This posting of bits and pieces comes from the time a few weeks ago when I was a hospital patient and the sole occupant of a large, comfortable room. Amongst the comings and goings of staff, I had a lot of time to myself, which is how I like it. I thought the posting was going to be philosophical musings of one sort or another, but as you see, neither of us knows where any posting of mine's going to go. In this case, it took a severe turn towards the practical.
I used to have what I regarded as my best thoughts in the shower, when I was in that other world of the strong and healthy. Now, in the hospital, it's while eating breakfast. That's my story anyway.
The problem with both places is that they're not designed to record flashes of insight, but at least at breakfast I now have a pen handy, and can grab a piece of paper to scribble something down to try to make sense of later.
Sometimes, later, it's utterly incomprehensible, which I suspect means it was utter brilliance or utter rubbish.
That's if I can read my own writing. It's sometimes not possible. In my defence, it's usually composed on a scrap of the day's menu amongst the carnage of dropped porridge, marmalade sachets and widely distributed toast crumbs.
Nothing tears me up inside as much as the sound of an old lady weeping. It's a sound I've heard several times coming from the room next door.
A baby's cry, especially that of your own child, is like a saw-blade running through your whole being. But babies cry as their main form of communication when they want things – often simple things – although I admit the sound of a small child in pain is the worst thing I can think of.
But old ladies tend to cry only when they are in deep misery or anguish for some reason, and it's painful for me to bear. It's a sound that comes from the depths of a lifetime of experience. Of terrible loss or need.
When old men cry, they often do it without sound; no less heartbreaking for a compassionate observer, and that can be equally heart-rending.
For what it's worth - sweet and corny
“For what it's worth.” It's a useful phrase. It allows you to say whatever you like, but somehow gives it the authority of humility, even if it's not always quite sincere.
i always enjoyed hearing the staff laughing and joking together when they were at the "nurse's station" a little down the passageway. Somehow it was comforting, whether at 4 am or 4 pm.
|This is a Rolls Royce version of the beds here, |
but I have no complaints about them.
A good bed itself is a masterpiece of design. It can be raised or lowered to help patients to get in and out of bed. Once the patient is in the bed, various sections of it can be raised or lowered to suit the patient's needs.
From a staff point of view, it can be raised to waist height in order to be made up with sheets, blankets and pillows, eliminating a lot of back and other problems caused by bending down. Nor is so much effort needed in getting patients in and out of bed, or raised and lowered in bed.
|This is a very basic model|
I'd love to have one here at home between chair and bed, but I'm pretty sure that they cost a bomb.
At the hospital, I had one of these between the chair and my bed. I was also very lucky to have another one on the other side of the chair. Even with very limited ability to reach across with my left hand to the table on my right side as I was sitting in the chair, I was still able to use the full length of each table to reach various objects.
It's remarkable how quickly the space available on the table fills up. This means that I had to learn another skill.
One of the keys to surviving with limited mobility in a hospital is to learn the art of moving things around efficiently. Take the number of pieces of electronic equipment that I use while in the hospital, for example. I have a mobile phone, an iPad, a Kindle reader, and a laptop computer.
That might seem excessive to many people, but each of them had a particular purpose. Each at one stage or another would run out of battery power and because I was almost immobile, particularly at the start, I had to rely upon one of the staff or a visitor used to connecting the various devices to plug them into the electrical socket for recharging.
|Stable-table - worth its weight in gold!|
So, these items have to be stacked on top of each other when not in use. And that takes a little forethought. If the item I want is at the bottom, then with one hand of limited strength and limited space on the tray, it's a case of unstacking one item at a time, getting what I want and restacking after that, trying to predict what I'm going to want next.
Nature shows us that the key to survival is adaptability. While it's fine to have a code to live by that gives order, stability and meaning to life, it's those who can react positively to inescapable change who cope best.
It's certainly something you need when you go into a new environment like a hospital.