An Hour In My Life
My Journey With A Friend
How many of you have spent time in large hospitals, wandering around glass eyed, as you try to find your way from point A to point B? It doesn't take long before you discover you have sympathy for the poor little mouse who is placed into a maize by some high school science student preparing for the Science Fair! And, to further complicate their many halls and doorways, the older hospitals have been "revived" numerous times, blocking halls, adding elevators and doorways, and soon even those who work there give directions that are less than vague.
Well, that is what brings me to my story, as I prepared to visit my neighbor's daughter and new grandson last week at our nearby hospital.
Gabe was born on a Wednesday evening. I wanted to go to see him that night but just felt it was family time and they didn't need extra company. So, I told them I would see them on Thursday between one and two in the afternoon.
On the way to the hospital, I stopped at Toys R Us to purchase a little Fisher Price "Laugh and Learn" teaching puppy. My granddaughter had one when she was a baby and loved it so I wanted one for Gabe. I had them remove it from the box for me so that I could just carry it in under my arm.
Little did I realize how much this little puppy had to say or how far his "gift of gab" could carry.
The soft, cuddly Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Love to Play Puppy helps baby learn parts of the body with 6 musical games like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and "Pat-a-Cake." The 2 interactive play modes teach the alphabet, colors, and more. Includes 10 sing-along songs, sounds, and fun sayings.
Driving into the hospital parking lot precisely at one o'clock, with my new friend sitting in the passenger seat beside me, I proceeded to drive from row to row, looking for a empty parking space. There wasn't a single space vacant so I drove into the parking garage and began to ascend. As I reached the fourth level, finding no vacant spaces, I came to the end of the way, the remaining level taped off. I had to turn around in the narrow space and head back down. On the first level, just at the entrance, I finally spotted an empty space. I hurriedly drove in. As I placed the car in park, I glanced in the rearview mirror just as a car sped by, nearly taking my back tail light with him. Gee, people get really stemmed over missing a parking space, don't they!
Gathering up my new friend, we began the walk across the parking garage, into the parking lot and onto the sidewalk along the main wall. We crossed the entrance drive and headed toward the front door of the hospital. Suddenly, my little friend began to sing at the top of his lungs, "It's a great big colorful world out there, everything's got a color that it can wear" I tried to quiet it but that only threw it into a round of "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP" There was no recourse but to allow him to finish as people stared at us.
At this point, I turned my friend around with his back to me and my arm around his middle so that I would be less apt to press any of his many buttons, hoping to keep him silent.
We entered the automatic doors and walked up to the front desk and asked for a visitor's pass for the fourth floor. He politely explained to me that the entrance for maternity had been moved to the outpatient wing on the side of the building, off another street. I would find parking across the street from that entrance, for my convenience.
For my convenience??!! That would have been to be allowed to enter here and leave my car where I had it. Oh, well, what could I do but obey.
So, my friend and I turned, passed through the automatic doors to the outside and, as I began to quickly walk back to the car, he began to sing, "Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes" frightening the lady who was just passing me and getting chuckles from the two men not far behind her. I just smiled and tried not to turn red.
As I quickened my steps, the puppy chimed in, "Wheeeeee!"
The Abyss Of Doors
Once in the car, I left the parking garage on the far side of the hospital, drove around passed Emergency and the new Heart Wing, a place I hope not to visit again for some time, entering the side street. Finding the parking lot off the side street, I entered, driving to the very back of the lot to find a space. My friend and I walked the length of the parking lot, crossed the street and entered the building.
I realized soon that I had entered the building at Outpatients rather than the Birthing Center. However, they are very close together and I saw no reason why it wouldn't be simple enough to walk to the elevator from there. I ask for a visitor's pass and directions to the elevator which would carry me to the fourth floor, "B" wing. I was told to walk to the beginning of the carpet and turn right down the hall. At the end of the hall, I would find the elevator on the left to take me to the fourth floor.
I thanked the lady, as my friend told her about his "Blue Ear" and we proceeded on our way.
As I turned the corner into the hallway, I was faced by an abyss filled with door after door and not a soul to ask for directions. After a nice hike, I finally came to the elevator doors. As they opened, my friend began to talk again, this time about his "Green Hand" and played a little tune. The woman leaving the elevator immediately went into a brief rendition of how her daughter had that puppy.
