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Went to the Diagnostic Center for x-rays of my knee and ankle. The x-rays don’t hurt, of course, but the pain during positioning and holding was noticeable. Now I’ll see what the orthopedist has to say about my leg. I’m hoping he/she has something to offer besides pain pills.

While I was at the center I met an elderly man who was there for a chest x-ray. He was all alone, in a battery powered wheelchair, oxygen lines (cannulae?) in his nose and blue lips. He was clearly very compos mentis, seemed quite bright and alert. Though he was having trouble getting the service he needed because the doctor’s office had not contacted the Center, he was polite, firm and persistent. I was impressed right from the start. Obviously this was a person whose life reflected intelligence, courtesy and social skills, a person of character.

After the x-rays the young women at the service counter assured him they had called the transportation van from his assisted living condo and it would be there in 15 minutes. He waited outside.

Meanwhile, my x-rays were completed and the packet given to me for my appointment on Monday. As I went out to the parking lot I saw George still sitting in his chair in the chill wind, waiting for the van. I asked him if he was all right and he said the van was late and it was unusual. They were noted for being on time for him.

I told him I’d call for him on my cell phone—and I did—and no, they had not received any notice to pick him up and were clearly relieved to hear from him. I told them I’d wait with him until the van came. His breathing was labored and I was really worried about him. He told me he’d been so sick a doctor had come to the assisted living condo to examine him and had sent him for x-rays. And here he was, waiting in the cold for a van that hadn’t been ordered.

We chatted while we waited. He said he had lost his wife recently and he missed her terribly and his children were too busy with their own lives. He said it matter-of-factly; the man has courage and strength in that frail old body.

The van came. We said good-bye, held hands for a bit, and he thanked me. I’ve been thinking about him. I should have thanked him for the chance to talk with and help a fine person.

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