Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Hospital

Unfortunately I had to spend a few weeks in hospital when I was 11, and then again when I was 13. I say unfortunately because no one really wants to be there when they have to, but it truly was for the best.

At first it was completely terrifying. I remember staying there on the first night, all alone. I was in a big nursery room, with smelly, old women mostly. Some of them were a little out of their minds already and they asked me to bring them things and I didn't really want to get very close. It was probably eight o'clock and everyone was sleeping already, lights off. People snoring next to me. I left the room and sat at the entrance, reading a book and writing on my diary. A nurse told me to go to sleep. I wouldn't, so she told me about her kids at home. I was already longing for a normal life back home, just to hear her talking about it.

Days passed, more or less painful, more or less despairing for being there. After the terror came the boredom. I envied all my schoolmates that didn't have to be there, that didn't have a care in the world. I was just lying in the bed, unable to move, there were no mobile phones, no i-pods, just my walkman and a Gameboy. The minutes seemed to last for hours, hours for days, you get the picture. Hospital food. Screaming patients. Drinking tea from a straw.

But, at the same time, there was a strange sense of belonging because at that time that was my life. The nurses were my help, the other patients were my colleagues, I watched some come and go, others still stayed behind, I knew all the doctors, one even looked like George Clooney (!).

In one of the times, my bed was next to a big window, I used to watch the sunrise every morning. Days start so early at the hospital. I listened to the same tapes over and over again. I read teen magazines and, above all, I made lists and lists of plans of things to do when I got out. I wanted to do everything, anything was preferable to being there. You see, I didn't like being there, despite all the attention people gave me, no one could really enjoy being in such a place, but I had a future, I had it all planned out and the day when I got out would be the best day of my life so far.

For more scribblings, go here.


tumblewords said...

Confinement is so horrible - even when it's in a good place. I can feel your fear and dislike - nicely written!

Rob Kistner said...
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Rob Kistner said...

"At first it was completely terrifying. I remember staying there on the first night, all alone."

I know what you mean. Night in the hospital is very strange.

Hospitals make me feel like I'm in Big Nurse's ward -- a little stir crazy... but for some reason I feel an odd kind of safety?

I had a private room when I had my heart attack. Hated being awakened in the middle of the night for blood samples and other tests.

Gemma said...

Hospitals are so frightening for a child.Hope you are living all those things on your list.

gautami tripathy said...

Hospitals are scary for kids. And adults too..

I hate hospital visits.

fb said...

I'm still not sure how I feel about the hospital I stayed in.

In some ways I enjoyed the routine and the sense of camaraderie perhaps because we were all there waiting it out. This is more the case for the last stay as opposed to the first but then there had been several in the last two years.

I hope that that list is being fulfilled.

Maddie said...

Luckily you got out so you could
enchant us with your
memories - and I would love to
see one of the lists!

Niall said...
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Niall said...

I spent a short time in hospital when I was 7. I had my tonsils removed. I can remember everything about that time. The smell of the sheets… the reflection of the tiles on the floor..the boy in the bed opposite whose nose wouldn't stop bleeding (they whisked him away and he never returned). It was an awful lonely time..I remember it all!

Roam2Rome said...

Powerful post! Having worked for so many years in health care and hospitals, this post was important for me to read, it made me think a lot, made me place myself in your shoes and it will stay with me...

This is why I love visiting your blog so much :)

Anonymous said...

I have had some bad times in the hospital.