A miraculous day at the V.A.
“Laine, would you please call the Steel Magnolias, and tell them we won’t be having dance class today?” I grouse, and hang up the phone. I’m running on empty. I stuff my pockets with Kleenex, and leave for the V.A. Facility in Gardnerville. Goal: Load up on antibiotics.
I cower as I walk in. “Do you have an appointment?” The receptionist asks. “Well, no, but when I was here, for my annual check-up, I was told you saw drop-ins, if it was serious.” “Last four please?” she asks, and gives me a form to fill out. “Last four” are the final digits of my Social Security number.
The lobby is empty. The winter sun streams through the window behind me. I take out my most recent “Senior Scene” article. I plan to give it to Dr. Lyon. At my annual check-up, she asked what I was doing in retirement, and I answered, dancing and writing a book about being in show business. Now, when I see her, she asks, “how’s the book coming?”
Time creeps by; 15 minutes, 25 minutes. I glance down at my article, and my eye slips over to the article next to mine that mentions God has everything under control. I’m ready to call it a day, but decide to wait and let God take over. At that very moment the door in the corner of the lobby opens. “Mr. Walker?” The only thing missing is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Glory Hallelujah.” I leap to my feet. Time to get those antibiotics.
“My name is Lori. I’m an R.N.,” she says, smiling warmly. We go into a small examination room. She asks my symptoms, and I tell her, and what I’m doing to feel better. She takes my blood pressure, temperature and thumps me on the back to make sure my lungs are clear. Lori is giving me her full attention, and I start to feel better already.
The prognosis is I have a cold, and colds are viral, and not bacterial, so antibiotics won’t help. For a solid 10 minutes she coaches me on treating my cold symptoms. “When I get home, I’m going to make chicken soup from scratch, and stay in bed as much as possible,” I say. “Exactly, and Mr. Walker, I want you to give me a call, no later than the end of next week, if your condition doesn’t get better.”
As I’m about to leave, I ask “Lori, would you please give Dr. Lyon this copy of my ‘Senior Scene’ article?” Her face brightens. “If you like, I’ll make a copy, and you can keep the original.” I want to give her a hug. But can’t; my cold.
My trip to the V.A. was much more than I expected. They worked me into their schedule, Lori gave me her full professional attention, and allowing God to make the next move made it a miraculous day.
Ron Walker can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.