Contact me at lucyvictoriabrown@gmail.com because I'm always up for a natter about anything. Well, mostly.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hospital Visiting

Back in January I wrote a post about going to the shiny new Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield to pick up my grandmother's prescription. It was interesting to observe people in that atmosphere. My grandmother's currently hospitalised and the opportunities for people-study have been numerous in the last week. While it's easy to see humanity sometimes as an inconsiderate mass intent on getting in your way, something like sitting in a four-bed hospital room reminds you of the personal stories behind the mass.

I'm fortunate that my grandmother's a bit of a gossip. However, she's also rather deaf, meaning that her attempts to repeat things in a whisper usually end up being louder than she anticipated. Nevertheless, she has imparted some interesting things. The woman in the bed across seems friendly enough to me; always has a load of visitors around her, more than she's probably supposed to have. However, earlier this week she was apparently in tears during afternoon visiting because nobody turned up to see her. My grandmother comforted her and relayed all this to me in a loud whisper when I went to see her. I don't know if a phone call had been made from the patient but, by the time evening visiting rolled around, she was surrounded with half the extended family. Maybe the woman was insecure and lonely on her own, maybe she was afraid of abandonment. Maybe she's a cow that the rest of the family want shut away in the hospital for a while. Who knows? I want to - but I won't get to.

There are a couple of other notable stories I've picked up on. The woman in the bed diagonal to my grandmother has a neurotic son who concedes to her every selfish whim. The woman in the final bed is a chatterbox who tries to monopolise everyone else's visitors because she doesn't seem to get any of her own. Last night a man tried to go to the toilet behind the nurse's station. On Wednesday night I witnessed a nurse leading another elderly man back into the lobby and making him empty his pockets. It looked like he was making a break for it.

Hopefully, my grandmother won't be in for much longer. However, I have to admit, I'll miss the intriguing aspects of visiting her. There are hundreds of stories waiting for discovery around that hospital.

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