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8 Things To Do While Waiting For Your Doctor

Let’s face it! People with lung diseases spend WAY too much time in doctor’s offices. Sometimes we don’t have to wait very long. But, most often that’s not the case. We wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. So, we need something to pass the time. Here are some things I’ve done to pass the time.

Reading magazines

Lord knows there are lots of magazines in that rack. As I sit there, I observe that many other patients are reading one or another of these. Occasionally I might pick one up. But, I find as soon as I get into a good article, someone says, “John!” Then I never get to finish it. The next time I’m in the office I might look for that same magazine. It won’t be there. So, you never know how it ends. For this reason, I usually avoid magazines. But, sometimes I might look at pictures. A good magazine for picture surfing is National Geographic.

Read a book

I’ve done this a time or two. I bring in the book I’m reading. I get into it. Someone calls my name. I set the book down. Several hours later I’m at home wondering, “Now, what did I do with that book?” So, I learned it’s not a good idea to take my book with me. If you read books on your iPhone, that might work.

Look at pictures and artifacts

There’s always that one doctor’s office that offers decorations to look at. For instance, my eye doctor is a fisherman. So, on the walls of his office are maps of all the lakes and streams in the area. While the other patients are just sitting around, I find myself walking around. Each visit I find myself investigating a different map. He also has a giant fish tank. So, following a fish around the tank might also help pass the time.

Use your gadgets

I boycotted gadgets for the longest time. And why? I finally splurged and got an iPhone. Boy, what an awesome tool. I find that I have it with me at all times. So, it’s ideal for entertaining me in doctor’s offices. You can read any e-book you have on it. Don’t worry, you won’t leave it behind because, like, it’s in your gadget. You can read the news. You can play games. Solitaire anyone? Heck, you can even check your bank account.

Play with toy models

One of my doctors has models of organs in rooms. I’m talking models of the heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, etc. I’m probably not supposed to, but I like to tinker with these. I have even been known to take them apart and put them back together. Hear a shuffling outside your door. Hurry and put it back together.

Look through drawers and cabinets

Yep! I’ve done this too. I know where pretty much everything is in every room I ever sat in. The doctor comes in, says, “I wonder where she put those cotton balls?” If I’m feeling generous, I can give the answer. Mostly, though, this game wore off when I was a kid. You usually don’t find many fun things inside doctor’s cabinets and drawers anyway.

Play with rubber gloves

I don’t do this. But, I know people who do. My Uncle Timmy took me to the ER once when I was a kid. He took out a handful of gloves. He put one over his head. That was kind of a neat feat. Entertained anyone else in the room too.

Stare off into space

This is what I do most often. I enter the office. I sit there and stare off into space. I let my mind wander. I look at all the other patients. I look at the walls. I look at the floors. I let my mind wander. I think of whatever is on my mind. Sometimes I even come up with goofy ideas for posts like this.

What to make of this?

There’s lots of reasons to sit in doctor’s offices. Those of us with chronic diseases tend to spend plenty of time in doctor’s offices. This is also true as we get older. For the longest time, I found I was the youngest person in the room. But, now that I’m getting older, that’s becoming less and less true. So, what do you do in doctor’s offices to pass the time? Let us know in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Good article, John.
    I always feel I’m going to get caught, snooping and exploring. By the time they are shuffling/fiddling outside the door – it’s really too late.
    The waiting room is one thing, but, once inside the examination room, I’ve found the damned cell phone is a g-dsend – can play the ever popular ‘solitaire’ or, better yet, chess!!
    This was a fun read again, John.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • KevinDavitt
    5 months ago

    John – I’m still a hard-copy newspaper reader (New York Times) and have a subscription so I bring that to a waiting room and will also, glance at Facebook, email and breaking news on my phone from time to time.

    But I would pay good, hard-earned dollars to walk into a waiting room and see you sitting there with a rubber glove pulled over your head!

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    5 months ago

    That is pretty neat to see.

  • KevinDavitt
    5 months ago


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