Thursday 19 June 2014

Weird Tickle

I kind of like hospitals, they are extremely clean, well if you discount billions of germs and viruses floating around looking for some exposed, weak mucous membranes to call home. There are hundreds of people walking to and fro with determined looks on their faces. Some are in pairs, some single and the odd time you will see groups wandering down the halls. Everyone in here has a story, a destination and is filled with hope or fear.

Hospitals are not unlike airports in that way. People are going somewhere but at the same time they are waiting, patiently impatient. There is anticipation in both airports and hospitals. In airports the anticipation is “will I have a good vacation/visit/business trip and the outcome generally hinges on the person involved. In a hospital, you have no control over what is about to happen to you or your loved one. You need to trust that those in control know exactly what they are doing and that their training has been the best that money can buy. With any luck those doing the doing have had a good nights sleep, are emotionally stable and graduated in the top third of their class.

I’m sitting in the cafeteria, just watching people wander by or sit and drink their beverage of choice. I am sitting next to doctors, nurses, administrative staff, orderlies and the real workers of the hospital, the guys that keep it clean and stocked with all of the stuff that will keep the germs off of me while I am here. There aren’t too many of the custodial staff, they are far too busy to drink a leisurely coffee. When there are budget cuts, it is always the lowest paid that lose their jobs and the ones left just have to take up the slack. That means more germs, such is life.

There is an atmosphere of worry in every hospital that I have ever been in. It is overlaid with hope, but the worry is right under the surface. You hope that all goes well, but if all were well you wouldn’t find yourself or the person you love here in the first place. Something is wrong! It just isn’t wrong, it’s wrong enough that you need the help of professionals that have spent all of their adult lives learning how to fix what is wrong with you. Bless them!

I am at the newest hospital in Calgary, its called Calgary Hospital South Campus, I think. It sounds like we are at a university instead of a hospital, but I guess it is a teaching hospital. It is “South” because it is located just about as far south as you can get and still be in Calgary without standing in a field. This is one of the emptiest hospitals I have ever been in, but it’s most likely because it is new. Most of Calgary’s population is north of here and there are a few other hospitals between there and here. I wonder if the Emergency wait times are shorter down here.

I talked with a woman who is here with her sixteen year old son. He is having an operation on his wrist that was broken about a year ago and was misdiagnosed as a sprain instead of a break. It has healed incorrectly and now has to have bone cut out and replaced with bone from somewhere else on his body. A lot of things could go wrong. The sad thing is that this kid is a gymnast, or at least he was up until the accident last year. I wished the woman well and that her son should have a successful operation. I am glad I don’t have to do the worrying on that one.

Louise will be ready to go home soon and life will return to normal. Unless some of those germs have taken up residence in the back of my throat. I feel a kind of weird tickle…

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