Musings and snippets about a rather unexpectedly long hospital visit. They’re short but not always sweet. And they’re published like a Sunday daily – once a week, except for a few special editions in between.
I remember listening to a line in a movie that said that the airport is one place where a person can see different emotions at the same time. For some reason, that line stuck on. And it came back to me when I stood in a hospital corridor, outside the Operation Theatre. The OT was on the same floor as the labour ward. In that moment, the hospital mirrored the airport to me. Grief, fear, joy, anxiety and relief seemed to exist all in one place. It’s sometimes hard to believe that all these emotions could change in a split second when the doors of the OT opened. Hopefully, for the better.
I had just got off the ambulance and was waiting for some of the bags to be shifted to the ward from the Emergency Room (ER) waiting area. There were three rows of seats and not one of them was empty. I decided to stand in a corner. I wondered how many people could be facing an emergency at the same time and end up in the same place. I saw a young man give up his seat for an elderly couple limping towards him. There was another couple that was just coming out of the ER. The man had a white bandage on the side of his neck. His wife insisted he get a haircut. It would make him look and feel better, she said. He didn’t seem too impressed by the thought and was more eager to get back home. I couldn’t agree more. A few minutes there and anybody would want to. Every person there was doing only one of three things – waiting to hear an update, talking to another loved one on the phone or discussing the gravity of the situation with the person next to them. It was fascinating to see how quickly one picks up medical terms when one’s own is affected by a condition. It was a strange place with a vibe that was unsettling.
Until that moment, I knew I wasn’t particularly fond of hospitals, ambulances or emergency rooms. But after that moment, I was sure that the ER is most definitely not a place I’d visit if I was looking for a ray of hope.