Anyone with epilepsy will have their fair share of stories and experiences of hospitals. We’ve been rushed in by ambulances, woke up in Resus, had all kinds of scans and blood test etc. and although we’ve received excellent care from dedicated people, the whole experience can leave us feeling nervous about hospitals. I guess it’s just association e.g. ‘last time I was here I was ill.’
Due to these different experiences, people will have their own varying thoughts and feelings about hospitals, its only natural.
Normally I am fine with visiting hospitals but I was surprised when I recently found myself feeling a little anxious at my old hospital:
The other day I had to take my brother to the hospital for an appointment.
When we entered the building that ‘hospital type’ smell instantly hit me. I felt uncomfortable, and a little anxious, and quickly realised it was attached to old memories of frequent visits to the A&E and outpatients from my early teens.
Being diagnosed with epilepsy at 14 classed me as a child, so I was under the care of paediatric consultants.
As you’ve probably guessed, being classed as a child at that hospital meant that I stayed on children’s wards, and had to go to the children’s outpatients departments as there was no department for adolescents = embarrassing situation for a teenager.
When I was 17 I was classed as an adult and transferred to a different hospital.
We walked past the children’s outpatients department and I briefly stopped and looked at it. It was closed for the day, and it looked dark and sad. It was so much smaller than I remembered – I didn’t think I had grown that much since I was 14.
For me, my height was the biggest embarrassment of all. Today I am 5’10 tall and I wasn’t much shorter as a teenager.
So picture me, sat there in that waiting room among all the little children.
I would then frequently have people staring at me or have women engaging in ‘mum chat’ with me and enquiring where my child was.
The other problem was that the nurses had to record my height and they could never reach high enough.
Its one of those things that’s funny to look back on now, but at the time I was really quite sensitive about.
I was surprised by how visiting a place for just a moment could evoke so many memories.
Even though I remembered going to the hospital I didn’t think that it had been that emotional for me.
But to stand back in the same foyer and smell the same hospital smell transported me back, and I remembered just how nervous, embarrassed and uncomfortable I had felt during my visits to hospital as a teenager, and it all happened in an instant.
So whats your thoughts and feelings on visiting hospitals?
Do you find that they have a certain amount of anxiety attached to them?
Or do think when your there that you’re in the best place if you become unwell? 🙂
Thanks for reading,