Last week I decided to go to the doctor when I had trouble sleeping from flu-like symptoms. My doctor was booked solid, so the receptionist got me in to see another partner in the group. There were four partners in total, and the large waiting room was beginning to fill up when I arrived.
I checked in, grabbed a magazine, and found an aisle seat facing the exit door. Shortly after, a woman with a friendly disposition sat in the middle seat next to me. There was an open seat at the end of the row, but for some reason she decided she liked this one better. I was honored that she chose to sit next to me when there were clearly a few other options available, but I played it cool pretending to peruse my generic magazine from 2007.
Suddenly, I was transported back to my first day in high school; circling around the cafeteria, not knowing which table to plant my lunch tray on. Those moments were more stressful than all of my classes put together. Some days were easier just sneaking a bag of M&M's in between the pages of a fashion magazine in the library. Those healthy eating habits probably led to my frequent doctor visits.
The waiting room was still filling up, when I felt a cough coming on. I coughed on my left shoulder, away from my seat companion in the direction of the front desk. The desk served as a shield, so the receptionists were also protected. When my cough continued to get worse, I went over to the drinking fountain in the hallway. My seat companion was still there upon my return.
The room started emptying out, and my coughing ritual started all over again. Only this time, I decided to take action by moving across the room to spare my neighbor. In between coughs I sputtered, " I don't want to get you sick," and she flashed me an empathetic smile.
The whole time I was wondering why they didn't try to put me in quarantine earlier. I was clearly creating a disturbance, and for all they knew I could've had whopping cough or TB. This led me to come up with a new health care plan for large practices.
The waiting rooms should be divided up according to the severity of the illness. For example, I would've been seated in the Coughing, Sneezing, and Fever Section. While my seemingly healthy neighbor would've been directed to the Good Citizen Yearly Exam Lounge. Other sections may include: Tummy Trouble (near an open window of course), Trashy Rashes and What-Nots, and the always popular I Feel Fine But My Wife Made Me Come Anyway Section.
Each section would be roped off. Although partitions may prove to be more practical. Especially in the case where a patient is left dangling too long on the rope in between the Everything Hurts Just Shoot Me Corner, and the Hypochondriac Hutch. This may lead to a future visit to Trashy Rashes and What-Nots.