A to Z Challenge: S is for Stop and Listen

Today I had my first appointment with my new rheumatologist.  He seems very good, and we talked about all my symptoms and he understood that I don't like prescription meds so he gave me alternatives such as stretching exercises and gentle "aerobic" exercise (which just means walking or riding my bike... things I already do, so it won't be uncomfortable).  I have to say I was pretty impressed with his style and of the four rheumatologists I've seen this guy is like night and day compared to the others.  So, I am pretty happy about all of that.

As I was checking out at the nurse's station, I had to wait in line behind such a cute elderly couple.  The woman was definitely "in charge" and she was making a bunch of appointments in advance, and it was clear that she was the driver and manager of the two of them.  The gentleman, who stood beside her and leaned on his cane for support, began talking to me.  He explained how they book their appointments together so their doctor can see both of them on the same day, and it saves having to leave the house more often.  We conversed about that and he said how much they liked their doctor, and that they followed him over from the old practice (I had done the same), and how happy they were as there was never any wait.  He even told me about x-rays and said if you go to the main office to have x-rays you'll be pleasantly surprised because it is really fast, not like the old place.

The wife went to the ladies' room while the nurses were printing out their paperwork.  The man stepped aside to let me go up to the desk, and I said to him that you really should sit down, there's a chair right there.  Usually men of that age will "protest" but this guy sat down, and while the nurses were checking out my file, we started chatting.  He started complaining about Obamacare and launched immediately into politics!  LOL!  I would normally cringe at someone bringing up politics within two seconds of talking to me, but I decided you know this is an older person and he has something to say, and by gum, I'm gonna listen.  And so, I did.  Even though his views were slightly (only slightly) different from mine, I listened with an open mind, and conversed with him on the topic a little bit, and it was very pleasant.

Afterwards, as I was driving home, I realized that, in the past, I might not have talked to this elderly person, or might have just politely "blown him off".  But this time I was actually interested in what he had to say, and grateful to talk to such a person.  We don't respect our elders enough in America, and I miss my parents so much.... it was nice to spend some time stopping and listening, instead of hurrying off to work, or an errand.  I have a hunch the old dude got a kick out of being able to chat with a stranger about what was on his mind, too.