Between my shadow and my soul

Soil or Concrete

Hospitals and prisons- places where Hollywood makes great series and also places I think are totally irrational and Cornelius Fudge. Prisons would take me years of bitching so let’s concentrate on the first.

When I watched Patch Adams I got irritated with its feel-good syrupy disney-coated feel. However, since watching the movie about a year ago, I have had two scary ICU experiences involving close, close family members. And I felt like doing a Patch.

I felt like reassuring the specialists- Medicine is not an exact science, sometimes a smile can be more helpful than all the euphemistic jargon that scares an already confused family member.

I felt like clearing out an entire visitor’s room and declaring it an adult-free area. All my dad’s 8 grandchildren wanted to be see him in the hospital but after all they are kids. They will forget the gravity of the situation, which I think is a blessing from Allah (SWT). They need space to muck up and make noise and be naturally hallucinogenic.

I felt like retreating from reality into a black hole where I was with my Creator, since that is the only realm that seemed to make sense. Material reality flees in the face of Mortality no matter how much Faith and Hope we harvest.

Yet the sterile atmosphere of a hospital hardly allows such natural instincts. Very few hospitals have suitable prayer facilities which I think are absolutely necessary. Waiting in the corridors trying to confound nurses into telling you what you want to hear does little for your soul and resilience. Sometimes you need to let go of control. I’m serious about the kiddy rooms. I know I’m writing this from a middle class medical aided perspective, and our public hospitals cannot even fit into this description.

What else I think would be helpful is an aftercare helpdesk. No matter how serious the ailment we should have a desk where family members could utilise their energy researching how to look after the patient instead of worrying. The quote on my facebook page is Alex Kerev of Grey’s Anatomy declaring that one should be honest with patients about their chance of life, or death. I’m not disputing this but like Izzy and psychoanalyst Sullivan I believe anxiety can be spread interpsychically. I think the Prophet (SAW)’s sunnah of visiting the ill makes a strong statement about the support and care a community must offer those in difficult circumstances- a prime example of which is a hospital. I understand nurses and doctors have important work to do but at the end of the day they are working not only for the patient but for all those connected to the patient as well.
I have little knowledge of medicine but in my skewed idealist world I believe small changes matter.

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