The Day Surgery waiting room of any hospital is a slice of our culture. If you want to know what is happening in the world pay attention to folks waiting to be called back for surgery. Watch and listen as family and friends deal with the anxiety this environment and situation produces.

That poor besmirched fellow was sitting in the waiting room, awaiting his turn to go back, and be prepped for his surgery. I will tell you that any surgery is an anxiety producing event. This guy, and the whole waiting room was listening to his wife, whom I have designed “Helga the Horrible.”

From listening to her and believe me no one on the second floor missed a word she said, he was having a tough time with her husband’s surgery.

“Helga” had dropped her husband off by the front door of the hospital and then parked the car. While she was parking the car, she “lost” her husband. When she found him on the second floor at Day Surgery, he was moments away from being called back for the big operation. There in front of God and all of us, Helga let her husband have it. She blasted him for not waiting for her by the front door.

His defense was that the orderly came and moved him to the second floor. She blasted him for the stupidity of the orderly who moved him without telling Helga that he had been moved. Her husband reported that he was not in charge of personnel at the hospital and that in fact the orderly had been very kind to him.

She reloaded and blasted him for not having a newspaper for her to read while she is waiting, since she left her device in the car and didn’t want to go back to the car to retrieve it. The nice man got up and found Helga a newspaper. She was not happy that it was a day old.

Then Helga got upset because her husband was not more upset about his surgery.

She catalogued every ache he might face. She enumerated every pain her friend had after the same surgery. She went into brutal detail about every danger he could face during surgery and after surgery. Her Scandinavian ire was up that he was calm before this procedure and how dare he leave her to worry about all that could happen to him.

Then she stood and said to the man who hadn’t eaten since midnight and was about to have surgery, “I’m hungry and I’m going to get breakfast.”

When “Helga” walked off, the poor fellow breathed an audible sigh of relief. I’m thinking that if his wife is like that all the time, major surgery likely gave him some relief. He was probably happy that he was going to get some sleep.

When you get up to leave….are people glad you came or glad you’re leaving?


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