25 May 2012

I went to the hospital today for a new hire health screen. As I was walking toward the terrace entrance in my purple scrubs, I was reminded that this is a place I never expected to find myself in: that I am one of the people in the scrubs. I don't work here, but I belong here, though when I walk in it smells like a hospital and I dislike it as much as anyone. The last time I was here my then month-old grandson was here on the peds unit with bronchitis and a tiny IV line in his pink heel. I had scrubs on then, too. I had different plans for my life than this, at a time. But here I am.

I passed a woman in the parking lot. The white door of her car was hanging open, and she was sitting there with her legs hanging out, sobbing loudly. This is a place of sad news. I wanted to go over to her and kneel down and pat her hand, but she was actually on the phone with someone. Instead I hurried past her into the "employee health" section of the building, a cramped and dingy-looking area. Ironically, I was seated in the waiting area next to a new student midwife who was also waiting her turn. There was a time when I would have struck up a conversation about birth, but I found myself awkwardly shy. Why would she care if I once had aspirations to be a midwife? I fiddled with my phone instead, waited my turn to pee in a cup in front of someone.

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