse and blood pressure checks, Physician's Assistants followed for intake and imaging review...and sent them, one-by-one, across the hall for the X-rays that should have been shot when they first showed up. Why the Muse of Unhelpfulness at the intake counter was unaware of this -- or at least didn't stoop to mentioning it -- remains a mystery.
The doctor says Tam is healing well. Handstands are still out of the question but she's on track to be back to normal, probably before summer ends.
Working On A Starship
3 weeks ago