Announcements at the Appointed Hour - Stories from an ICU waiting room #AtoZChallenge
The entrance is all glass with two doors. But only one is open. The other one is locked.
8:30 in the morning and 5:30 in the evening, this door has quite a queue. As if some event is about to start.
Well, 9 in the morning and 6 in the evening is when the friends and family can visit the patients in the ICU. One at a time, a total of two, for a total of half-hour.
There is an anticipation in the air, a certain nervousness, and hope (in some cases, against hope).
As you enter the pre-mentioned door, there is a cafe on the right and another eating joint (subway) on the left. And straight ahead is the reception desk, a big one, like one at hotels. There are four chairs behind this palatial desk and usually, only one or two are occupied.
At this hour, though, all four are occupied.
As the minute hand inches closer to 9, most people from the hall with a seating of 50 plus behind the reception desk, are hovering around the entrance area. Some right in front of the reception desk, others more towards the back. Tells you a lot about the person which place they choose. Tells you a lot about the person and the condition of their loved one in the ICU by their posture and expression as they are waiting.
Numbers are announced. The bed numbers of the patient. A person wrestles through the now crowded front of the reception desk. Why can't people wait a little behind for their turn?
You get two laminated cards with the number on it. Different colours.
And then there is the rush towards the elevators behind subway. A few choose not to wait and start climbing the five flights of stairs.
The rush to make the most of the little time.
The rush to visit.