I am taking up my story of the out pouring of God's light and healing into the dark places of my life again, picking up from the point where, after months in a medical ward, I have been transferred to the annexe apart from the hospital.
(You can read the first 3 parts of the story prior to this in the blog archive).
something it is very difficult to do when lying flat , or even on your side.
Lying flat the arms give out after a few minutes,
and lying on my side was not only uncomfortable but for some reason
my eyes always watered horribly too.
as I returned to my passion for books.
I was still very sick.
Simply sitting in bed my heart would beat so hard and fast
I could see the print in front of my eyes pulsing,
and the old bed frame castanets would begin their dance again.
could be too much for me and I would be forced to lie flat again and go incommunicado.
I guess my aspirin migraines and vomiting didn't make me the most congenial ward buddy either.
was leaving behind the smothering atmosphere of suffering in the main medical ward.
and another to jettison the sounds and stories I knew so well.
and could only keep up the stream of prayer that had begun for those known,
and unknown to me.
was the familiarity which had grown between myself and the young nurses.
and some of us were known to each other
due to the fact of their being a year or so ahead of me in grammar school.
This, and the fact of my long stay,
meant I was almost accepted as one of them
in as much as protocols of confidentiality were often forgotten.
As time passed
I became increasingly privy to graphic details of the immediate effects,
and the prognosis,
of the medical conditions my fellow patients suffered.
Sleepless nights often found me listening
to the fears of some inexperienced nurse facing a long shift virtually alone.
On top of what I already heard and glimpsed in the ward itself,
the extra burden of this knowledge
increased the stress of living within this world of the sick.
I could not walk away at the end of the shift and take a break
from the atmosphere and reality of the hidden world of suffering.
I was soon to find that the easier regime which was a part of life away from the main wards
gave greater opportunity for this breaking down of barriers between patients and carers.
It was not unusual for a nurse to wander into my ward
from the children's ward on the floor above, bottle feeding an infant,
and to casually describe the little one's medical condition.
If I had found it harrowing to learn of the agonies my older fellow patients were subject to
I was now devastated to discover the cruelty of congenital diseases, cancers,
and the myriad illnesses these tiny mites were heir to.
I had believed coming to the annexe
would be to break away from the enclosed world of suffering in the medical ward.
Ironically, even though I could now gaze
at the world outside the large window alongside my bed,
I felt even more engulfed by suffering than ever.
If you are wondering why I did not remonstrate with the nurses,
remind them I was a patient too,
or at least let them know how the knowledge of so much pain affected me,
I ask you to remember I was just coming up to my seventeenth birthday
and had been in hospital for almost a year.
Lonely, and glad of their friendship I was not about to do anything to jeopardise that.
Also I had been in hospital long enough to know there were many and subtle means
by which a nurse who was upset could make one's life a misery.
Especially when you were as dependent on them for everything as I was.
I wasn't to know it, but in the end it was the casual way things were done
which was to lead to my escape from hospital all together.
The Blessings of Light be with You
the next time.