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Vignettes of a Lazy Traveller

Things seen from the 6th floor hospital window.

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 11 February 2009 | Views [848] | Comments [2]

One might be forgiven for feeling like hospitals are depressing places. People are nervous What-is-happening-what will-happen-can-they-do-something? Everything is sterilsed to avoid infection. Smelling faintly of bleach. Things are either blue, white or brown. Sometimes worse things are red and occasionally urine-yellow. Bandaids, bandages, drips, needles, bedpans, slipperly sheets, tubes and facemasks. Noises that are hard to comprehend so are then actually scary. There is sickness. Emergencies. There is suffering and there is pain.


But from the 6th floor window of a room where a loved one lies recovering, if I pay attention, there is more. There is a constant and present flow of humanity, kindness and hope that runs through and around all the other stuff.


From the window I can see people coming to visit someone they love who needs support. Sometimes people are in a rush, pulling small children behind them, not looking carefully as they cross the street. The occasional ambulance passes on its way to Emergency. Nurses and other staff checking their watches, am-I-late-am-I late? written on their faces.

I see people carrying flowers. Bright things, designed to bring cheer. Wrapped in pink or red or yellow or blue or green. I see half a family of small children skipping and the father saying "the new baby is just in here with mummy!". There is a nonna carrying a plastic container of "real proper food" for her hubby-nonno. There is a lady who walks tall in a watermelon coloured safari suit carrying a massive box of chocolates. I see a middle-aged bearded man carrying handpicked geranimums, the ends wrapped in wet toilet paper and foil. People bringing gifts to ease their way into a sick room, to wipe off the sting of awkwardness at seeing mum, dad, sis, cuz, friend, nana, mate, boss whoever in bed, who might look not right, bored, sick, asleep or maybe happy to see them.

From the 6th floor, you get the best view of the sunset in the whole city. Red and pink and gold. There's as much tea and coffee in the waiting room as you want. If you smile sweetly at the refreshment man (and why wouldn't you, cos he is hot) you will also get biscuits.

I see people sitting with other people for hours and having a chinwag. Sometimes they need to do all the talking. I see others just sit there being company. To hold hands, press buttons, fetch nurses.

And the nurses. The amazing people whose job it is to care. and the care they take in doing so! Sometimes even well past care-exhaustion, where you or I would be saying fix-it-yerself, buggeroff, i'm-tired, or deal-with-it-can't-you? they are just dealing with it. And often with good humour.

I see lots of things from the 6th floor window of the hospital. Things I might have missed if I wasn't paying attention.

Or really bored, cos the person I come to visit keeps nodding off cos they got some really good drugs.

Where is that refreshment guy?

Tags: 6th floor, flowers, hospital, nurses, refreshment, sick



Let us thank the universe for providing hot refreshment men to help make hospitals more refreshing.

  Nellie Feb 20, 2009 10:44 AM


The man with the hand picked flowers wrapped in wet toilet paper and alfoil...

I think there are some things we'll remember for the rest of our lives, and for me this is one of them.

  Kiki Love Mar 18, 2009 6:15 PM



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