A good day of very little. I went to hospital to see my friend just in time for her to be discharged. She had been referred to infectious diseases yesterday, which I couldn’t quite understand. But the head of infectious diseases wondered why she’d been referred, and thankfully she didn’t end up on their ward. I think it’s because none of the doctors could quite work out what was causing the organ damage. But it’s not an infectious disease.
Hopefully she’ll be better now. She had some colour back today. She left surrounded by family and had the understanding of me to say “It’s probably good for you to be able to associate these places with healing.” She’s right. It is. My only real experience, despite all the nurses I’ve known, has been pretty mortal so I’m definitely glad to see someone I know come out better than they went in. I’m still worried about her. But I guess that’s my job as a friend, to worry.
Things have been quite bleak with a few people close to me at the moment. It’s very clear why, in this culture, we arrowed in on this point in the winter for the joyful happy festival of light and kindness. Almost universally when Scrooge asks audience members what Christmas means to them they come back with a variant of “Coming together with family and friends.” We need togetherness. The huddle of warmth and light against the cold and the dark. All we’ve got is each other.
Her ward was so persistently noisy. You forget the soundscape of the hospital. All the automated systems using sound to alert people to what needs to be done. Low level beeping and buzzing, in shifting patterns. Occasional full on alarms, such as the one that was going off everywhere when I first arrived, leaving the receptionist in the ward completely unruffled. Not his alarm.
At discharge, she went down to the discharge office. I was still obsessively gelling my hands at every door and trying not to touch people or things. We went into a little room full of chairs where she had to wait for her medicine. Her sibling showed up as we arrived there to be told that it would be a minimum wait of an hour for medicine. Her mum decided to do the waiting, and sent the two of them home to catch up. I said goodbye and emerged blinking into the end of the daylight, with no evening show to do. I went home, put my feet up, and geeked out on graphic novels and computer games. Now it’s more or less the time that I’d normally finish the show and I’m almost asleep. I’m sad after hearing some upsetting news from a close friend and I have a visitor staying over for the night. I’ve told them I’m not going to be good conversationalist though, and I’m gonna run a hot bath and make sure my head is down well before midnight. Today is for rest. I feel rested. And my friend will be able to sleep without beeping for the first time in a while… Joy.