Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Lonely Nights in the Hospital



At night all was still.  Lights were dimmed, doors closed, outside sounds nullified, stillness, disturbed rarely by footsteps, a nurse heading for her break, the lift doors swishing then moving between floors.  Silence.   Patients slept quietly for the most part, infrequent attention from the nurse dozing nearby for a few.  Seriously ill patients required more careful diligence.  Silence and stillness for the most part.   On such nights I often pondered on those unknowns who had worked there in the century past.  Not so much the medical staff, neurosurgeons and doctors were renowned in their time, I pondered those we never know, porters, domestics, office staff, a variety of functionaries who often spent considerable years in these walls.  These may have been efficient, popular, an important member of the staff yet now they are forgotten.  There are pictures, some in the history of the hospital written in 1958, others hidden in archives. These show stiff nurses in stiff uniforms posing with stiffer patients, ancient, almost frightening equipment that once operated on the brain saving many lives, and the bewhiskered men charged with understanding the nervous systems failings.  These looked more dangerous!  Ancient dark furniture in sitting rooms, coal fires, dark cots containing curious children, plaques above each bed naming the person or organisation who paid for them.  Aged furniture maybe but the layout and appearance very similar to the days of the late 70's and early 80's.  Maybe it's my twisted mind but I often wondered about those who passed through before, especially the people who served for years in that place.  The stories old buildings could tell.  

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6 comments:

Helen Devries said...

I was in hospital a great deal as a child and remember how kind the porters were....I suppose in a way substitute dads for the little kids away from home.

Adullamite said...

Helen, I was always lovely to everyone.......

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Whoa, here is another excellent piece! Could you be waking from your slumber?

Adullamite said...

Jerry, Just wait for the things I am cogitating.

A. said...

You've conjured up the atmosphere of an old hospital so well. It's always a shame that the backroom staff are usually forgotten. The medical staff couldn't function without them but it's the medical staff who are always showered in praise and chocolates.

Adullamite said...

A, Thank you.