The overhead light has a gridded metal cover

that reminds me of the old fashioned ice cube trays my grandmother had

with levers that released the frozen squares

with a satisfying crack

I feel oddly vulnerable waiting alone

wearing nothing but  my panties and bra

under today’s utilitarian hospital gown

with its overly complicated ties

that took me too long to decode

in a way that I didn’t earlier this week

when my breasts were compressed

between inflexible plastic plates

while the fancy 3D camera rotated

in a state of the art 180 degree arc around my body

There is a natural comradery

between women of a certain age

dutifully reporting for their yearly mammogram

that I miss while I wait for my neurologist

and her technician to take their turns

shooting electricity through my misbehaving limbs

the word electromyography

rolling on my tongue

I stare at the ceiling as the minutes tick by

ruminate about the other patients

who also held introspected vigil in the waiting room

before my name was called discreetly

in accordance with HIPPA

wondering if not so long ago

before their canes

their walkers

their motorized wheelchairs

they were like me


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


  1. You capture the exact feelings of the courage necessary to navigate dealing with a chronic illness and the indignity it sometimes brings. You’ve captured that feeling because you have that courage. Much respect, Warrioress.


    1. Waiting rooms and being alone in exam rooms becomes such an odd combination of loneliness, camaraderie, lack of dignity, boredom, and anxiety. You want answers that prove you aren’t crazy but at the same time, you dread them.It helps to be able to laugh at yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glimpses of possible futures unsettle. Thankfully, doctors do not make a practice of delivering their report of tests by taking one to the waiting room, pointing out a fellow patient, and saying, “That’s you in x number of years.”


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