I went to the hospital today to have an xray on my “fused” hip. A simple xray. A simple ailment. Not a big worry but a concern.
I registered at “admitting” and followed the yellow brick road to the first waiting room. I waited.
I was paged and told to change into two robes – one for my front and one for my back. I obeyed and then went to the next waiting room and – I waited.
The Xray teck came out and paged me, instructed me to lie this way and that. He had a firm tone, an unforgiving rhythm in his language, a robotic charm. Three pictures and I was released.
That was the essence of my visit to the hospital – the only complication coming when I couldn’t come up with two toonies to get my car freed from the parking lot. They had me there!!! BUT………..
I was nervous while in the hospital itself.
I smelled the smells and saw the tragedy of a caregiver trying to make sense of instructions given her loved one. So helpless in her pain, making inquiries to hospital employees that could not care less, in the line of people who had not patience for waiting behind her – who could not sense her pain and only thought of her as ignorant.
I have been there. In my confusion, in my frightened panic of having my loved one’s health in my unworthy hands. I have been there, in the public eye, pleading for more information, afraid and feeling naked in my fright.
I wanted to hug this women. I wanted to tell her that I know how she feels. I cried inside for her concern, her love, her helplessness in this hard world driven by time, routine, and robotic timetables.
I was even more reminded of my own traumatic past when I observed couples coming for treatment, seemingly absent of emotion but going through the motions of routines set up for their care. First we do this, then we go here, then we are allowed to wait here – this is what we do if we want to live……..
A hospital is a horrible place………………….