A Failure to Acknowledge

Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.”  So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him.  The six hundred Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate.  The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate.

  • Judges 18:14-17

You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

  • Psalm 21:2-3

“Greet: give a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition to (someone) on meeting.”

  • Oxford Language website

The Scriptures each talk about a “greeting”.  In Judges, Micah, not the prophet had set himself up with idols he had made and hired a Levite as his personal priest.  It did not work out so well for him.  In the psalm, David talks about the royal victor in battle who is greeted by the people.

To give the background for this encounter, my wife fell and hit her head.  I know, you are now more interested in my wife’s health than any story.  She is fine, no cerebral hemorrhages.  She does have a black eye and swelling, larger than a golf ball, maybe a goose egg, as the saying goes and the size is about right.  It crosses the bridge of her nose, so wearing glasses is painful – thus no glasses.  Good thing my wife only needs glasses to read now that her cataracts have been replaced with nice clean lenses.

My wife is on Coumadin, even though many call it Warfarin.  She has a standing order that if she falls and hits her head, it is an immediate trip to the Emergency Room at the hospital.  My wife never wants to go, and this is the first time that we went.  She must have really hurt herself; she did not complain or put up any argument that she was okay.  She got dressed and we went.

She wasn’t outwardly hurt, although the swelling started appearing soon after we left the house.  I still was not in any rush, staying near the speed limit.

We parked in the ER parking lot, and she was slow in walking about thirty minutes after her fall.  When she had entered the outer doors of the ER, I walked ahead of her, up to the window to tell the lady behind the window what my wife’s problem was.

The woman’s nametag had her name in small letters and then in large letters “GREETER.”

She said, “Do you really have something that has to be dealt with today!?”  No “Hello” “Are you ill?”  “So sad.”

I stated, “My wife fell.  She hit her head.  She is on Coumadin.  She has to be checked out immediately.”

I have this strange ability to read upside down and backwards, as easily as right side up.  The greeter wrote “fell, looks okay.”

I repeated that it could be a medical emergency since my wife was on Coumadin.  The “Greeter” simply blinked and asked for my wife’s name, the next blank on her form.  I gave it and then started spelling it.  The “Greeter” got every letter wrong.  I repeated the spelling.  She changed the first letter.  She typed what she wrote into the computer, with all the letters except for the first being incorrect, and then she asked if we had ever been in that hospital before.  It was obvious that we had not, since my wife’s name was not coming up on the screen.  I said that my wife had surgery there only three weeks before.  She asked for date of birth, which is the usual first question, and then when my wife’s ID appeared on the screen, she scratched through her butchered spelling and pulled out the wrist band and wrote one letter of my wife’s name at a time, grunting with each letter with amazement.  With each letter going from the wrist band to the computer screen and back again, shaking her head on occasion.  This took some time.  My wife’s name is the German spelling of a common, yet old-fashioned, girl’s name.  It was not that hard to spell.

The “Greeter” then asked if my wife had allergies to any medications that she might receive while in the hospital.  I started giving her the two medicines that she was allergic to.  The “Greeter” then stood up and shouted, with pure venom in my direction, “I asked you a Yes/No question!!!  Yes or No is all I want to hear!!!!”  The people behind the woman stopped what they were doing to watch.

It took me a while to process that.  I just told her two medications that my wife was allergic to.  Did she really need me to say “Yes?!”  The “Greeter” blinked a few more times.  Obviously, she needed the “Yes.”  I said, “Yes.”  Then the “Greeter” reached into the desk drawer and pulled out a different colored wrist band and wrote nothing on it, but I recognized the color as the allergy wrist band.  By this time, my wife was about to collapse, so she went to the waiting room and sat down.  We did not know that her actions were not allowed at that time.  She was not a “patient” until she had the wrist bands on her wrist,

The “Greeter” walked out of her office and around me.  As she was about to place the wrist bands on my wife’s wrist, one blank as she had not written down the medications, she turned to me and again shouted, “No visitors in the waiting area!!  Leave!!  If your wife has a cellphone, she can call you when she is in a room.  If she doesn’t have a cellphone, the nurse MIGHT call when she has time.  Now, LEAVE!!!!”

I sat in the car for a couple of hours without any call.  I called my wife’s cellphone, but she did not answer.  Was she having a scan?  Was she in emergency surgery?  I had no idea.  Another thirty minutes, and my wife called me, but for now, back to what happened after I left the hospital.

I am not a witness of what happened next, but the ER waiting area, with less than a dozen patients sitting there, emptied according to my wife, since all my wife had wrong with her was a fall and no apparent injury, goose egg growing the entire time.  Having no one else to put in front of my wife, the nurse asked why my wife had come in.  My wife said that she fell, hit her head, and she takes Coumadin.  The nurse, a well-trained medical professional, called for transportation to take her immediately to get a CT scan.  She did not even go to a room in the ER until afterwards.  This was a medical emergency of highest importance.  They scrambled her to imaging and found nothing abnormal.  The crisis was averted, but I got a lecture when the doctor came to order her release.  It took two hours to get from my wife’s fall until the CT scan was done?!  Yes, and one of those hours due to the “Greeter” downplaying it as an emergency, but I remained silent.  The doctor talked about how we could not be cavalier about this.  A hemorrhage in the brain could occur, and it would be life threatening.  Immediate action was needed.

But the doctor should have looked at the difference between the time reaching the hospital and having the scan, not the time between having the fall and having the scan.

In breaking down the definition of “Greet,” the “Greeter” was not polite.  She did not make us feel welcome.  She started with her question as a hint that we should leave and see our usual physician tomorrow and see what he says.  No welcome there at all.  She could hardly recognize us when she could not follow simple instructions on how to spell my wife’s name.  Amazed when she found the spelling that I had given her to be correct, with her grunts and shaking of the head.

Back to me – waiting in the car:  As I stewed in the car, I wanted to be present when the hospital fired the woman.  Yes, the guy who wants to give everyone second chances and err toward mercy wanted to FIRE this one.  If my wife was a medical emergency, I was going to point every finger of both hands at the “Greeter” during her trial.

But then, I recognized my own failure.  I recognized my failure to acknowledge how committed this “Greeter” was to her training that she received as a greeter.  I should have congratulated her for being a stickler in getting the process done according to her training.  It is too bad that the instructor was Jeff Dunham’s ventriloquist dummy, Walter.

Oh, you are not familiar with Walter?  He’s the ventriloquist dummy who says that he has a job at Walmart as a greeter.  He tells the people as they come in, “Welcome to Walmart.  Get your S#*% and get out!!”

And this greeter had either had a really bad day, or she idolized her instructor, Walter.

So, when my wife called, and gave me a room number, I smiled at the “Greeter” when I came back into the hospital, although she did not recognize the smile with me wearing a mask.  She gave me a visitor’s badge and opened the motorized doors for me.

Forgiveness is hard sometimes, but we still must do it.  But if my wife had gone from the CT scan into emergency brain surgery, it would have been a lot more difficult.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

6 Comments

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  1. Oh how frustrating that whole episode must’ve been for you. I’m glad your wife is OK and yes I agree that forgiveness is hard. Especially in a crisis situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. We think we have this love one another down, and then you get into a battle over rules versus trying to “save a life.” And for nearly two hours, I simply waited in the car. The rule was that I could not enter until my wife was in an ER room, but because it was a medical emergency to get the scan, and she only was in a room so that she could rest in a bit of comfort before being released, the last ten minutes or so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you Mark for the heads up that the fall was not what it could have been…life threatening.
    I’m just glad you both are good–physically and spiritual…you maybe not so much emotionally 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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