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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sense Of Urgency Kept Under Control At Urgent Care Clinic

A few minutes before noon on Sunday, a dozen people sat like sculptures in the Rockwood Clinic’s Urgent Care waiting room.

The TV was on, with the volume down low. It was some sort of teen movie about a cute robotic boy.

The flat click-clack sound of typing on a computer keyboard came from behind the receptionist’s window. And classical music wafted in from the clinic’s main lobby.

One guy stared at a rack of brochures: “Scabies,” “The Facts of Lice,” “So You Want to be in a Research Study,” “Breastfeeding Clinic” …

But nobody in the beige and blue waiting room was talking.

Finally, a little girl clutching a stuffed rabbit piped up. “I think she’s gonna call me next.”

Nope. A nurse in an outfit that looked like jammies emerged from behind a tan door and called a name. A teenage girl got up, holding her right arm incredibly still.

A man near her coughed, sounding as if he was making popcorn.

There’s a good reason there’s no hit TV show called “Minor Emergency Clinic.”

Sprains and fevers just aren’t that exciting.

But if you had spent an hour in that waiting room Sunday, you would have seen what a weekend can look like when something goes wrong.

An elderly woman in a wheelchair put her arthritis in perspective. “I need something or I’m going to blow my brains out,” she announced.

A guy in a purple T-shirt put an object concealed in a plastic grocery bag on the receptionist’s counter. “They told us we should bring this in,” he said.

“Is that a urine specimen?” the receptionist asked.

“No,” answered the guy in the purple shirt. The rest of his reply was drowned out by a restroom door squeaking out in the hall.

Every now and then, a patient returned from the treatment area on the other side of the tan door. Some looked relieved.

One young mother holding a baby clutched a white prescription form as if it were a winning lottery ticket. A gray-haired woman in the waiting room noticed and smiled. The two seemed to silently say the same thing. “Everything is going to be OK.”

A new arrival, a young man in a Spokane Chiefs jersey named Daniel, limped in with his little daughter.

After checking in, he listlessly paged through a copy of Parents magazine - cover story, “Sex After the Baby.”

A woman in the waiting room pointed to his leg. “Hoopfest?”

“Nah,” he said, cracking a smile.

The real story would have to wait.

, DataTimes MEMO: Being There is a weekly feature that visits Inland Northwest gatherings.

Being There is a weekly feature that visits Inland Northwest gatherings.

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