Wednesday, December 19, 2007

cOnTEmpLaTinG HOspiTaLs

Hospitals, are such institutions of structure and stability in a time of chaos and confusion. The clerks, the orderlies, the nurses, the doctors, they each know their place. While you are caught up in the pandemonium of sickness and anxiety, there is also an underlying unspoken order to things.

You are briefed before you are admitted to hospital. You get to your ward and you are given your bed and a set of hospital “clothes” to wear (which are normally in some horrible sickly colour and so big you are swimming in it). Every morning you wake up at 7am. You are given your breakfast and then shoo-ed off to bathe. The doctors make their rounds about 10am. They make polite conversation with you while looking through your case-sheet, and adjust your meds as they see fit. And for the rest of the day, you are pretty much left alone. Meals are served at specific times (five meals a day). Then comes dispensing time where you are given your meds and the nurses try to stare at you discreetly to make sure you take them. Not forgetting the checks on your blood-pressure, your blood, and sometimes your urine. Lights out at 9pm. And the days go by in similar routine.

A routine that is boring, yet so organised. So organised you feel protected. So organised you are able to calm down. So organised it’s like a refuge from the hectic world outside.

I like hospitals because they make me feel safe, so safe.

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