Emotionless Healthcare ‘Figures’

“Everybody is just a number.”

That’s become obvious as we’ve spent time in healthcare offices.

Walking to the receptionists’ counter where heads are hidden behind computers, we expect some acknowledgement, but get none.

Clearing our throat obnoxiously, one eye of only one peaks over as all others stay locked to screens. In our typical-forward-cowboy way, we introduce our self, thinking one really ought to know us, and why we’re here.

No smile; only a bother, obviously. Nothing, except: “Birthdate?”

Seven button pushes, one eye our way: “Sit down. She’ll get you.”

In forty-nine minutes, a girl with computer in hands calls our first name, believe it or not.

Nothing else said while we follow like a puppy to a little cold room as the nurse, aide, whatever she really is, sits, and we stand. Another one eye glance from the computer: “Birthdate?” Same as last time, same as always, we repeat it.

In a dozen times to this office, not one of the “girls” has been the same. Discernibly, they don’t know us, and we don’t know them.

But, everyone repeats the same question, with our consistent response, because we don’t want to be diagnosed for another’s ailment, although somebody was born the same day we were.

Problem is that nurse abruptly leaves, another walks in, and the exact scenario repeats.

Then, a third nurse takes over: “Birthdate?” No hello, how are you, you may have been asked this before, or anything.

We’re becoming insecure about our healthcare. But, this one exits assuring: “The doctor will see you.” Thank goodness.

Thirty minutes later, carrying clipboard with at least our first name on it, the fellow we came to see arrives, acknowledges by moniker, and attempts to remember something about us.

Don’t take this wrong. Healthcare servers are human, and we appreciate the nurture they provide. Still, it would be nice if somebody could remember us, or our birthdate, maybe the stinky boots, if nothing else.

Reminds us of Isaiah 47:15: They were confused, bumping into another.” And, Ecclesiastes 4:8: “Never asking themselves why am I working here?” But, thankfully, Luke 12:7: “God never overlooks a single one. He pays greater attention to you, down to the last detail, numbering the hairs on your head. So, don’t be intimidated by those. You’re more valuable than the flock.”