The making of a new man
Life in the Slow Lane
Whenever I think of hospitals my imaginings know no bounds. I conjure up comic book scenes of doctors brandishing machetes, saws and pliers, going after an escaping patient.
In the corridors nurses await to trap him, armed with syringes that will penetrate deep into tender skin.
All this became reality when I fell foul of the intensive care unit of a clinic known for its specialised health care. It's situated alongside the sea with a striking view of the bay.
What an ideal place to recuperate.
What struck me forcibly was the unbelievable dedication of the medical fraternity. The heart specialist is able to yank out your leg arteries, using them to replace the almost non-existent ones to the heart. And the patient survives miraculously.
These fine folk deserve medals. Thankfully, humour lightened the experience, despite the intricate processes and routines.
Nursing sisters are widely depicted as portly, with a terrorising glare that have patients ducking under their bed sheets. Not my experience.
Without exception they prick, prod, pull, push, drain and shave - all with smiles and small talk to the victims - sorry, patients to help ease the pain.
The odd nurse would giggle when tearing off plasters from skin that had grown hairs for seventy years. I explained the tears were the result of a sudden cold - not the agony of sticky plaster uprooting embedded follicles.
Then came the dreaded post-operative exercise. Exercise? On two legs that have cuts up to the groin? My surgeon, not known for small talk, barks, “Yes”.
It entails having to walk the full length of the corridors (one kilometre) umpteen times. At first, painful, then bearable, then a walk in the park. In a way...
With every walk a total stranger would encourage you to "vasbyt, you'll be a new man soon".
A number of passers-by who had had similar surgery years ago, confirmed the sentiment.
These testimonies kept me going, negating the hospital effect.
Added to that, I was subconsciously aware of background prayer support from family, friends and acquaintances.
Proof of their efficacy? I'm home in one piece, on the way to becoming the promised new man.
And I now have real appreciation for hospitals and the medical fraternity at large who dedicate their time and effort to not only spare lives, but give people a new lease on life.
Our grateful thanks to a wonderful institution.
And not forgetting my Heidi, who's always at my side and seeing to my selfish needs.
What more do I need?