Waiting rooms. I can’t stand them. I spent a better part of twelve years of my life in waiting rooms. Waiting rooms, operating theatres, recovery rooms. I spent so many years waiting. Waiting to see the doctor, waiting to go home, waiting to get better, waiting to recover, waiting to be able to eat again, waiting to go back to the doctor, waiting to see the doctor again. Waiting.
Cleidocranial dysostosis. Though I had a mild form of this relatively rare condition, it still took up a rather large chunk of my life. Twelve years, I would say that it is a significant portion of a person’s life. Twelve years I spent waiting. Waiting for it to be over. I knew that it would be one day. That I just had to persevere and be patient. “Good things come to those who wait.” I used to tell myself. “One day it will all be over.” I would think. Every visit I would wait for the doctor to say that it wouldn’t be long now. The words never came. Hope dwindled and with it my confidence. I was a short teenager with braces, and when I didn’t have braces, I had special plates to attach to the chains that were buried in my gums and around the teeth that needed to be pulled down as they wouldn’t come down of their own accord.
Waiting for the teeth to emerge so that I could return to my orthodontist. Waiting so that he could remove the chains and refit new braces to straighten the teeth.
Waiting for the pain to subside so that I might be able to actually eat a proper meal, not just scrambled eggs.
For the teeth to be straight so I could return for another plate or brace or operation.
Waiting for it all to be over.
5 years later and I still remember that waiting room. I still remember the face of the receptionist as she handed me my file to take in to the orthodontist. I had the biggest file in their records. I was their longest patient. The most visits, the most number of surgeries. I was practically famous, yet for all the wrong reasons.
I remember how I used to dread lying on that damn chair, and how I used to stare at that damned ceiling trying not to focus on what he was doing. Waiting for him to push his chair back and say ” Okay, that’s all for today Nicholas. I will see you in another 6 weeks. ”
I remember times where my mouth was clamped open, a suction tube hanging in the corner of my mouth to suck out the saliva I wasn’t able to swallow. My mouth would go dry and my jaw muscles would be so excruciatingly painful from being held so wide open for so long, and I would wait. A tear would stream from my eye down to my ear, and all I could do was close my eyes and dream of a better time, a better place for half an hour, until I had to come back to reality. To deal with whatever else was fitted in my mouth for the next six weeks.
Wait for my next surgery. Those were always fun. Waking up the next day or even the same day, not really knowing where you are. Throwing up the blood that you inevitably swallowed during the operation.
Waiting for the next visit, because every visit meant one closer to the end. Waiting for the next surgery, because every surgery meant there was one less to be had. Waiting for visiting hours because ICU can be so lonely. Waiting to go home because I couldn’t stand the hospital any longer.
I waited because I knew there had to be something better. I don’t know where I found the strength. There were more times than I can count that I thought it would easier to just give up, to end it all. No more waiting. No more waiting to be told to wait some more, and more after that.
This post was written as an entry to the Daily Post topic – Waiting room : “Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?
Some things are worth waiting for and other things are not. It’s up to you to decide how long you are willing to wait for something and if you feel that your wait will be worth it.
Sometimes we wait for things or people to find that it just was not worth it and that we wasted our time. That’s a lesson learnt.
Sometimes in the wait we learn things, about ourselves, about other people. Sometimes the wait makes us stronger.
There are times when we should wait and other times when we shouldn’t.
It’s up to you if it’s worth it and how long you are willing to ride it out.