the unbearable resistance of time
Yesterday we spent 3 or 4 hours sitting around in hospital waiting areas. I had to listen to explanations and risk assessments of doctors prior to the operation on Friday and, boy, were they taking their time! If you ever had to wait for the bureaucratic wheels to turn you probably know how painful waiting can be. The impatience increases either with other time constraints or with lack of patience in the given circumstances – who likes hospitals? The less you understand the reasons for the delay, the more you resist against being kept waiting. The longer the wait, the bigger the doubts. Are they aware of my existence? Am I in the wrong place? What if they just forgot about me? Who do they think they are? What if I just start to scream? It all would have been fine if it hadn’t been for the other people who were winding me up even more. There was a woman who was constantly fidgeting, leaning back, leaning forward, standing up, making noises of discomfort and annoyance. After a while Ezequiel started to say that she was the perfect product of capitalist society in which all wishes are fulfilled instantly. He might be onto something there. Another man was complaining to the nurses every 5 minutes, because he seems to have had some time constraints and his wife was obviously very ill. Although I understood his indignation about being the victim of bureaucratic non-sense – we all seemed to have had an appointment for sometime around 9 and were kept waiting 2 hours – his way of dealing with it was just making me so nervous! Seriously, it was like pulling off a bandaid very very incredibly slowly.
After 2 hours I finally managed to talk to the surgeon, made sure they won’t cut out bits I intend to keep and then had to sign some consent forms. In the next room a nurse stuck a needle into my arm (not very gently, I have to say) and drew what seemed like half my blood. She also asked me a ton of questions, half of which were also asked by the surgeon, the other half by the anaesthesia doctor. Later I had to answer them all again on a form as well. It felt like a broken record of all my different ailments. After losing half my blood we again had to wait around in another building for another hour. This time waiting was less of a problem and this is where I also took this picture. They actually gave us a time estimate and people around there were much less nervous than in front of the surgeon’s office. At least everyone seemed nice and considerate. They took their time explaining the details, answered all my questions and it always seemed as if they knew what they were doing. As far as my experiences with doctors and hospitals go, this is actually not a given in most cases.
Well, here’s to hoping that they live up to my expectations. Fingers crossed also that all this non-sense actually makes things better for me. There is a good chance at least, which is certainly new in my medical history – normally I only hear “we’ve run out of things to try” or “you have to live with it” or most amusing “maybe it’s psychosomatic” (i.e. all in my head). Doctors having proper diagnostic ideas that I didn’t already come up with myself and maybe even possible solutions, well, that’s something I wasn’t really expecting. I was hoping it wouldn’t involve any cutting, but well, in this case it’s really the only viable option. Strange to be contemplating an option where I might be symptom free. I wasn’t even dreaming of that a few months ago. But best not to get my hopes up. Maybe they are wrong or the operation doesn’t help and then I’d be right back where I started. It’s no use to worry/hope in either direction though. I best just wait and see what happens, even if that’s easier said than done.
Since my kit lens isn’t very fast I have to dial the shutter speed to 1/80 in the subway. I often forget to turn it back up to 1/250 and then end up with blurry pictures, because I shoot as if I had turned it up. Explains why the rest of the pictures ended up being taken in the subway. Half of it is coincidence, half is my being too used to shooting with a fast lens.
A couple of pictures where the dogs are more interesting than the people.
All pictures taken with my Olympus Pen E-PL3 and my M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6.
Most of yesterday was spent waiting, getting annoyed, getting prodded, poked and asked a million questions. In between I also (somehow) managed to take some pictures. In the end nothing much happened yesterday apart from all the hospital business. I edited pictures in the afternoon for a change and we watched a new British tv show: Endeavour. Apart from that nothing + some nice homemade chicken wings. I guess such hours dealing with hospital bureaucracy kind of takes all the spirit of adventure out of you.
On Friday I’ll have my operation. If they don’t find anything they’ll probably let me go the next day, but if they actually do find something I will have to stay there for 3 or 4 days to recover. I won’t take my laptop to the hospital, but you’ll still get some pictures, since I’ll prepare posts for a few days in advance. Not sure whether I’ll be up for walking around much, but I guess I’ll take my camera at least.