Urgent Care

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One afternoon last week, I unexpectedly had to leave work to rush a family member to the local Urgent Care facility. From what I have heard about Urgent Care, its services fall somewhere in between a Doctor’s office and a full-fledged emergency room. It is kind of like a medical halfway house. Of course, without the recovering addicts, parolees, and the chronically insane that one might find in a real halfway house. I did not know what to expect at Urgent Care of Guymon, but I was tremendously impressed with the professionalism and exceptional care received. Everyone there, from the receptionist, the nurse, the practitioner, everyone was unusually pleasant. I have spent a fair amount of time in a Doctor’s office over the years, and, unfortunately, taken far too many trips to the ER. Those are the kinds of places you do not want to visit, unless you have to, but the Urgent Care of Guymon was different, somehow.

After describing symptoms, and undergoing various tests, the health care professionals determined that my loved one was in need of some fluids. So, off we marched into the fluids room. The fluids room is where we spent most of our three-hour stay at the Urgent Care. This modest sized room came furnished with a TV, DVD player, a small selection of DVDs, and one large overstuffed dark blue recliner rocker. I am sure Urgent Care has to operate on a budget, but a second recliner would have been nice. The nurse was helpful, however, and brought in a straight chair. So I gave up the recliner. These health care professionals giveth, and, they taketh away. After making thy cup runneth over and taking some blood for testing, they hooked up the saline solution. With all that behind us, and only a liter of fluids left to drip, they turned down the lights, and I took a nap.

It was quiet. We could occasionally hear the nurses talking, but we both began to wonder aloud if they ever had any other patients. Then finally, we felt relieved when we heard another patient out in the hallway. We felt safe there, and more patients meant there was a reasonable likelihood they would stay in business, just in case we were ever sick enough to need the Urgent Care again.

I remember years ago, 1980-something before I had a daughter-in-law, her father had been to see the dentist. Afterwards, he mentioned that he actually enjoyed getting his teeth cleaned, and looked forward to his next cleaning in six months. I go in twice each year to get my teeth cleaned, but I would not say I enjoy it or look forward to having it done. I was never able to understand why he thought getting his teeth cleaned was so neat, but now, I totally get it. I, now look forward to getting sick enough to go to Urgent Care of Guymon, and setting in that overstuffed dark blue recliner myself.

One liter of saline solution later, the nurse practitioner came in to review the lab test results with us. There was nothing on the test to be overly concerned about, but there was one more lab test needed. This additional test would require making a deposit. Now, since, the patient had already made numerous deposits for three consecutive days, which had contributed to the dehydration in the first place, you would think one more deposit would have been possible while still at the Urgent Care. This was not, however, to be the case. Fortunately, Urgent Care was gracious enough to give us a take-home night depository kit. Then speaking in a hushed tone the practitioner quietly explained, after making a deposit it is necessary to store the kit in the refrigerator, to keep the deposit from spoiling. We promised to follow these instructions, of course, because you would not want to go to all that trouble and then just let it go to waste.

I went back into work as normal the following day. At the end of my workday before leaving the office, I phoned home as I often do, and spoke those three little words, “What’s for supper?”

A feeble voice on the other end of the phone murmured, “Leftovers.”

Suddenly remembering the events from the day before, I quickly replied, “I know you are still not feeling 100% Dear, so how about I just swing by KFC and pick something up. It’s the least I could do.”

”That would be nice,” she whispered, and nice it was.

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