Friday Firesmith – Blockage Betty and the Walker

Mom needed to go get an ultrasound today at SGMC and getting there half an hour early seemed like a good idea. The entrance has a drop off point wide enough for two vehicles, but an ambulance is parked on the outside lane, and a car is parked behind the ambulance. This restricts traffic to one drop off lane. 

I’m not sure what’s going on with the ambulance, but whoever is in there is having a worse Monday than me or even Mom, but Mom can’t stand for long periods of time, she doesn’t walk well at all, and so I have to drop her off close to the door, get one of their wheelchairs, and wheel her in. 

The issue is the car ahead of me. They pull up close to the door, and nothing happens. Two minutes go by, more cars are pulling up behind me, and finally a woman gets out of the car, goes to the trunk and gets a walker, opens the passenger side door, and a man gets out. 

Then they talk for a couple of minutes while he’s standing there, she’s still got the walker, and finally he gets the walker, goes in, she goes in behind him, and they’re both gone. Another couple of minutes pass, and the line behind us is wicked long. People are unloading behind us, and the elderly are beginning to migrate. I pull up as close behind the abandoned car and let Mom out, I go get a wheel chair, get her seated in line, and go back to the truck. I can’t move it. The line behind is now too long to see the end. The ambulance hasn’t moved, and the woman who was driving the abandoned car, well, isn’t there. 

The ambulance driver gets out and looks at the car. The woman behind the ambulance looks at the car. I look at the car. Nothing can be done. I start to go back inside and the woman comes out, gets into the car, and just sits there, texting. 

Finally, she cranks up the car, moves forward, and stops. There’s a parking space with a car about to back out of it in the parking lot and she wants to wait for it. I blow my horn and she moves. I move. The line moves. 

I park the truck in another area code and walk back. The ambulance is still there, the car behind the ambulance is still there, but the line is moving now. More and more people are coming in. 

I find Mom next in line, in the wheelchair, waiting to be checked in. The man in front of her, no, not the same guy that arrived with Blockage Betty, is confused about where he’s supposed to be. There is one receptionist. She’s trying to figure out where this guy belongs, if he has an appointment somewhere, and no one on earth seems to know who he is or why he’s in the building at all. He can’t remember what doctor sent him here. 

The thirty minutes early has evaporated, and we haven’t said good morning to anyone yet. 

Meanwhile, I see Blockage Betty, but not the man she was with. Then I spot him, walking across the room, without his walker, without help, as if there isn’t anything wrong with him at all. He stands there and talks to her and another man. His walker is right there, alone and abandoned. 

We get checked in, wait, get checked into the ultrasound place, wait, they wheel mom into the ultrasound room, and in less than twenty minutes after going into the ultrasound, we’re heading out again. 

Blockage Betty and her man aren’t to be found. But as I wait to get close enough to load mom into the truck, I see a woman sitting in a wheelchair near the curb. A van pulls up, people get out, open the door, and unload someone directly in front of this woman, so she has to back up. Five feet in one direction or another, and there would have been no conflict. 

I’m not sure when our society became so myopic that it’s everyone for themselves, even when it comes to a woman in a wheelchair.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Words and what they can mean

A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle. 

A place where women curl up and dye. 

The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead. 

A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours. 

Mud with the juice squeezed out. 

Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation. 

Cold Storage. 

Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

An insect that makes you like flies better. 

A grape with a sunburn. 

Something you tell to one person at a time.

The pain that drives you to extraction. 

One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

An honest opinion openly expressed. 

Something other people have, similar to my character lines.

Thanks Paul