“Dorothy, can you please stop undressing yourself!”
Then the nurse pulls the chequered curtain round.
No. I am not in some seedy nightclub downtown on a Saturday night. I am in the hospital.
I have always wondered who’s bright idea it was to invent those special hospital curtains. What, even, are the curtains for? You can hear absolutely everything, and the shadows form a sort of puppet show, which often enables you to envisage just what is occurring on the other side of the fabric. If possible, they make you pay even more attention to what is going on behind them, contrary to their actual purpose.
I always seem to forget that not everyone has spent as much time in hospital as me. Therefore, not everyone will be familiar with the Hospital rituals that I have become accustomed to.
Your first day is a little like your first day at school. You say your name, but rather than following it up with your age or favourite colour you list each and every one of your ailments. Learning all about a stranger’s medical history on first meeting has become the norm.
Then there is the food. Aeroplane food has got nothing on hospital food; pre-cooked slop on a plate, with cutlery that digs into your fingers with each hand movement, forcing down the undesirable dish to the best of your ability at disagreeable times of the day. One day that I almost look forward to is Friday, wherever you are, as long as you are in hospital, Friday lunch is always fish. Fish Friday has become an enjoyable part of my hospital life.
Hospital beds are still somewhat of an enigma to me. Let me start with the blankets. I am somewhat of a goose down or duck feather duvet cover kind of girl. Therefore, these heavy, sweat-inducing blankets leave much to be desired. Then there is the bed itself. In a similar way to a Boggart, these shapeshifters can move to any position. You would think that at least one of these arrangements would be comfortable; surely, however, this is not the case. Taking all these aspects into consideration, one can assume that time spent in hospital can lead to many a sleepless night. Insomniac hospital trips have become expected.
If that were not enough, being a patient on the neurological ward can lend itself to some rather interesting situations. Of course, being surrounded by other individuals with brain injuries can at times be distressing, but at other times it can be nothing short of comedy gold. I must say; I am surprised that no one has as of yet started a comedy sketch of life as an inpatient on such a ward. From the constant humming from the lady opposite, to the arguments between the patients as to whether the view of the graveyard is comforting or upsetting to Dorothy piping up with “Good Morning” just as the lights were about to be turned out, the daily rituals of hospital life are something I have become accustomed to.