My wee boy was admitted to hospital this week with a skin infection. Fortunately he recovered quickly and actually enjoyed his time in the ward, but that’s not the reason I’m writing this post, it’s because of the memories and feelings that being there brought up.
Amazingly my son was in the same bed in the same room as I was in some 35+ years ago when I went to have some warts (eeww) removed.
In the 70’s parents weren’t allowed to stay the night with their children, like they are now, and I was taken to the hospital by my ‘gran’ – who at the time was actually just my grandad’s girlfriend because my mum was working. Mum came up to see me after work, but I don’t really remember that, what I do remember is once visiting hours were over and the lights went out an overwhelming feeling of homesickness and wanting my mum came over me, so much so that I actually snuck out of my bed, down a set of stairs and intended to walk home because I didn’t want to be there. Fortunately the external door had a security guard and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sneak past him. We lived less than 2km’s from the hospital at the time so physically I could have made the trip but a 7ish year old, in pyjamas, walking along a main road would probably have raise some suspicion had I got past the guard.
This stay in hospital was my first real feeling of being lonely and alone, a rather awful feeling especially at such a young age and something that has travelled with me my whole life, popping it’s oppressive head into my life from time to time to remind me not I’m not so special. Another lifelong distraction has been my noise sensitivities, another reason I didn’t want to stay. Back then I needed complete quiet to go to sleep and a ward full of sick children is not often quiet, these days I need noise from something like a TV to block out the noise in my head.
I’m glad my son enjoyed his time in hospital, I’m even more glad I got to stay with him and make sure he was ok and happy. I’m also pleased that I have been able to recognise and exorcise some of the feelings and memories from my time there.