This week has been interrupted by doctor’s appointments and other work so progress is slowing. A couple of months ago I had an operation and now it seems it wasn’t an overwhelming success so there is a chance I will have to go back to hospital. It will be a massive kick in the teeth and will most certainly disrupt my progress. I mention it although I do not wish to focus on that, instead I want to focus on the experience instead.
Ending up in a hospital bed as I neared the conclusion of my novel was wonderfully ironic. The reason being that the hero of my story, Norman, ends up in hospital in the penultimate section of the book. It was almost direct research. My stay enabled me to check out how my protagonist’s feelings matched my own. In hindsight I believe my feelings and Norman’s were not entirely dissimilar. Although our circumstances were completely different. I now find it hard to separate my opinion’s from Norman’s. To some degree it makes me proud.
When I re-read the fore mentioned scenes in my very own hospital bed I was taken by one line in particular
For most people lying in a hospital bed, comfort is the thing they both need and lack the most.
It’s peculiar, as now it seems almost like I saw the future. For example, one day I was scheduled to have a test under local anaesthetic. Due to an administrative error I was starved before the test as they thought I was due to have an operation. In preparation for the test they actually shaved the wrong part of my body. These were not massive mistakes, none the less they hardly served to make me feel better. Thankfully there were some staff members who went above and beyond the call of duty to try and make me smile. One nurse who had previously worked in England would not let the orderlies serve me tea without running to the staff room to fetch me milk.
Fact. Psychologically hospitals are dreary places which each and everyone of acknowledges as a place where people go to get fixed or die. That pessimistic thought remains with us whether we are a visitor or a patient. Fact. Spending the vast majority of one’s time in bed is psychologically tiring. Essentially the doctors and nurses force you to impersonate the behavioral patterns of a chronically depressed individual. Fact. Starvation, even in the form of a dieticians advice does little to lift the mood. Fact. Grapes, flowers and balloons do not make everything better.
It’s obvious that there are reasons why hospitals are ran this way and I am no one to advise them how to take care of business. I am not advocating that all doctors should dress up like clowns, or that all flowers should squirt water or vodka nor and I am suggesting that you give loved ones explosive grapes. The one suggestion I can prescribe is smiles and silliness. That if you visit a loved one in hospital do your level best to listen carefully, lift their mood, and do cartwheels down the corridor as you leave.