Hospital Stay

Recently feeling unwell and on my daughter’s urging, I made a visit to see our GP. This as it turned out to be a big mistake, as I was sent immediately to the Princes Margaret Hospital. Or I initially thought it was, as I still carried one of Grandma’s tales, ‘People die in Hospitals’. Nothing could be further from the truth as the care and attention I received was wonderful. True there were certain practices I disagreed with such as showering, with a Nurse holding your hand. My protests that I wasn’t that ill were shoved aside and ignored. I was told to get on with it, and stop being a wimp. The Nurses, Doctors, and support staff, were all a cheerful bunch, caring and well trained. The doctors seemed to work all hours by observation of them passing up and down the wards.

However it turned out there was one irritant, we had another patient that I shared the three man ward with and where I was allocated a bed. He must have been suffering from an early onset of Alzheimer’s, and a compete pain to all and sundry. His life seemed to have stopped at 1945, like it or like it not we fought the War, over and over, each and every day. The War it would seem was the highlight of his life, and the one and only event that dominated all his thoughts. He took advantage too off the daily rostering of Nurses, He claiming when his turn for bathing came around, he was going home the following day, He would be able to shower then. As far as I know he is still Hospitalised and unbathed.

I had to smile one day, a Doctor came and sat at the bottom of my bed and said. ‘He had a very important question for me to answer’. ‘Should I have a heart attack while under their care.’ ‘Did I wish every procedure available to be applied to save me, and bring me back?’ I replied, ‘I would like events to be allowed to take their course’ And let nature decide. No special attention for me required. ‘I have seen what happens to people saved’, ‘The rest of my life being confined in a chair, looking out at the world passing by would not be my choice, if I have one’. I have had a had a wonderful life, and am grateful for the roles and challengers I have been given to play.

The other gentleman occupying the bed opposite to me was a retired farmer, 81 years of age. He had recently a hip replacement, and cataracts removal and while recovering from these procedures, suffered a stroke. He was busy relearning much of his recent lost memory, and how to walk again. As well as eye problems, he had received a Colostomy when aged about 40. In spite of all these set backs he was a bright and pleasant companion. We talked at length at nights until we both fell asleep.

I must have a kind face, whenever I was wheeled to another Department for various tests there was always some one else waiting. Without fail once we engaged in conversation, they had a story to tell, Nothing was held back and without fail they were exceedingly frank, worts and all. There must be a thousand stories in Hospital all waiting for a sympathetic listener and to be told.

I must make too some general comments. Lying in bed for a couple of weeks watching what went on, I had plenty of time to observe. The Hospital Wards, showers, and toilets were spotless, they had to be with the constant attention to the cleaning they received. I couldn’t fault the meals either. For each and every meal you were given multiple choices, I even had cream and brown sugar for my porridge.

I came out a lot happier than as I was when I came in for treatment.

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