Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Hospital


When you're feeling as bad as you ever have in your life, there is the hospital.  When you're ready to bring new life into the world, there is the hospital.  Sometimes, when you're on your way to the great beyond, there is the hospital.  The hospital serves as the transition place in so many situations. 

Most hospitals try to make a nice environment for their transients.  But really, it's all just so sterile...or not.  It's all just so technical...or touchy-feely condescending blather.  It's all so...not home.


Tubes and beepers, needles and swabs, machines of all kinds to take pictures of your insides and listen to the noises your insides make.  It's all there to make you better, to give you care, but it's just...not home.


Equipment you'd only associate with the feeble, latex glove dispensers, needle depositories, and utterly beige walls.  Who can be uplifted in an atmosphere like that?  And yet most thrive to a better level of health in that atmosphere.  Still it's just...not home.


Nothing is cozy and nothing is colorful.  The food is fine but they won't give you real butter with your bread unless you remember to ask for it specifically.  And who can remember to ask for a luxury like butter when you're attached to a monitor or intravenous medication.  Who remembers what home is when all you can think about is getting better, especially when getting better means life itself.


And those who watch and wait on stained chairs, counting hours, listening to moans, wishing and hoping with all of their might ~ today the fever will break, today the numbers go back to normal, today he'll get the comfort of home.  No, not today.  Not tomorrow.  Not even the next day. 

How could anyone bear it all without going insane?  It's the surgeon with the steady hands, the nurse who reminds you of your home town, the aide who doesn't care how wet she gets while giving you a hair wash in the shower, the doctor with the gentle manner and kind smile.  They all make it bearable because you know they have one objective in mind ~ get you as comfortable as you can be in such a foreign setting and get you well so you can have the butter on your bread, some colorful sheets on your bed, and no tubes or needles. 

The gray dissipates and the discharge papers are signed.  You're well enough.  You're wheeled out into the fresh air and colors of autumn.  You're on your way once again. 

Welcome Home.

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