I have little sympathy for those who exclaim that they don’t like hospitals — no one does! But for many of us, they are an unavoidable part of life.
I can understand the inclination to avoid them at all costs, but the day might come when you no longer can. Growing up, I loathed hospitals and dreaded having to visit distant sick relatives. I hated the smells, the beeping, and the sick people.
Then one day, my brother got into a serious car accident and ended up in the intensive care unit. You couldn’t tear me away from that hospital if you’d tried. I was ordered to go home to sleep for a few hours but would set my alarm and be back again by dawn. My point is that hospitals can seem unappealing — until you need them.
I am happy to report that my brother made a miraculous recovery. Now I’m the one spending my time in a hospital. (Life’s never simple, is it?) Being a patient has changed my perspective entirely. I’m still not the biggest fan of hospitals, and I try to avoid staying overnight, if possible. However, I recognize that they are wonderful places where dedicated people do their best to get you healthy.
I’m lucky to be treated at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, in the U.K., which recently became the first National Health Service hospital to be rated outstanding in every category. I have an amazing team of pulmonary hypertension specialists who look after me and put me at ease when I have to stay.
Of course, I’d rather be in my own bed at home, but I now know to take some home comforts with me. I set up a small area with my personal items, even if I’m only in for the day. I bring a pillow, magazines, and my special decaf Earl Grey tea.
I am far from the perfect patient. I still struggle with hospital food — the staff knows me as the girl who brings her own sandwich and flask of tea. But I have managed to overcome my intense fear of hospitals, and for that, I am truly grateful.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.