I detest hospitals and the smell of their detergents. Our family is very much averse to visiting a doctor, getting injected or lying in a hospital bed. Still these are inevitability of life. I always had this nagging nightmare of a loved one in hospital bed.
Last week I had to cut short a weekend road trip and rush back home. My dad was down with dengue. Dengue is not good especially when you have started to age, with various other complications already haunting you. We were a bit tense. Dad was too eager to go back home and doctors were having none of it.
We had to stay up in a general (common) ward as this was a season for fever and there was no private rooms available. We got used to the ‘first’ experience slowly as Dad fought a battle to eat as much as he can inspite of little appetite. We had to coax him like a stubborn kid on slice after slice of fruits.
Soon we got used to the ‘horror’ of staying a common ward. As humans we were more exposed to vulnerability of mortals. There were patients raging from babies to old men. We got used to the loud wails, farts, moans, gossips. There developed a strange camaraderie as majority of the bedridden had very few to look after them and a very few bedridden were suffocated with attention.
The cheerful nurses kept the clock ticking. They ran around doing their chores for 12 hours straight.. The hospital toilets were spic and span despite overuse. The staff made extra sure about these and cleaned them thrice a day. They even knew one or two tricks in case of an emergency.
I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the stay. But yes, it was memorable. But a memory I wouldn’t want to repeat.