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Hospital Space-Time Confusion

BY MEL H.

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My husband and l live in the deep woods of east Texas, near a tiny place called Mt. Sylvan. I had been having some medical tests done (week of January 24-27) at a hospital nearby.

I went for testing three days in a row, always with the same routine: I parked in the same small parking lot, walked through the double doors leading to the first floor cardio testing area, turned right at the gift shop and signed in at the desk. I always exchanged some casual conversation with the same young and very pleasant blond receptionist.

There was a small sitting area across from her desk, with a door leading to the phlebotomy (blood drawing) lab right behind her cubicle. The door to the lab was always open, though, and the sight of patients sitting in the exact type of chairs -- even the same color -- that I saw my late mother sit in for her chemo treatments was just too gut wrenching. (She died a year ago.)

I even heard a patient in the lab comment on the new chairs, and a nurse replied that the hospital's oncology department had donated them. (My mom never had treatments at this hospital.) I decided to sit across the hall anyway.

Last Friday my husband went back to the hospital with me to hear the test results. He had never been there before. Usual routine: we parked, walked in, turned past the gift shop and... there was no check-in area! I stood and stared in total shock: no desk, no chairs, no blonde receptionist, and the door to the lab was on another wall! The other sitting area was just as before.

I started to walk up and down the hall searching for "my" check-in area, but it was nowhere to be seen. A doctor walked by, noticed my confusion, and asked what I was looking for. When I told him that the place I had checked in for my tests was missing, he laughed and said that it had been moved to the second floor three years earlier because they needed more space!

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