Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Looking Forward to Boredom"


I think it was Daughter who said this on the phone during the week and I laughed and laughed. Me too, honey, I said, imagine a day of doss, bon-bons, jammies and a good solid book to munch through.

I for one am run ragged, you wouldn't believe the half of it but it now sounds like everything is falling into place for Irish performance. Meanwhile I had to put some writing together for a Writers' Festival in October and that took a whole day. I sure hope I am accepted. Fingers crossed. Not counting chickens there at all. I want it so bad I could *insert whatever*.

I visited a dear friend in the hospital today. He is a very private man, likes a lot of quiet, solitary aloneness. Much like myself. He had booked a private room but none were available so he was ensconced in a four person ward.

I have never seen anything like the activity around him. Ever. I think two of the wardmates were dying, which was awfully sad. But exceptions were made to the Rulez for them. So there were screaming toddler grandchildren running around one bed. On another the old fellah was requesting Irish songs from his daughter who had brought her guitar. And the third? He was being tested by a therapist for dementia who had to scream a series of comprehension testing questions at him (spell 'wall', take 7 from 100, and on). And his wife had a whinney of a voice which would first pierce your eardrums and then echo back to give you a migraine.

I have been to circuses that were quieter than this ward B was thrown in.

I found it extremely hard to keep a straight face as his horror-filled eyes would fall on mine every few minutes and he would just about sob: "What fresh hell is this, OSS?"

I suggested Ipod earbuds or earplugs but he has an inner ear problem and dizziness gets exacerbated if he puts anything in his ears.

I shared the above blog title with him and he whittled out a tiny smile.

Sometimes boredom is a good thing, yeah?

20 comments:

  1. It sounds frightful. I do hope your friend will be well enough soon to go home and be comfortably bored.

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  2. The pne positive aspect of it all, Anne, is that he doubled up on self therapy in the midst of the circus (his surgery was replacing one of his knee caps, degenerated from arthritis) and the doc was so pleased with his movement that he may be released tomorrow or Friday rather than the original Sunday.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. That circus is enough to encourage a patient to get well and run for it! I hope your friend continues to make progress, after all there is no better carrot than going home to 'your own' bed!

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  4. Poor soul, that's one reason I would hate to be in hospital, the constant noise and commotion.

    There's a lot to be said for periods of boredom. For one thing, they inspire creative thinking and finding new inner resources.

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  5. I've had my period of boredom and am more than done with it. From this point forward I want nothing but action packed days. The more I have to do, the better and I want to be so worn out at night that I have to drag myself into bed. Life can't get exciting enough. I want to overdose on it. No doubt I will appreciate a small dose of boredom again one day if only to get a taste of it for a little while. xox

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  6. GM:
    I just had a FB update and he is being released today, not soon enough for him but it totally accelerated his recovery!
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Nick:
    I don't think I've ever been bored, I must say I like times of reflection though, especially when they happen unexpectedly.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Irene:

    Oh that is good news, I hope it is non-stop stimulation and activity.

    Good to have you back in the saddle, my friend!

    XO
    WWW

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  9. You could be describing the Spanish hospital where I live. Family are expected to do the hands-on caring, not nurses, so they all move in and stay overnight. The small bathrooms are festooned with their washed smalls.

    I, too, love solitude and it would be my worst nightmare to be hospitalised in anything but a single room.

    Such good news that your friend can go to his own home today.

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  10. I was glad to read that his affliction is not of the ultra-serious variety, and "fixable".

    I hate, hate, hate hospitals - far too many sad memories are attached to them for me.

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  11. I feel for your friend.

    Several years ago I had the misfortune to spend six months in hospital.

    I look back fondly on the three months I spent in a private room, thanks to the hospital's gift of Clostridium difficile, a highly infectious bacterial visitor only amenable to a new super-anti-biotic.

    Thankfully, the medicine worked,but the move afterward to a semi-private room was almost as bad as the C-diff.

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  12. Hopefully I never have to go to the hospital again..
    Boredom
    I do not experience
    too much to do
    inside, outside, writing, reading,
    cleaning, cooking, laundry and on and on. I am so weary at night
    I usually immediately fall asleep
    unless something causes anxiety.
    I love my world...

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  13. Pamela:
    We may brag about our healthcare here but these tiny wards crammed with humanity give a different story unless it is a deliberate attempt to get one on one's feet asap :)
    XO
    WWW

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  14. T:

    You spent a lot of time as a visitor in such places so come at it from a sad perspective.

    I hate them too, I have to force myself to visit people and not be so self-centred.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Oh Marc, how dreadful for you, I know hospitals are one of the most unhealthy places one can park oneself. Susceptible to any infection floating the rooms.

    Your experience is appalling but at least the room was private, tiny consolation.

    Glad you surmounted the challenge!

    XO
    WWW

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  16. OWJ:

    Me too, always exhausted at the end of the day.

    As I often say:

    I could sleep on a clothesline.

    XO
    WWW

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  17. My tolerance for noise and confusion gets worse and worse with age. Poor man. I hope he can get out of there soon.
    You are such a vivid writer. I'm glad to be catching up with you, having not been over here for a while.

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  18. Me too Hattie, it seems like I can't get enough quiet, reflective time. I count my blessings for living alone (well, with my beloved canine!)
    XO
    WWW

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  19. Is the health care you describe what those of us in the U.S. must accept as the price for providing much-needed health care for all our citizens?

    Hospitals anywhere seem not to be the place for quiet unless you're unconscious or in a coma which most of us prefer to not experience. Germs have mutated into such highly evolved creatures, which we have increasing difficulty combating, that I can only wonder what future hospitalization life will be like.

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  20. That does not sound like a hospital room at all! If I ever had to go into one of those, I would certainly prefer to be bored.

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