Six more days before the blessing of another birthday. Today, out of sheer frustration and exhaustion, I allowed myself to be overcome by an ugly human emotion - ANGER.
Coming off a nine hour shift (plus one hour overtime), I headed over to the hospital for my quarterly blood tests. I am diabetic and my blood profile has not been good for the past two quarters of this year. I arrived at the hospital at 12:30 pm. The usual window where I transact using my health insurance ID was transferred to the Out Patient Department. I was instructed to get a "patient number" from the reception area. I chose the option for "Industrial" which is the term they use for patients with health insurance. I waited for my number to be called and when they did, I gave them my card, an ID and my laboratory request slip. The woman said, "Oh no. This is the wrong queue you are in. Get a number using the "OPD" option." This made me slightly upset. But then I did follow and got a new patient number. Now I had 6 other patients ahead of me.
Twenty minutes passes and they were not calling in a new patient. I asked the clerk if I could go to the 7-11 store downstairs because I was getting really hungry. It is a fact that hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is more dangerous than hyperglycemia. I was almost at the point of having tremors because my blood sugar was getting really low. At this time, it was 1:30 in the afternoon, and the last meal I had was at 6 am. The clerk said, "Okay." So I went and got a light snack. There was a line at the check out counter at 7-11 too and I was really, really hungry. I already had tremors in my hand, making it difficult to get money from my jeans pocket. I gobbled up a cheesedog sandwich and washed it down with a bottle of water. I immediately went back upstairs. I noticed that my patient number has passed and so I went straight to the clerk and showed her my patient number. To my dismay, she said, "Oh, your number has passed. You need to get a new one."
So there I was, giving in to the strong emotion of anger. I told the clerk, "What kind of system do you have? I asked you if I could just grab something to eat and you said okay. Do you really want me to collapse so that you can admit me to the emergency room and make money out of your rotten system?!!" I stormed out of the Out Patient Department and went to the Customer Service Desk. I asked for a feedback form and wrote about the incident. I gave them the lowest score and then I proceeded to speak with the Coordinator for Industrial transactions. I told them, "It just so happened that my endocrinologist has clinic hours in this hospital. THAT is the ONLY reason I come here. I will never, in my lifetime, recommend this hospital to friends and family." The coordinator was quick to apologize and asked his secretary to process my laboratory request.
At 2:15 pm, after almost two hours of a very frustrating experience, I finally had my blood sample extraction.
I know I should have been more patient, however, rules should have some exemptions. I am still very, very upset as I write, thinking about what might have been if I just ignored the hunger pangs. Anger is a very powerful emotion and it is one thing that I have to control. It takes a lot of will power to keep anger in check, however, when in comes to dealing with insensitive people, I can't help but flare up and get angry.
Today, six days before my birthday, I gave in to anger. I ask forgiveness from God for being weak and giving in.
I will do my best to manage this strong, ugly emotion. With God's grace, I know I can.