She stood in the elevator today on her way to pick up a rx from her doctor. The elevators were all too familiar to her as was the scent of the hand disinfectant dispensers that were located strategically all over the hospital. Each floor has a different purpose, and a little sign inside and outside of the elevators reminds people where they need to be going. Some floors for general practitioners, others house doctors that will sort out your bone and other ortho problems, optometry is on floor 4 or 5... and then there is the 10th floor. As she rode the elevator up to collect the prescription, she remembered her visit on the 10th floor. Almost 3 years ago she to make a trip to this floor. Shortly after her stroke, she saw a lot of specialists and those on the 10th floor were no exception. However, they did bring a shocking reality to her situation. You see, the 10th floor was hematology and radiology. She suffered a stroke, so she did not understand why she needed to be seen by anyone on this floor. She quickly learned that she needed to talk to a hematologist before going on prescribed blood thinners.
It was not so much the appointment that shocked her, but the severity of what else was taking place around her as she waited for the appointment. She needed to have her blood tested to see if it had made her sick. Perhaps it was indeed what caused the stroke, but until further tests took place, she had no way of knowing. As she waited for 2 hours (no, she was not early, but the doctor was very, very late indeed...), she had a great deal of time to absorb everything around her.
Oh, the 10th floor also has the Windows of Hope shop. She glanced into the window of the shop from time to time, but felt as if she was trying to gain access to something that she did not have an invitation to... As the carts of cookies and juice were wheeled around, she started to feel sick. Her life took on a new meaning, she started to realize it importance and beauty. Guilt ran through her entire body as she looked into the eyes of the patients. In a room to the right were the chairs with patients receiving their chemotherapy treatments. She felt so out of place, and had seen too much - too much pain, too much suffering, and too much pretending, and not enough beauty. She whispered a quiet "I'm sorry" to herself and anyone and everyone who could her hear. And in her mind, she gave them all something beautiful.
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