I left the house yesterday at 5:30 in the morning, as I was to check in at the hospital at 8 a.m. for my scans (chest and abdomen). There was a winter weather advisory, and I really hadn’t known what to expect on the roads. As it turned out, there was very little traffic, and only a light sleet was falling. The drive was just a little over two hours, which is about as good as it gets. However, I waited two and a half hours for my scans, as one of the CT machines was down.
There are two waiting rooms, and before you are ushered into the inner room, you change into a johnny. Shortly thereafter, an IV will be inserted for the contrast agent used during scanning. And then you wait some more. It is in this second waiting room that conversation among strangers is likely to begin. It is a small space, the chairs are arranged around the periphery, and we are all facing each other. It is cold, and we shiver in our flimsy hospital gowns. There is a general state of anxiety, but also acceptance, as most of us are veterans. Once, feeling curious about the particulars of a woman sitting across from me, I asked her “do you come here often?” We both laughed at the question’s resemblance to a pick-up line in a bar, but also at its stark appropriateness in this situation (she was indeed a regular).
Yesterday’s conversation veered from the technical, as I struggled to operate my new touch screen phone, to the practical, as we offered where we’d driven in from that morning. One young woman had come from Switzerland (it is not uncommon at MGH to encounter international patients), so she won the longest commute award.
At last my scans were done, my IV removed, and my little plastic ID bracelet cut off. I quickly dressed and hurried to Whole Foods, where I was meeting my friend Ginger for tea. After lunch and a lovely chat, I began the drive home. It was sleeting heavily by then, and driving was not so much fun. As I drove further north, the wintry mix became just snow. It was just before 4 p.m. as I pulled into the driveway. There is a pile of splintered wood where David has been splitting logs, and the fresh snow looked so lovely lying there, that I ran in to get my camera before I did anything else. This is the resulting image.