Outpatient

The other day, I had to drive my mom to St. Joseph’s hospital because she needed to get some test done. I had just gotten off my last night shift for the week and I hadn’t plan on sleeping that day. My brother could have taken her but as mentioned before, he’s lazy and likes to sleep in.

I rarely go to the hospital so finding the parking lot was a little difficult. I ended up circling the building a few times before finding the entrance. I could have gotten to that entrance by going straight but I turned too early. I was pretty sure that the parking lot was after the left hand turn. But I found out that it wasn’t. That area was just for dropping off patients.

When I got to the entrance, I had to push the button to get one of those tickets. I wasn’t sure if there was free parking for an hour or something but it didn’t occur to me until later that I didn’t have any money on me. I thought I’d deal with that dilemma when the time came.

I wasn’t even sure if I parked in the right parking lot. From what I saw, I was by the entrance to the cafeteria. After walking in through the doors, I saw that we were in the Endoscopy Unit. I doubted that was where I needed to be. I’m not sure what this unit was about but it sounded like this is where you get anal probed.

I walked over to the girl at the information desk and she directed me to the Outpatient Unit. As she gave me the directions, I just nodded and agreed with her but I forgot to remember the directions. All I remember her saying was that I was supposed to head to the third floor and walk down some long hallway.

When I got to the third floor, I walked down the first hallway that I saw. It wasn’t that long so I had a feeling that I was in the wrong unit again. I in the Urology Unit and that name didn’t ring a bell. I asked at lady at the another information desk and she told me to walk back the way I came. Apparently, by the elevators is an exit that leads to the next building over.

It just so happens that once you go through the doors you will find a long hallway. A long dark hallway if I may add. It was more like a tunnel actually. It was cold and creepy with minimal lighting. But somewhere in the middle were windows where you can see James and John Street. I could even see my car from there. That’s when I remembered that I didn’t have any money for parking. I asked my mom but she didn’t have any on her either. All I had was $2 and I doubted that was enough. I ended up spending that on coffee.

This hospital some expensive stuff for sale, at least I thought the coffee was expensive anyway. I’m use to buying coffee from Tim Horton’s for $1.39 and that’s for a large. The coffee that was located in the Outpatient Unit was one that was owned by Second Cup. Their medium coffees are $1.86 and you have to add the cream and sugar yourself. Since I’ve been up all night, I needed something to keep me awake. And since the $2 I had wasn’t going to be enough for parking, I decided to spend it on coffee.

There were a lot of people waiting in the waiting area so I assumed it was going to take a while before they call my mom. So I wandered around the hospital looking for an bank machine. If worse comes to worse, I could have walked down to Jackson Square and use the bank machine at my local bank. But that’s at least a ten minute walk and it was rather cold out side so I didn’t want to have to go down that path. Luckily there was an ATM in the main lobby. It was one of those machines that charge you a service fee of $1 if you used it. I didn’t want to take out a lot so I just withdraw what I needed and headed back to the Outpatient Unit.

One the way back I got into the elevator with a nurse. She entered as the door was closing but luckily I saw her so I held it open. She thanked me for holding it open and then she say, “Yup okay.” I had no idea what that meant so I brushed it off. I asked her which floor she was going to and she said that she was going to the third floor as well. I think that’s what she meant by “yup okay.” I tried to make small talk by asking her if she knew how much parking was. She replied by saying, “No, I’m sorry. I only work here.” I didn’t know what she meant by that but judging by the way she was dressed, I would have eventually figured it out that she worked there.

So anyway, by the time I got back to the Outpatient Unit, my mom was done. Having gone to Dr. Ng most of the time, I had gotten use to waiting a couple hours but not here. We were in and out within thirty minutes. Now comes time to see how much it cost for parking.

I drove up to the booth and gave the lady my ticket. She looked at it for a bit and then looked at her watch. Then she informed me the cost of parking for less than an hour was $4. I wasn’t expecting it to be that much. I handed her a $20 bill and then she asked me if I had $4. I was like, “What do you need $4 for? I gave you a twenty. Isn’t that enough?” She ignored my question and posed a question of her own, “Are you coming back? Or are you done for the day?” I told her that I am done for the day and she gave me change for the twenty that I initially gave her. I don’t know why she asked me for $4 when I gave her a twenty. At first, I thought she was low on change so but then she broke the twenty.

I hate going to the hospital. All the patient looks at you funny. The nurses are fine though. The ones that I’ve encountered seems to be happy and enjoyed their job. The patients on the other hand are grumpy and smell funny. Not all of them are like that, just the ones that walk around with their hypertonic intravenous fluid. You’ll know them if you see them. They’re the ones that wear the robe that is open in the back so you can see their behind. Even the people in the waiting room give me a weird stare. When I was in the waiting area, there was a couple that kept staring at me. When I looked away, they talked amongst themselves. When I looked back, they were quiet and continued to stare. It kind of felt like I was in the Psychiatric Unit of a mental hospital.