The Dermatologist

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Dermatologist, Westlake Village. December 2016                                         ©Marty Mullin 2016

Here’s another guest photo. Marty has sent me pictures before, so he is a full-fledged member of the Waiting Room Project. I am intrigued by this one. There are several elements that are unique. There is a child’s chair next to the blackboard but no chalk. What is in the cup on that chair? What is that object on the left side of the frame? Who are the Apex Artists? So many questions. Thank you, Marty, for a most provocative photo.

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Doggy Doctor

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Veterinary Cancer Group, Culver City. June 2016

We were here last year with our cat, Dudley. He developed a limp that wouldn’t go away. At first our regular vet, Dr. Dean thought it was tendonitis and treated him for it. It got better and then came back. At one point he could barely put any weight on his right front paw. After some expensive X-rays, Dr. D noticed an anomaly at the top of Dudley’s humerus, the upper arm bone. His preliminary diagnosis – bone cancer. It had turned the top of his bone where it meets the shoulder into a spongy looking mass with a chip of bone floating in the joint. He recommended us to the VCG for a more detailed opinion.

Sure enough, Dr. Pierro confirmed the diagnosis. The treatment? Amputation of the entire arm. Drastic, sure, but there wasn’t a choice. Expensive? You bet. We started a You Caring fundraiser for him, and sure were overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of friends, family, and surprisingly total strangers who contributed to his surgery. (If you want to donate, just click the You Caring link. It’s still active.) It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before.

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It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before. The one thing he can’t do is climb trees, or scoop his food out of his bowl with his paw as he used to do. But for a tri-pawd, he gets around pretty darn well.

The VCG is a wonderful place. All the folks who work there are caring and compassionate. The waiting room is spacious, clean, and modern. I don’t know what the person and her companion in the photo were waiting for but I’m sure they were well taken care of.

Waiting for the Needle

 

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Healing Point Acupuncture, Los Angeles. April 2017                                                   ©2017 Lev Anikst

Here’s another guest post, this one from my friend L. While not technically a waiting room, he was waiting to see the doctor and I love this shot. The neatly folded gown, the clean paper. It’s as if they are waiting for the patient. You can wait nearly anywhere, and as this Project expands, we are seeing more interpretations of the concepts.

The more people participate, the better this gets. Thank you, L. for thinking of us and for the wonderful shot.

 

Back at Dr. Chen’s

I have been wearing glasses since the 5th grade, and have been through the developing technology of contact lenses for the past 50 years. I now have extended wear disposable contacts which I love. Contrary to Dr. Chen’s recommendation and in line with the manufacturer’s, I often sleep with them in place. Dr. C wants me to take them out every night, something I did for years and years. It is a mild inconvenience which I don’t wish to impose upon myself. We have reached a compromise in that I do remove them a couple of times a week to give my eyes a little more oxygen, and have switched to a very aggressive hydrogen peroxide cleaner that bubbles and fizzes away the gunk.

I usually visit her once a year in September for my annual check up. That’s when I snapped the first photo. Clearly, this woman has had her fill of waiting for the day.

In February of this year, I developed a strange bump on one of my eyes, and off to Dr. Chen I went. It was sun damage caused by years of outdoor exposure. After some antibiotic drops and a break from my contact lenses, it subsided. While I was waiting for her, I took the second picture of a new patient filling out the first visit paperwork.

 

Another Doctor’s Office

 

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Doctor’s Office, Santa Monica. July 2015

Another doctor’s office, more empty chairs. I cannot for the life of me remember which doctor this is, nor why I was there. I do know that a couple of days later, I was in another waiting room for an imaging procedure, but I can’t remember which one. I assume it followed this appointment, but I’m not sure. It is somewhat disconcerting that having been in so many doctor’s offices in the past three years they all blur before me.

 

Pacific Surgery Center

 

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Pacific Surgery Center, Santa Monica. January 2015

Here we are in another doctor’s office. This one is an ambulatory surgery center in Santa Monica. I was there for a minor procedure to ease the pain in my arthritic hips. They inject an anesthetic and a steroid to reduce the inflammation. I have had a few of these treatments, but sadly, they are only marginally effective, and last but a few months. The curative treatment is complete hip replacement.

The surgery center’s waiting room is a bright airy space with polished wood floors and an abundance of reading material. In fact, the header photograph for the Waiting Room Project main page is the reverse view of this room. Note the figure emerging from the elevator in the background.

The treatments went well, but I have now progressed to the point where I will have my first hip replacement this Monday. While I can’t promise anything, I will do my best to shoot at least one photo before I go in for the operation.

 

Next

 

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Doctor’s Office, West Los Angeles. February 2015

Waiting is a transitory activity. While you are in the waiting room, you look for things to help pass the time. Magazines, your iPhone, conversation, meditation. Whatever you find to do, it isn’t really why you are there. Wouldn’t you rather be sitting on your couch reading National Geographic? Sitting at your desk checking your emails? But no, you are here filling the minutes, trying to turn that non-time into something vaguely productive. How long you will remain is a fluid interval. It might be five minutes. It might be half an hour. I once waited for a doctor for more than an hour. And that was before the iPhone.

Finally, your name is called and you leave the limbo of waiting for whatever it is you have been waiting for. Here, one lucky soul has escaped and is on his way to fulfillment. Others here aren’t so fortunate.