Thursday, December 24, 2009


Yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment at the Sunset location of Kaiser. Not to be derailed by a much needed rant about HMO’s and the fate of health care – I’ll save that for Senators Boxer and Feinstein – another topic. If you have never been to the Sunset Kaiser, holding my tongue, it is a several city blocks wide/long dizzying maze of health care where even my brief description leaves me frustrated, overwhelmed and feeling so much like a meaningless cog in some gianormous corporate machine. Don’t even get me started on the parking garage.

Yesterday, through some stroke of a miracle, I was able to find my way into the right building and the right elevator a bit ahead of schedule for my 9:45 appointment. Entering the elevator with me was what appeared to be a young family – mom, dad and two children pushed in one of those strollers that seems designed for off-roading. The father looked familiar, but at 9:15, without make-up and on our way to the doctor, it felt too much to strike up a conversation. The family seemed a bit somber and faintly mentioned something about staying there through lunch. I got off before them and probably halfway through my doctor’s visit, I placed the man – he used to work with a friend of mine and is still involved in a program that I network with from time to time.

On my way out, I entered the same elevator realizing that there was only one floor above the one I was on and it had only one listing – Oncology. My heart sank. Some member of this precious gap ad family was dealing with cancer and on Christmas Eve Eve of all days. Maybe they are alone in this difficult season and maybe I completely misinterpreted the whole scenario. It is Kaiser after all, and like me they might have been in the wrong building – I pray. But maybe I am right, and they are sitting home now agonizing over some dreadful news that will forever punctuate their family’s story. Please think of them and others who during this holiday season have little to celebrate.


Cafe Pasadena said...

A reminder that life in all its glory & challenge goes on. JH, I know what it is to deal with cancer during the Christmas/New Years season. Once was enuf for me. I've served my time with it.

Post-Merry Christmas!

Holt 1.2.1 said...
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likenarnia said...

thanks for your candor, i am glad that season is done for you.