This posting is going to have a Medical theme. Laura as you know has been admitted to Christchurch Public with a stroke. Initially it was thought to be the result of a fall which she experienced, we even have a letter from he ACC pledging their help. Ha Ha! However, I dislike visiting Hospitals, unfortunately at this stage she is able to say very little, and mostly she is communicating by hand written signs and hand clenching, but recently she has been able to utter a few words, but we will have to join the medical team and do what they are doing waiting until her body heals itself. I truly hate to see her in this condition, but I’m being reassured that she is not the worst they have admitted with this complaint, and most in her condition make a recovery. The Hospital block where she is a patient is not old, but it’s obvious even to me, that what it’s doing now, is not what it was initially designed for. Where ever there is a wide corridor, two or three lines of chairs have been placed, which has turned some of these corridors into very narrow waiting rooms. Naturally they are difficult to navigate, past with people all sprawled out and waiting. Take it from me, there is a lot of waiting going on in Hospitals. Another feature of this Hospital is that it’s a complex made comprised of several stand alone buildings, each of them can only be accessed from the ground floor. Once you understand this fundamental law, you can find your way around with ease.


The other factor that I must comment on are the areas out side, where the ground is blanketed with cigarette butts. I don’t know how many patients die of pneumonia being driven out into the elements, but the Hospital is relentless in their campaign to stop smoking. To see these pathetic little groups of people in their PJ’s and night attire standing out in the cold, in my mind is taking the issue a little too far. You would think as far as geriatrics are concerned, that they have been addicted too long, and Hospital should be showing a little compassion seeing they are captives of nicotine. It begs the question ‘Who built the Damn Hospital in the first place?’ Possibly to a large extent, it would have be the smokers of this world. They have paid squillions into the Government coffers by the way of exorbitant taxes. They accepted these imposts all the time being driven by their addiction to continue smoking. To see these folk standing outside in all weathers, without shelter, makes you wonder just how far these masochistic people in charge will go to achieve their campaign to stop smoking. They would all be better to have an addiction to an ‘A Class’ drug. Should they be addicted to say Opium, Heroin, they would be rushed off to some comfortable quarters and inducted into some official programme, as well given regular top ups of methadone to satisfy their craving. On walking to our car I regularly see one elderly man with whom we always have a short conversation while passing. He stands out, for him to make a visit outside it’s necessary to trail along his trolley containing his bottle of oxygen. Truly, we elect some awful unfeeling people to positions of power, giving them the authority to rule over us. It so happens I know one of these people. This lady is very serious in her campaign to stop smoking. When I first met her she was a woman looking for a cause, and she found it in Queenstown when her child got knocked over in a traffic incident. Some how she has switched over to cigarettes, and she has been relentless in carrying the anti smoking banner. I wish she could see these pathetic groups of patients standing out in the elements, wet, fine, and cold, just to get their fix.



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