Tuesday, June 12, 2012
It's that dread "h" word- "hospital". The knowledge that a loved one is in a hospital brings forth a wave of fear. Hospitals are the place where the smell of hand sanitizer and the taste of sorrow seem to meet itself in unity, except maybe in the maternity ward. Hospitals are supposed to be a place to heal, although for me they are a place that makes me want to throw up. Just the smell of latex and antiseptic make me want to run as fast as I can.
Finally, my mother is out of that nasty prison after a week long fight of colitis that she caught after taking antibiotics after her root canal. Of course, I'm not the kind of person to dwell on that kind of stuff until it's over with, because negative thinking never helps one get through things. Then I can say how much of a shitty experience it was and how much I totally hated it. Now that she's home and I don't have to visit her there anymore, I can finally end up doing that.
Hospitals suck. There's no nice way to put it. It smells, it's noisy, it's hard to get sleep and on top of that, the doctors keep poking at you and you're uncomfortable from laying in that damn hospital bed day in and day out, and, oh yeah, you're sick. Sometimes, your sickness comes with a host of nasty symptoms. Not to mention, sometimes people die and you get to hear about it. I know all this not only from what I've heard from loved ones that have been in the hospital, but from personal experience. The very memory of all that crap makes me shudder.
The food sucks, too, or at least the food you get to eat as a patient. That is, if you even get to eat at all because sometimes you can't. It's either the pain medicine that makes you nauseous or it's the anesthesia from the surgery you just had, but either way, you can't.
Despite what my experiences have been, it's even worse seeing people I love in a hospital bed. Seeing my mom there like that, woozy from medication, was difficult. And then not being able to really talk to her and feeling like I never really saw her in the first place. Not to mention not having her home. Seeing her wince and writhe made me feel like I was in pain too.
To top it off, the doctor said they would have sent her to the ICU if she was elderly, but that "she isn't because she's young and healthy". And then she told my father that they wanted to have him there so they could write a "living testament", a will. I was terrified that somehow she would die, even though everyone around me kept telling me that she wouldn't.
Visiting my mother wasn't the first time I went to the hospital. I also went on behalf of my cousin, uncle and my grandfather. When I had to see my grandfather, he was in the ICU and that was even worse. My uncle from Utah had to fly down to see him and then my mom kept getting upset because they thought he would die soon. My sister and I had to sit out in the waiting room because my mom didn't want us to see him like that and we heard one nurse tell this family the news that their loved one died. The only thing that saved him was the fact that he happened to still be very fit for his age.
Hospitals are terrible, terrible places most of the time. I'm glad to be free of it, at least for now.
Freedom from hospitals now mean that I can spend time with my mom any time I want. That I won't have to go up the elevator worrying how she is.
Hospitals are, for the most part, houses of pain. They house the sick as they try to get better despite it all, as well as relatives sick at heart. And yet, the world outside of them goes on, unaware. So that "h" word just becomes the word we refuse to think about, the one we hope we won't hear.