I make my way down the long hallway. Halfway down I spot three heads sitting outside the waiting area.
Not good news.
They watch me. Likely entertainment for them; waiting to see my expression upon rounding the corner.
I perform. The room looks like a beehive. Or a rave. Bodies everywhere. The buzzing of conversation between strangers. The screaming of numbers by the clerks.
I take a step back and groan under my breath. I notice the number on the wall. 121.
I press the button at the ticket station. #136. The approximate wait time shows 1 hour, 40 minutes. I seriously contemplate doing a 180 and stomping out.
However, reality hits. I can't. This blood work is required. I need to be a good girl. A good patient. We need these results.
I maneuver my way through the crowded room, trying not to knock knees or fall into laps.
I try not to think of the germs. The illnesses that lurk in these stranger's bodies.
Please don't anyone cough. Please don't make me sick.
A number is called.
Is this a joke?
So much time goes by. Numbers are not being called. We all sit and stare at each other.
In the corner I listen to a group talking. It's comforting, the things they discuss. Such randomness.
For once I am silent. Just taking it all in.
Finally, my number is called. It's so exciting. But only for a brief moment, until you realize that after this step you still have years to wait before you are called in to be poked.
While being processed, I make an inquiry. Is there something in place for post-transplant patients? Something to protect us from a crowded waiting room? Another waiting area for immunosuppressed patients perhaps?
The answer - no.
This isn't the right answer. I'm going to have to look into this.