Monday, 11 October 2010

That sinking feeling.....

An epic 8 hours after I left the house, I'm back from my hospital visit exhausted and dazed.

I've spent many, many months as an in-patient at Addenbrookes and have managed to compile a pretty gruesome set of memories over the years.

Hideous tests that went wrong, the occasional cruel nurse, terrible pain, crushing loneliness and desperate fear.

After a dull 3 hours in the car, that looming, hulking, flat roofed 1960's style greyness of the vast Addenbrookes site suddenly appears around a corner and without fail, my heart registers a shock of memories that make my hands go clammy, my mouth dry out.

Shock No2. comes when I walk in  the doors. Immediately my nostrils flare at Eau de Hospital - Disinfectant, cabbage, pooh and coffee. I falter and can't catch my breath, my eyes well with tears and I start to shake.

Shock No.3 caught me unaware. The same, sat-nav-stylee voice has announced that the lift doors will be closing for the entire 16 years I've been a patient there. She and I have become rather close. She's a faceless voice to talk to in my quietest, weakest moments when everyone and everything else is finally quiet and still, as she carries me down and out into the fresh night. Her voice is so utterly familiar, that hearing her is like suddenly catching an old lover's song on the radio. My heart flips again and I am seized with panic.

I sometimes wonder if there will every come a day when I can't physically make myself walk through the doors at all.


  1. Crikey! The smell can be something else, you're right. My first year in nurse training I could only manage water and coffee at break-time because the smell (& other horrid things) made me feel so sick...Sounds very traumatic for you - have you tried massage therapy or hypnosis? (Hope that doesn't sound patronising)

  2. I think that you are very brave to discuss your daily life and ritual hospital visits in your blog. I hope that you can make people see that not everyone who claims benefits is a benefit "scounger". Some people are genuine and deserving claimants! I hope that you are as well as you can be today

  3. Thank you so much for the comments. Please keep them coming.