I spent two nights in Treliske Hospital over the Easter weekend. The trip was not prearranged and most certainly was not as enjoyable as the fantastic weekend I had meticulously planned. We had managed to drive all the way down to Newquay on Easter Saturday and booked into what looked like a really great hotel. The weekend was looking so promising.
Two hours later I called NHS direct and was instructed to go straight to A&E. That was the last I saw of the hotel.
The episode, although not what I would have wished for did however remind me how transient relationships can be. There was not a lot of interaction from the doctors themselves but the nursing staff, were the epitome of caring and listening.
It really does not matter how many times you go to hospital, and we worked out that I have been in every major hospital in the south west barring one, in some capacity or other, student nurse, patient or parent. I am not keen to visit the last one in any capacity. You never grow out of that scary sensation, the terrifying trepidation, the fearful foreboding just because you reach adulthood, and can comprehend that fundamentally each hospital is the same.
Nurses do a wonderful job of leading you gently step by step through your stay. Each day and overnight you are assigned one angel to care for you and she (sometimes he) will comfort your emotional outbursts, tend your wounds, administer your medicines along with tlc and nurturing. She will stop and chat breaking the monotony of the day with tales of her home life and your home. Suddenly this complete stranger becomes your new best friend. You divulge information you would not even tell your own friends or family.
My angel was Heidi who went well beyond the bounds of nursing care to make the place less frightening and more bearable. She told me about her family, how she is working extra shifts to pay for her son to go skiing with the school and also how her children believed her story of Easter being delayed one day; so she could spend the day with them. I told her how come we were supposed to be on holiday and how it had been a surprise for Sexy Sporty Dad and No 1 Son who had been staying down in Cornwall on rugby tour. We sat and talked about fears many of which are unfounded but in the depths of those surroundings seemed huge and insurmountable. Heidi finally had to go off duty and went home; I felt lost again and lonely.
Wandering to the ward kitchen I instantly made another friend, whose name I am ashamed to admit I forget. After the initial meeting you do not really use each other’s names. I do know all about her husband Jay, sons Dave and Josh and her daughter Sarah at home, she knows all about my children and the rugby tour. We chatted about the weather, where we could find butter for toast and how come we were both there over bank holiday. Returning to the ward I discovered she was camped across the room from me. We spent several hours passing time and chatting about anything that came to mind. The doctor came over to her, pulled the curtains round for privacy then with loud voice asked intimate questions. She decamped and again I was left waiting.
Remembering other visits to hospitals where you make close friendships with the other parents or patients and swear to keep in touch. As soon as you return home there is so much going on that time and life get in the way and suddenly you realise you didn’t keep in touch.
Life’s relationships are all like passing ships. When I look back through my address book and see all the lost friends who I was sure would be there forever but have floated out of my life like driftwood. Social media brings old friends coasting back in contact; can you ever go back to the intensity of that former life. It would be great to hear from some of my teenage gangs, their lives and mine have taken such differing paths, could we ever recapture the friendship that was so founded on our loves and lives back then.
Looking around my friends now, I have such hopes of the foundations of this time being strong enough to last a lifetime. I am sure there will be other fleeting friends and foes coming and going through my life but I hope the friends I gather along the way will stay true even as our paths part and times change. As my children who have led me through my latest friendships move on I hope I stay firm and keep the strong bonds formed now for ever.
Here is to friendship may it be drawn-out, durable and dependable.
Check out the Cupboard Turkey I threw together with http://tiggy-tea.blogspot.co.uk