“It’s not every day you’re yanked out of your life and dropped head first into Critical Care, now is it?!“
The thing is… I ended up in hospital for most of last week. One of those weird, unexpected medical emergencies that can jump at you out of the blue – the kind you think only happen to ‘other people’ – suddenly leapt at me and dragged me by the heels into a nightmare week. I got the whole shebang… strapped to a stretcher, a speedy gallop in the ambulance to Emergency Aid while my insides (seemingly) took flame. I’ll spare you the details. It’s not been pleasant.
But… as always, I couldn’t help but notice and wonder about the nicer elements that dribbled onto my path during the more ghastly hours. Moments to remember and either cherish or just plain snigger about. Like the wife of the Moroccan man who shared my room.
A complete stranger, she showed me such love that it took my breath away. Watched me carefully during every visit, as one would a child, and was faster on her feet than any nurse to gallop for a tray when my face showed danger signals… then washed it gently and sat stroking my arm until the wave passed. My “Moroccan Momma” I called her later. It made her smile.
The professionalism of the ambulance doctor/driver who calmly guided us through that first terrible hour, reaching me through the haze of pain and (like a mother tiger) successfully pushing me to top slot in A&E upon arrival. No mean feat.
The pretty, English lady who occupied the bed beside me for two nights. Sweet, clearly in a lot of discomfort, she quietly drew my curtains as needed, listened to my woes with patience as I did hers. Smiled a lot. No pressure.
The night nurse. An angel in slippers. Quietly checking I could cope with the nausea (I couldn’t) she helped me feel a little secure, a little cared for, in that hugely unfamiliar environment. It meant a lot.
And then there’s me. Bursting into tears two minutes before the entire medical team landed at my bed end on day three. A classic. Peeping out from behind a washcloth, I groaned inwardly at their fresh, youthful, sparkling white appearance and (mildly surprised) reactions to my mini melt down, for which I make no apology. I mean, it’s not every day you’re suddenly yanked out of your life and dropped head first into Critical Care, is it?! Worn out, Watered Down and Withered is how I felt looking up at them, a sad little voice yelling in my head “oh just you wait!! I’ve had many good years, I’m not always this pathetic!” and more of that ilk. When I finally reached for my list of ‘prepared questions’, drawn up at 5am that (sleepless) morning, I could swear their eyebrows lifted even higher. Hah! Made me laugh later anyway, always a good thing.
Odd though, the temporary relationships you can form with others, even with yourself in these unexpected situations. Intense, because on a physical level there can be no hiding. Intimate because there is a need for ‘connection’ to get you through the challenges, or sleepless nights. And real. It seems to me, that with all guise of our normal lives stripped away, we easily, ungrudgingly become equals again and barriers are lowered. We reach out, with greater ease. Our tolerance levels rise, our togetherness flourishes.
Might do the whole Euro Summit group some good, don’t you think, a quick spell together in the old A&E? Just one week, I’m not greedy.