Out away from the main building of St. John's Medical Center is a freestanding building that is one of their outpatient surgery centers.
Two times this summer (June 13 and July 11), my mom and I were there on very important business: getting her cataracts operated on (first, the left eye and, after that, the right eye).
Now, people who are about to have cataract surgery/have just finished having cataract surgery are supposed to try to keep their eyes water free (with the exception of the water contained in the assortment of drops) and even be careful when it comes to washing their faces and/or hair.
In the case of one's face: a very cautious washing that avoids the eyes. In the case of one's hair: not after midnight on the day of the surgery and not for three days afterwards.
So, what if it's raining?
There's a covering over the driveway where your ride lets you out to go into the building.
Entering the building, the first thing you see is the reception booth where you let people know that you're there.
From there, you go to a big living room where you can watch TV, visit with other people, and/or read while you wait to be called back to the area where you're prepared for surgery.
You're not supposed to be using cell-phones in there (though I noticed that some people did, anyway), but there are a couple of complimentary phones where you can make free local calls. I assume that you can also make long-distance calls, too, just so long as you have a phone card/debit card/credit card with you.
There's also a restroom, fountain, and vending machines for soft drinks and snacks.
On top of that, there's free coffee and donuts!
My mom was called back first. A little bit later, I was told I could go back and spend some time with her while she was being prepared for surgery.
On both occasions, the people helping her to prepare were very friendly and helpful.
She felt chilly, so they warmed blankets to tuck her in on her bed.
Soon, it was time for her to go to surgery and for me to go out and wait.
I enjoyed gabbing with people (turned out that some of the people knew people I knew) , watching the game show network, and eating those yummy donuts. I also had time to read some of the magazines offered there.
Then, it was time for the mother and child reunion--and this child found that her mother was DEFINITELY being pampered.
She hadn't been able to eat or drink anything since before midnight the previous day, so she was at least a little hungry.
She was offered several choices of snacks and chose graham crackers and ginger ale--both something she liked but hadn't had in awhile.
Of course, the helpful nurses and other staff made sure that she was warm and comfy with more of those heated blankets.
The recovery room was a kind of cozy lounge that also had a small TV.
I hadn't been able to park very close, so a nurse made sure that we made it to my van safely (no rain, so we were able to walk to it).
In the meantime, someone had parked so close to my van on the driver's side that I couldn't get the door opened wide enough to squeeze in my big, fat body.
The nurse got in and back it out for me.
No, it wasn't *really* a spa--but it was certainly a place where people not only got operated on (or waited for a loved on to get operated on) but, also, pampered!