Walk-in Centres: A Time Warp

I’m walking slowly from the car to the Walk-in centre at 11.05am pushing the baby in her pram whilst saying “waheguru waheguru” as I know too well what’s waiting for me inside that building. The automatic doors open and as I step in the blanket of illnesses wrap around us like a black hole sucking you in. All 5 senses suddenly are awake and aware of every cough, sniff, grunt, and runney nose in the room.  Everyone looks at you with that same look; the look of illness, massively fed up and silently running out of patience and thinking “oh here’s another one to add to the queue, how ill is she really?” “Will she get seen before me?”.

I’m helpless, i can’t turn around and go back out into freedom of fresh clean air and as I turn to check in at the desk the automatic doors slam shut. It’s too late I made my decision and now I have to stay. 

I fill in that form praying the wait won’t be long even though I saw the sign “Aprox 2 hours wait” and the receptionist tells you the same preempting your question. She knows everybody does it, the signs right there but you just have to ask slightly hoping the answer will be a shorter time. Nope it really is 2 hours, could be longer or shorter for the blessed ones. You just don’t know.

Looking around I realise I’m stuck standing against a wall with a room full of helpless prisoners, sorry I mean ill patients just like me. The baby is the lucky one I thought as she is in her comfy pushchair commanding her space and sleeping soundly and just then she briefly frowns and twitches her nose. I’m sure she is thinking the same because she then wakes up looks around and then stares at me asking me “why did you bring me here?”. The poor thing, nothing wrong with her but had to bring her with me so I just hope the tea tree oil I dropped all around her protects her like an invisible magnetic shield just like in those space movies. I then imagine to my own amusement those bugs attacking the baby and hitting the invisible shield and exploding into fireworks all around the pram. Yep, have to keep the imagination and sense of humour going! Even if it’s in my own head. Honestly I’m not insane.

Baby and I started to play peekaboo, catch or some form of it anyway. She also cried and wanted to get out of her pram but luckily nothing a bit of a sing song couldn’t resolve. Yes, I sing nursery rhymes in public and we do all the actions too!
Finally though I got a seat and gave baby some milk.

Whilst she was drinking that and dosing off I pulled out my phone, thinking surely it’ll be my turn soon. We’d been there for ages playing all these games so looked at the screen and to my disbelief it was only 11.18am. What?! 10 minutes! Surely not! I glanced at the date, don’t know why, but yeah it was the same day. Tapped my phone, locked it and then u locked it again as if there must be something wrong with it and then realised this place is a time warp.

My sense of time obviously got confused and clouded in this germ cell that acts like a black hole hiding inside of an innocent looking brick building. Beware people. Beware!!

I put my phone away and looked around and started to people observe, (as one does):

Any one with out a child was on their phone trying to look busy or simply day dreaming towards the doors, most probably of that life before time stood still in a germ cell.

Mummies with preschool kids with toys and other Mummies with out the toys desperately trying to keep their kids calm and content.

That sporty mum with baby in arms already in her jogging gear, swinging her baby side to side. Obviously warming up for that run.

Young baby couples.

The random taxi driver.

The men standing with their legs apart and arms crossed, increasing their personal bubbles, as if they think they are some sort of body builders. Sorry mate that beer belly isn’t helping your cause!!

The funniest of all the teenage mum all done up with fancy nails and personal phone cover. Tapping away at her phone and flashing dirty looks up at anyone passing by or even glancing. I was just about to say you had lovely nails. But I won’t now!

The children watching cartoons on their tabloids WITH headphones. Now that’s an organised and considerate mum I thought.

The children without headphones. Who cares anyway, everybody can listen to Peppa pig right? “…Bingley Bongley boo”

The patients that walk in after you but get seen before you and you hear the opinionated patients expressing their views on that matter.

After a long wait though we finally hear the ping and everyone looks at the same screen hoping it’s their name…the correct person jumps up and no matter how casual you make it we see it and feel it. It’s always obvious and everyone knows the joy and relief of knowing the wait is over and act like we don’t care but we do. We do care. We DO care! HURRY UP!

PING PING PING AND AGAIN PING….Seriously the same name?! Come on, Mr Freddie got fed up, Miss Ashleigh wasn’t actually ill enough to wait and My Rory obviously ran off but the doctor kept calling him and that got the room talking.

…Ping. Mr Freddie!
Oh Move on! said the patients

There’s an increase of people going in and out and baby wakes up so I move to the side and pick her out of her pram. She desperately wanted to crawl around but I kept hold of her and sang nursery rhymes probably to the annoyance of everyone till finally we get called. Yep, I leaped forward with the pram and I’m sure I shouted yippee!

On way back out we walked past the patients with the same faces and you know they hate you. You’ve been released and they’re still waiting and no matter how long it’s been, 2 minutes or 2 hours we all hate that feeling!!

I walk out and take a deep breath of fresh air and head to that 1 chemist that everyone was saying is open today and going to. oh no!


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