Look At All That Money

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 23, 2019

It started Wednesday. Steve put a note on facebook that he needed a ride, from midtown to south atlanta, sometime early afternoon thursday. It had a medical sound to it. PG had been feeling the need to do a good deed, and sent a reply. After various negotiations, PG agreed to meet Steve on Howell Mill Road at 8:30am. They go back to South Atlanta when it was all over.

Thursday started at 7:40. I-85 is crowded, as usual, but moving. After several folders on the thumb drive, PG settled on Aphex Twin. This has a science fiction feel… going down an eight lane freeway, jam packed with modern vehicles, past ghastly condo projects, before you get to the megabuck medical center. Judy Jetson is a recovery nurse.

The first sign of induction into the medical machine is getting a parking ticket. The instructions were to go to level p6 of parking. The signs were small and confusing. It took a bit of searching to find p6. By this time, Steve had called from the surgery center. He had forgotten PG’s last name.

You walk into the surgery center. Steve caught a much appreciated lyft. The driver has to stay in the building all day. They can only leave the surgery waiting room after Steve goes back to be prepped. This waiting room has a tv, with the sound cut up loud. On the tv, some lady entertainer is singing, and the audience shrieks. It is not pleasant to listen to.

After a while, Steve goes back into the machine. PG goes down to the lobby, and is directed to the cafe. $2.35 later, PG walks out with a cup of coffee. The downstairs lobby is a marvel. Big, QUIET, full of the latest in medical interior design. Generous funding is invested in this facility.

The only problem is the seating area. There are two chairs on either side of a column. A small table is in front of the column. Instead of being in the center, between the two chairs, the table is off to one side. This lack of balance disturbs PG.

Soon, PG is back in the noisy waiting room. He is ushered into a prep area. Steve is in a surgery costume, with blood pressure cuff, iv drip, and other medical paraphernalia strategically positioned. Every where you look, you see $tate-of-the-art nurse toys. PG is reminded of the time when he heard a man say, regarding a field of cattle, look at all that money.

The procedure is scheduled for 10:30. For some reason, PG is sitting by Steve this whole time. It should be noted that PG and Steve are somewhere in the spectrum between friend and acquaintance. While there is mutual enjoyment of company, the two are not terribly close. The recovery instructions that PG hears are promptly forgotten. The Piedmont buddy system does have its advantages. Once, at a competing facility, PG lay alone, prepped and glasses-less, for 45 minutes. The only advantage to that was the take-home socks that are part of the surgery outfit. Steve got some Dunwoody banana yellow socks, while PG got vibrant purple.

Steve goes back into the procedure portal, and PG goes downstairs to the quiet lobby. His book for today is Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, read in fits and starts. The other people in the lobby are scrutinized. Places to go meditate are considered, but nothing has the perfect feng shui. Soon, a call from the facility comes. PG cannot get to his phone in time to answer. Since the surgery center is just one flight up, PG goes upstairs. All the call said was that everything was going well. PG decided to stay in the noisy waiting room, but not before getting the lady to cut down the sound on the tv. By now, it is The View, with Whoopi Goldberg going Whoo Pee Doo, in technicolor and dolby sound, to the horror of The View‘s blonde of the moment.

At 12:14, PG is ushered into the Physicians Consultation room. The PC room is a marvel. Seven feet wide, seven feet long, eight feet tall. Three chairs, a lamp, a table, a land line phone, and a tasteful framed print. Walls painted JAP beige, with not a trace of dirt to be seen. PG wishes he could have spent all his waiting time in here. At 12:37 the surgeon stuck his head in the door to say all was well. At 12:43, PG was forced to leave the PC, to make room for the next friend-of-a-procedure.

The next stop was the recovery resort, which looked very similar to the prep spa. PG sat in the chair. Small talk was made, and recovery instructions read. Eventually, it was time to get the vehicle, and drive to the patient pickup spot. PG got a couple of feet out the door, and decided to go back inside to use the restroom. Coming out of somewhere, a familiar face walked by. PG knew who it was, as did the familiar face. Somehow, when you see someone unexpectedly in a medical facility, you wonder what the story is. The two made nervous small talk for a minute, and hurried on.

PG and Steve got on the freeway, still full of vehicles. The drug store was on Boulevard. After that, the route went past the prison, and down into the ninth most dangerous neighborhood in America. The patient was dropped off, goodbyes were said, and PG got back on the interstate to go back to Brookhaven. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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