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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Readers Make the Best Waiters

Due to what I thought was appendicitis, I got to spend a torturous 6 hours a pleasant evening in the E.R. on Tuesday night. The upside is that I had lots of time to read. One of the nurses that helped me said, "You have been my best patient tonight. You're so laidback, just reading your book and going with the flow." I could hear a little kid wailing down the hall and a druggie shrieking for more water, so I probably didn't have a lot of competition in the patient department, but her comment made me remember a conversation I had with my endocrinologist last week. He apologized for keeping me waiting. I replied, "Oh, it's okay, I've got a good book." We then discussed the fact that readers make the best waiters. He told me a story about going to the DMV on his day off to get his son's car registered. When a clerk informed him it would be an hour wait, he happily settled in to read the book he'd brought along. Fifteen minutes later, the DMV employee handed him his paperwork. The clerk was shocked at his obvious disappointment when he cried, "What? I thought I was going to have an hour to wait!"

I'm still in a bit of a Percoset haze, so I'm not sure this post is making sense, but my point is: I must be book-crazed, because I actually didn't mind all the waiting at the hospital (at least not the first 4 hours or so). What do you think? Are you like me and my endocrinologist, who sort of look forward to waiting because it means more time to read?

As I was hobbling out the door, clutching my stomach in agony heading out the door for the hospital, I grabbed 2 novels out of my growing mountain of review books. I enjoyed both In Search of Molly Pitcher by Linda Grant De Pauw, which I finished, and Deadly Enterprise by Christopher Hoare, which I'm still reading. Reviews to follow!

By the way, I'm feeling a little bit better. I was supposed to take 1 Percoset every 4 hours yesterday, but I took 1 total and was out for the entire day. My head still feels foggy. According to the doctor, my pain should fade over the next day or so, so I'm laying off the Percoset and going with straight Tylenol. Hopefully, that will do the trick. In the meantime, I'm gritting my teeth and trying to be patient ... with a book in my hands, of course!


  1. Susan, I'm sorry to hear you've been ill, and I hope you're feeling better soon. I absolutely agree with you and your doctor regarding waiting. I never go anywhere without a book, and I relish the free time to read when I'm forced to wait at a doctor's appointment or getting a car serviced, etc. It's funny that your doctor has actually recognized this trait in the bibliophiles of the world.

  2. HA, I'm the same way! I don't mind waiting for a while with a good book (as long as the kids are at home)! My mother has been in the hospital for over a month now and they all love her, since instead of complaining she's reading!! :)

  3. I agree!! I like to wait if I have a book with me - especially now that A) I have gone challenge crazy and B) have a 19 month at home and have little time to read! :) I hope you feel better. I spent 4 hours in the ER in Feb which resulted a month later with my gallbladder removal. Hope you fare better, but all in all getting the gallbladder out isn't too bad...and I tried to live it up and read more! :) LOL!

  4. I hope it is nothing serious. Get plenty of rest and feel better soon.
    Great story! The same thing happened to me when I brought a terrific book to DMV and they actually called my name within five minutes! What is that all about? I was settling in for some peace and quiet!:)

  5. I'm sorry you're sick! I hope you are on the upswing now. Book or no, the ER is never fun. I agree though - I don't mind waiting if I have a book and no other appointments.

  6. Thanks, everybody. It turned out to be an ovarian cyst that was giving me so much trouble. It's not cancerous or anything, but man does it hurt. The pain is supposed to go away since these kind of cysts just dissolve back into the bloodstream. I almost wish it had been appendicitis - then I wouldn't feel like such a wimp :)

  7. Oh, goodness, do take care of yourself. Those ovarian cysts are miserable I have heard. No surgery I guess? I've had several friends who have been "blessed" with them.

    I do agree about reading and waiting. I have also been disappointed at times. You settle in and think that it is fine for you to be reading as you can't do anything else and then, you number is called and you only got to read for 10 minutes or something. LOL

    By the way, from your title, I thought we were going to talk about reading at restaurants and talking with the waiter. LOL

  8. I too hope you are feeling better soon, Susan.

    I do think readers are the best at waiting. The last few times I was stuck waiting at the hospital pharmacy, I felt bad for all the people who were just staring off into space, no book to pass the time while they waited for their names to be called. And I've been in the situation you related--being disappointed when the wait is up or over too quickly because I want to keep reading.

  9. Sitting in court and visiting the jail are the two most time-waster, boring parts of my job. (Yes, court is exciting when my cases are called, but I get to talk maybe 20% of the time I'm there--on a really busy day!) About a year ago, I figured out that, if I can do Sudoku in court, I can probably read, too! Now I'm never without a novel at work. And you can guess how much better I am at visiting incarcerated clients! (And, yes, sometimes the jail staff is just too fast at getting them to me. Can't they wait until the end of the chapter?!)

  10. I'm ill quite often myself and, after my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, I went with him to his appointments, too. This meant that I was in a doctor's office, waiting, sometimes two or three times a week. I got a lot of reading done.

    I go through a lot of books at work, too. I have a job doing reservations for a cruise line and quite often I'm on hold for one reason or another. I usually manage to fit in a few pages then, as well.

    It does make me seem much more patient when waiting. The problem is that I'm a fast reader, so sometimes I blow through a book while waiting in the ER. I've taken to bringing two books with me when I can, but that's not always possible. I'm not quite so "patient" then!!

  11. I almost get into a state of panic when I'm in a waiting situation and realize I have no book! One time we went to Disneyland and I realized I had left my book in the car, and I spent about 30 minutes going back to get it. I'm always surprised that more people aren't reading in doctor's and dentist's offices. Aren't they going mad without anything to read!!! Maybe they're just more sane than me.

  12. You are so right. I never mind waiting if I have something along to read. Waiting for trains, doctors, car mechanics, whatever. I don't mind at all! I look forward to the uninterrupted time to read. But the one time I want to the ER with appendicitis, I was in way too much agony to read. And that's really saying something. I do hope you're better soon!


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