It’s as if they pipe poppy juice in through the air conditioning vents.
There’s not a comfortable chair or bench in the place. But you don’t have much time to sit on them anyway, as you are constantly bending over the bed of your loved one at awkward angles. Your whole body aches in a hospital. Aches and aches and aches. At the end of the day, you feel beaten to a pulp. Time stands still, or progresses at a strangely warped pace.
And who the heck decorates these places??? Edvard Munch??? Endless halls of nihilistic nothingness, sordid sameness.
Against such bland backgrounds, violent vignettes of family drama play out. The unexpected crisis makes everything rise to the surface...unresolved anger, dysfunctional power plays, unreasonable expectations become sad factors in life-or-death decision-making. Those of us who’ve lived here for a while politely avert our eyes and pretend we don’t hear the screaming in various languages. But cell phones have made privacy nonexistent. A lady in the stall next to you berates a relative in graphic detail. I don’t want to know. The ugliness wears off on you. The fear is transferable.
As my physician father used to say, “A hospital is no place for a sick person.” Since keeping well is a full time job for me, it’s literally toxic.
Right now, it’s particularly so. In an effort the Russians would refer to as “Potemkinizing,”* the halls of the rehab unit are being repainted. (*A façade meant to fool the public.) We are all sick from the fumes. Everyone else at UCLA Med Center will be moving to the new structure (Ronald Reagan)on June 29, but we few sad souls in the neurology rehab unit will remain here in this archaic structure. It will probably feel like “Planet of the Apes” after the destruction of America. We will walk down miles of deserted halls until we finally arrive at our own Neverland, where we wave our hands and the doors magically open to a strange private universe.
Please don’t forget us then. It will be when we need you most.
We are so very wickedly tired.
Thank you for loving unconditionally and not judging. Please pray for true rest and renewal...and fresh fire.
(p.s. Things really aren’t that bad...I just get like this when I’m worn out. Remember the ‘venting’ comment in “About Me”...those well-accustomed to my clay feet know I just have to get it all out sometimes . Oh, and the people here are so wonderful that we don’t usually even notice the hospital setting at all...unless we're TIRED!!! We are extremely blessed to be here.)