Monday, May 19, 2008

Quiet on the floor, please

Montreal, QC
May 2008

Just finished driving back from Montreal where we spent a glorious few days...hanging around the hospital. My father's been back in for yet another round of health care adventures and misadventures, so we loaded up the wondervan and pointed it east.

The good news is he's doing better. The bad news is the road ahead is twisty and very difficult to see. Whatever happens, happens, I guess. More to come, I'm sure. In the interim, I've relayed your wishes to him, and he's both amazed and touched that complete strangers from near and far would hold him in their prayers. Thank you for your continued good thoughts.

I took this picture in the hallway just down from his room. For all the time I've spent in hospitals in so many roles - patient, immediate family member of a patient, friend, whatever - I don't have any pictures of them. All of my images of this place exist in my head. So I decided on the drive to Montreal last week that I was going to try to record some of the spirit of this place with my camera.

Ironically, the hospital that currently cares for my father, Montreal's Jewish General Hospital, is the same hospital that cared for me when I was a child. I was born there, and I filled my own frequent flyer card when I came back as a 4-to-6-year-old. So every time we visit someone there, I find myself slowly wandering the halls, thinking back to what this place looked and felt like to the kindergarten-age me.

It was scary then. It's even scarier now, albeit for a very different and far more adult reason.

I'll share more glimpses of this world in the days to come. For now, it's good to be home.

Your turn: What do hospitals mean to you?

One more thing: This week's Caption This photo of my daughter's eye serves as a stark counterpoint to the experience of watching an aging parent in hospital. One speaks of a bright hope for the future, while the other speaks of an uncertain future. I hope you'll click here and share your own submission for this week's photo.


Cult of Jef said...

Hospitals always take me back to when I was a pizza delivery boy; I was mugged by a crackhead with a pipe. In retrospect, it's a funny story, but at the time there was a lot of blood and stitches.

I'm sending lots of light and healing energy to your father. I'll even light my Elvis candle.

Bob-kat said...

This post really touched home with me as I have spent quite a bit of time in and out of hospitals with my mother. I know exactly what you mena when you talk about your hope and about an uncertain twisty future. It is hard watching someone you love go through illness and somehow the fact that it is a parent is harder in a way as they were always gods to us as children. The role reversal is hard.

I am glad there has been good news - long may this trend continue!

R. Sherman said...

Continued thoughts and prayers.

What I remember from a very lengthy hospital stay was the smell of age and disinfectant. I'm not very good at summoning memories of smell but I can remember that.

Anonymous said...

As with many people I do not have anything positive to associate with hospitals.

The memories that stand out in my mind are the ones where I was forced as a child to go to a hospital and see a dying relative or family friend. I never wanted to go as I didnt want the last memory that I had of someone to be them lying on a hospital bed, not being able to sustain their own life, being hooked up to a machine.

Hospitals have scarred me in that way.

me said...

Sorry you and yours are on the merry go round of sickness. Thinking puppy dogs and rainbows for you.
I just love the picture of the child in that universal shhhhhh, find more…make more, do that voodoo that you doo.

Moi said...

hope your father gets better's hard to see parents in hospital......i wish for his early recovery.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Having spent a lot of time in Hospitals....mostly as a Visitor but also at age 9 as a Patient for three weeks including a major operation, etc., (and a few other hispitalizations which were minor but still upsetting)...At Nne, that was very very scary, indeed. And it effected the rest of my life in very profound ways. I have watched a few peoole die in the Hospital....I have also watched many people get well, too...BUT, Hospitals are not a place I want to be in as a patient if I can possibly avoid it. And because of my Health Issues, I can no longer even visit a Hospital because of the terrible threat of illness from the severe infections that lurk there. And that is fine with me.
I hope you father keeps getting better and better Carmi, and that the twists in the road straighten out into a smooth straight road to much much better health!

Carmi, I beg you to visit my blog and take a look at some pictures that show an astonishing "happening". I've never seen anything like it, and never in my life thought I would ever take a picture like this.
I hope you are intrigued enough now to pay my blog a visit....!(lol)

Di said...

Megan ( asked me to stop by and let you know that she can't use her blog at work any more.

She wanted to know how your father was doing and hopes things are well.

-Di (her sister)

sister AE said...

I don't think I have any pictures of hospitals, but I have some extremely clear images of parts of several hospitals. The ones more recently where I was an adrenaline-charged visitor waiting or sitting with a family-member patient. Some of the halls must have a path worn in them where my feet took me when I just couldn't sit still anymore.

Best wishes for you and your family.

Janet said...

I hope your Dad's feeling better, Carmi. Mine was in this hospital this past weekend, got home on Monday and like yours, he's doing better, but that road, oh that road.

Hilary said...

It seems that you and I were born in the very same hospital.. over on Cote St Catherine if I recall correctly. I have very negative memories of that place through the many decades that have passed since then.

Sending best thoughts for your Dad.. and for you.