The Abyss Of Unfounded Direction
I pressed button four and up we went...to the "C" wing! Arriving at the nurses' station, I asked how to go from there to the "B" wing. "Oh, you will have to get back on the elevator and go to the third floor, change elevators and ride back up to the fourth floor." At this point, my friend chimed in happily and most appropriately, "It's learning time...!!!"
Upon arriving on the third floor, I went to the nurses' station, inquiring where I would find the elevator to the fourth floor, "B" wing. By this time, I was turned around and didn't realize she directed me right back to the same elevator. So, in I went, passing an elderly lady leaving the elevator with the same look on her face that surely must be on mine by this time. I nodded at her and then reached for the button. Oh! It was already red. At this point, I realized that she wanted the fourth floor, too, and because the door had opened for me, had gotten off on the third floor. I quickly pressed the "door open" button and ran to get her. Thanking me, she reentered the elevator and we rode together to the fourth floor, as my little friend told her about his "Red Nose" and played a little banjo tune for her.
As we left the elevator, I ask her if she wanted the "C" wing and she did...her search was over.
Back to the nurses' desk I walked, this time asking if there was another elevator on the floor that might take me to the "B" wing. She directed me down another hall into another abyss of doors. After quite a nice stroll, I came to elevator doors and, with a prayer, again pressed the fourth button.
Hurray!! It was fourth floor, "B" wing alright! But there were absolutely no signs directing to any room numbers at all. Just two hallways, one to the right and another to the left.
Finding Our Way
I decided to take my chances by turning left. This took me immediately to the offices of the fourth floor with a nurse's station at the end. There were two ladies standing there. When they ask if they could help me, my little friend began to sing, "Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes..." for us as we waited for him to finish. I told them my story and as I finished, they were both laughing hysterically. I guess it was pretty funny by this time.
They directed me to the double doors just to the right of the elevator, where I would have to make a phone call to get into the wing. I thanked them and told them I knew my cardiologist, Dr. Desai, would be proud of me for all the exercise I had gotten while visiting the hospital. ;o)~
As I walked up to the phone and lifted it from its cradle, the doors opened. I hadn't dialed the number yet? A security guard came through the doors and ask if he could help me. I guess I had a very lost look on my face because I didn't have to say a word. He immediately told me to wait right there until he put his package away and he would be right back to let me in.
Our Final Destination
As we entered the double doors together, I told him my plight and he laughed as he said, "Mam, I hate to tell you this but when you leave, rather than going through all that again, just proceed through these doors. You will find an elevator on the other side that will take you directly down to the street."
What??!!!! And who trained the lady at the desk in Outpatients?!!!
The Security Guard then began to walk away. I looked around, finding no room number signs again so I stopped him. He gave me directions and I soon found my way to the proper wing.
As I passed the nurses' station, where it was extremely quiet due to the sleeping babies and Mommies, my little friend jumps into a swinging chorus of "Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout..." I, without thinking, grabbed his leg and uttered "Sh-h-h-h," as you would to a child. Three nurses broke into laughter as I passed. Oh, Help Us!!!
When I arrived at my final destination, I lifted my friend up in one hand, holding him by the top of his head, the only place where there was no "button of intent" and gently carried him in. As I placed him carefully on the foot of the bed, I told them not to so much as touch him until the baby was fully awake!
The entire trip from parking lot to room had taken me exactly fifty minutes. After spending a short ten minutes holding Gabe, who is absolutely adorable, I said my goodbyes to all and started back to the car, via the elevator almost immediately around the corner from their room!
Our journey together had given me plenty of time to attach and feel a little sad to leave my little friend behind. But I am certain Gabe will find him to be a wonderful new friend with whom to share his childhood and they will have fun growing up together.
And You Ask, "Was It Worth It?" - Now, What Do You Think?!!
If You're Happy And You Know It
I hope this story of an hour in my life has brought, to each of you, a little smile to your day. As for me, I'm going home and enjoy a nice quiet evening!!
The next time you find yourself in a maize of situations, remember the words of my little friend: "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. If you're happy and you know it, then your face will always show it. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."
(I have since learned that my little friend had an on/off switch under the back of his shirt! Duh! Technology!!!)
Icing On The Cake!!
GABE IS GROWING UP SO FAST!!
Eugenia S. Hunt's Work Is Copyrighted
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