I didn't want to drive downtown. I didn't want to go through the same old spiel of "allergies, coughing, yeah yeah."
But may I say everyone was delightful!
The ladies at the front desk? Chipper.
The nurse? Walked in and said, "I don't think we've met yet," as if we were at some cocktail party instead of the Center for Allergy and Immunology.
Then the physician's assistant walked in and paused with her stethoscope, on its way to listen to my lungs, to talk about the book I'm reading (And the Band Played On, one of the best books I've ever read--worth your time). She said, "Isn't this so interesting?" and I thought she was simply referring to the subtitle on the cover, as in, "This looks like a good read."
No no. She had read it.
People have been turning up their noses at me for reading this depressing book and my excitement over it, but she was all ready to go and chat about blood transfusions, bathhouses (relating to the AIDS epidemic in the '80s, it's not like we were just discussing sexual behavior for no good reason--I do have some boundaries in my embrace of awkward conversation), the first AIDS patient she ever saw while working in the medical field, etc.
Yes, it's depressing, but it is so insanely interesting to see how this horrible disease unfolded and how anyone and everyone--notably the government and medical community, as well as individual populations infected with HIV--handled it. And Ms. Doc today? Oh she got that. No turned up nose. Just tuned up energy.
And then finally, after processing my validated parking pass, the woman working the booth took a moment to peer down through the window and wish me a good day and a happy new year.
Good work, hospital staff. Good work. A+.