As mentioned before I have been trying to make Dad's daily trips to radiation treatments an adventure of sorts.
There have been developments. Now cute secretary Barbie has started calling us Trouble 1 (Dad) and Trouble 2 (me). Dad gets top billing because he's older, not because he's more Trouble.
I found a coupon for the craft store, and got an adult coloring book, markers, and colored pencils. Took them in the waiting room and started coloring. Dad looked at me like I had lost it... til a young woman (patient mid 20s) & her husband came through. We have seen them before, but they never said much. She saw the coloring book, and lit up. "I got a coloring book from a friend, and it has been more fun," she said. We talked for a while, with both her and her husband giving laughing goodbyes, and see you tomorrows when they left.
An older lady came in to wait for her turn for treatment, she looked at me, looked at the coloring book, looked at me, and said, "I've heard coloring is great therapy". I told her I was leaving it in the waiting room and anyone could use it whenever they wanted. She laughed and said "Thanks, I might just do that".
Today, an older man (patient) came in and sat across from me, I said Hi, and kept coloring. He said, "that looks like fun, mind if I give it a go?" "No sir, go right ahead!"
Next a couple came, the husband (patient) in a wheelchair, the wife was hanging in by a very thin thread. She looked at the coloring book, looked at me coloring, kinda shook her head, and went back to trying to make her husband comfortable. Next thing I know Dad is done, and it's time to go. I put the pencils, markers, sharpener, & eraser in a zip lock bag, closed the coloring book and placed them on the bookshelf under secretary Barbie's window. The patient's wife said, "Oh, I thought you brought those." "I did, but they stay here, and anyone who wants to can use them." The wife said with a shaky laugh, "You don't have to tell me twice, I'm on it!" I looked at Barbie and winked, she gave me a thumbs up, and mouthed, "aah, Trouble 2."
Who knew lessons learned in a couple years working nights in ER admitting, interacting with stressed out staff & patients, would come in handy.