Florence Nightingale once famously said “It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.” She couldn’t have chosen better words to describe the dark, desolate and depressing hospitals that are supposed to make us feel better.
Lately i have had the misfortune to visit the dreaded hospitals quite a few times for various reasons and each visit has left me a little under the weather. No matter what the gravity of the disease the wait for the test results, the doctor’s visit and the diagnosis is something that is unbearable and toxic.
Over the years i have realised irrespective whether the hospitals are Government managed or run like a three / five star hotels makes us feel no different, other than the difference in hygiene and the sensitization of the Nursing Staff, the patient and their families always go thru the same emotions. The anxiety, the patience and the wait is something that they all offer in equal measures. The families of the patients empathise with each other and share the pain. New and painful medical treatments that these hospitals inform us with are something, we are never prepared to fathom.
Hospitals are the place that is supposed to ease our pain and sorrow but the path leading up to that destination isn’t easy and comfortable. The emotional, financial and physical turmoil is not something that everyone can handle. Well irrespective of all the above in the end we all will fight for our dear ones and go at extreme lengths to protect and heal them. For that is what family is there for to stand in our times of need.
The visit to a hospital is inevitable for there is nothing certain than death and taxes and to reach the former going thru the grind of a medical facility is mandatory. Like Atul Gawande in his book Being Mortal said “It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death—losing their hearing, their memory, their best friends, their way of life. As Felix put it to me, “Old age is a continuous series of losses.” Philip Roth put it more bitterly in his novel Everyman: “Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.”
So just pray to God to spare me the dependency on a hospital and its equipments and when the end comes it to be quick not like a battle that takes ages but what takes place in a jiffy. Not being alive without consciousness and control but to say the final goodbyes fully awake, living and letting go.
By the way the only time the hospital have made me happy is when a new life is bought into the world by the birth of one’s own progeny and that is it !!