I watched as each patient was called in to see the doctor—they walked in – then they were brought back out in wheelchairs. But when it was my friend’s turn, she walked out on her own.
Before leaving the doctor’s office, I gathered all the information I could think of to safely take my friend home. A woman in the waiting room suggested my friend get a wheelchair – after all, it’s a long walk through the hospital, down the elevator then to the parking garage.
We got the wheelchair. A young volunteer pushed my friend along as we walked to the elevator… an elevator we hadn’t taken on the way here. Then we reached the garage…one I didn’t recognize. This garage had a valet.
Complete and utter panic set in.
Denise: “This garage doesn’t look right.”
Volunteer: “It’s the blue garage.”
I was holding a blue ticket.
I should have paid more attention when we got here. Why can’t I have a sense of direction like my dad, my friend Tore, my friend Jeff, or anyone else, for that matter. But this was not the time to doubt my ability. My friend needed a confident Denise.
The medication was starting to kick in for my friend. I was grateful we heeded the woman’s advice and got the wheelchair.
In a very confident tone I said, “you wait here. I will find the car.”
I started praying and walked briskly toward the stairs… and when I reached the stairs I saw the sign that indicated I was in the blue garage. I returned to my friend and assured her I’d find the car. My plan was simple: I’d walk the entire garage until I found the car. To expedite matters I’ll press the panic button on my key to sound the car alarm. I knew we parked on the south end of the garage – I just didn’t know what level – nothing here made sense.
As I made my trek I saw a man that worked for the facility – he had a vehicle similar to a golf cart.
With the blue ticket in my hand I approached the man. I had no idea how he could help me – other than drive me on his golf cart to find my car.
Denise: “I can’t find my car. My friend is waiting for me in a wheelchair.”
Man: “You’re in the wrong garage.”
I looked at the man puzzled. Had he seen us walk in?
Denise: “How do you know?”
Man: “The blue ticket you are holding. That’s for the other garage.”
He explained how to get to the other garage—it almost sounded like another language. I repeated his words and hoped I’d be able to follow his directions. Then he pointed to the other garage—which surprisingly, looked familiar.
I patted the man on the back, thanked him and walked briskly on my way before I could forget his directions.
After crossing a street I reached the other garage and just like my blue ticket indicated, I took the elevator to the Level B (Blue level) and found my car exactly where I left it.
To the woman in the waiting room and the man in the parking garage: Thank you!