Timing is everything

Theodore Lewis

"So much about life is not about whether you're good or bad, right or wrong, or can afford or not afford - it's just about timing."—A.A. Gill

Portland, Maine— It was a typical September evening in Guam as the setting sun provided a beautiful end to an idyllic day. The afternoon temperature had climbed into the upper 80s, but the island breezes at 6:30 p.m. made for a very comfortable outdoor setting on my balcony facing the beautiful western sky on Agana Beach.

While enjoying my microwaved leftover cheese enchiladas from Carmen’s, I received a call from my friend Evan, who was gathering some friends in the building for some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and fresh ripe mango.

"Evan, I'm going to have to pass, as I left work (Guam Memorial Hospital) before making rounds in the (Emergency Department), so I'm going to have to go back to the hospital.”

My normal routine was to stop by the Emergency Department just before leaving the hospital at the end of the day to see how many patients were awaiting bed placement. For some reason, I had left my office earlier this day without visiting the ED, and used the opportunity to watch from my seventh-floor vantage point the gorgeous island sky develop its unique pattern of clouds with the rainbow range of colors that came as the sun disappeared below the horizon.

In 2015, it was not unusual for GMH to have five to 10 patients waiting in the ED for bed plac