Everyone has been to a new place, a college campus, a large mall, or a large building where you didn’t know your way around or how to get to where you want to be.
I knew how to get to my daughter’s hospital room from the hospital admitting office as that was the way I went the first time. After that, it all became very puzzling and confusing, like a cornfield maze.
There were corridors this way and halls that way, corners that stopped at locked doors and signs that said “no admission.” Even when I knew exactly where I was going, I didn’t always end up there.
There were at least four parking garages, and probably more that I have not found. The first time I went there I found myself in a parking lot reserved for doctors. Around the corner, I found the entrance to the parking garage. It was plastered with signs that said “no visitor parking.” I parked there anyhow as it was the only garage I knew.
After I parked, I followed the signs that said “hospital entrance” across a bridge. I came in on the second floor of the hospital, which is the first floor of the garage. The admitting office is on the first floor of the hospital, but you could not get there from this area of the second floor, so I had to find an elevator down to the first floor.
From the first floor, I was directed to the waiting room on the fifth floor via elevator B. I’m still not certain how I got there. I was afraid I might never find my daughter as I had no earthly idea where anything was at this point and was feeling a little dizzy.
From the fifth floor, I went up to the sixth where her room was. That was easy. Except the only way I knew to get back to the parking garage and my car was from first floor where I could get on elevator A to go to the second floor where the exit to the parking garage was found.
On day two, I parked on level four of the garage as level one was full. Since the entrance to the hospital was on level one, I had to take the garage elevator down to level one and enter the hospital on the second floor close to elevator A. But it is elevator B that goes to the sixth floor as well as to the cafeteria on the first floor in case you have to stop for nourishment while wandering around looking for elevators.
It seems that new wings had been added through the years as the hospital grew. Eventually, it became a conglomeration of old sections, new wings, additions, subtractions, divisions, multiplications and a bit of geometry. None of the floors for difference sections seem to match up with each other. Everyone else seemed to know exactly where they were going and rushed by like they were late for an appointment.
There has to be a better way, I decided, after taking elevator B down to the first floor, where I got on elevator A to the second floor, and exited to level one of the parking garage where I caught the garage elevator to the fourth floor. If the car would have been missing, I wouldn’t know whether it was stolen or if I was on the wrong level.
Then I found out that I could park in a different garage for visitors and take a crosswalk to the hospital from level three of the garage to level two of the hospital. I would come out at elevator B, which I could take to sixth floor. If I followed the signs and didn’t go to the wrong wing, I could find my daughter’s room close to the nurses’ station or at the end of the rainbow, whichever came first.
I’m telling you, parking gets more complicated every day. At this rate I will be in the hospital myself soon, mumbling incoherently about alphabetical elevators to nowhere.