Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Last week I was walking from my car to the office. My office being an overcrowded box overflowing with marketing stuff that I seem to always accumulate, in the offices of a hospital. Around my hospital there are three other big hospitals and countless rooms of the best doctors you can hope to find.
Waiting at the lights, after just missing the green man, the lady beside me was walking two steps ahead of her husband before stopping right next to me. This couple were around 60 something years old. He was carrying the bigger bags, she had her handbag and her 'Important Things' bag. I call it this because I picture her at home that morning, after being awake most of the night, putting all those last little important things in it. The things she really had to have with her. Her medications. Her referral. Copies of her scans. It was a clear bag and I could see them all.
I noticed her short, slow and deliberate breathing, the kind that usually suggests an anxious or upset mind. I could feel the self defence prickles growing from her as her husband suggested he carry the Important Things bag. He had no idea how she needed to be in control of that bag. It was like the bags gave her her calmness, her balance. His kindness was making her cranky. The kind of cranky you can only be with the people you love the most.
I don't know which of the hospitals she was going to, nor what medical needs she had. Those two things are irrelevant. I know she was going to have some kind of health need met and it was likely surgery of some kind that required a few nights in hospital.
I wanted to give her a hug and tell her I know how it feels to be walking into the hospital not knowing the answers yet. But I really wanted to say to her, "the nursing team are going to look after you". The staff are really really really going to look after you. Where you are going right now, the people there, they want to look after you and make you better.
Nurses are special types and they do understand how you feel. They are going to look after you. They are going to help you with the pain and they are going to be happy to answer your questions. They know you don't want to be there and they want to do what they can to get you home as soon as they can.
I know this, because they told me.