Friday, November 30, 2012

The Good in Hospitals

      I'm the type of person who cannot deal with those little annoyances in life. One of those little annoyances for me was going to be having a whole month without a post (the first time this would have happened since the start of my blog in March 2011). With the original plan of leaving in October and returning on the first of December, November would be left completely empty. I just cannot deal with that right now, and so I figured I'd go ahead and post early. I don't want to leave November behind, especially since it's my favorite month of the year.
      I have decided to continue with the bloggedy blog. I got a ton of really, really, REALLY sweet emails from a lot of my blog readers, and I just can't bring myself to make the conscious decision to quit. I am not a quitter. So that's that.
      Along with all of the super sweet emails, I got a LOT of feedback on favorite posts, post suggestions, and etc. I hope to incorporate a lot of the ideas sometime soon, and if you were one of those people who emailed me - thank you! On the same note, it's really amazing to me when I think about all the friendships I have all over the world with people because we all need someone to discuss arthritis with. Personally, I feel like it's kind of ignorant to say "the world is a small place", because in reality it's not at all, but I love making it more and more familiar everyday, even if it is just by emails.
      As far as what's next to come with my blog, I'm not completely sure. I know there will be a post on tea parties, and a post on heroes (still accepting personal definitions for what a hero is if anyone is willing), and a post on fatigue. I have about twenty drafts, but they're not complete and I kind of hate all of them. Who knows how far that will take me...
      Well, I guess this post should take an actual direction. I'd like to discuss some of the good in hospitals. I find that a lot of people with chronic illness constantly bash hospitals and how they operate and doctors and all of that, but there is more than a ton of good, also. At my hospital, it starts on the way to the pediatric specialties ward. First of all, my hospital is beautiful inside. The ceiling in the main area is just stunning, especially at night (no matter what time your appointment is, you'll always end up leaving at night, I promise). There are palm trees inside even though I do not live in a tropical area. The floors have recently been done and have been changed from ugly, speckled tiles to elegant hardwood.
       Then there's the actual rooms. As I've stated before, the pediatric specialties rooms have butterflies on the ceilings. Also, the physical therapy room was redone when I went last week, and there are now a few trees with lovely birds painted on the walls and outlines of kids playing.
       Of course, we can't forget about the people. Confession time: I have a favorite nurse. She's super affable and nice but it never seems like she's faking it. Anyway, we're kind-of sort-of besties, haha. And as much as I get frustrated with the whole experience of rheumatology, my rheumatologist is a good man. I also happen to very much like his nurse practitioner. Often times, there are volunteers (almost always college-aged people) in the pediatric specialties waiting room, offering seasonal crafts and coloring sheets. To top it off, I've rarely been without a supportive, understanding, and efficient phlebotomist.
      The best people in the hospital are the other patients. When you walk into a pediatric specialties waiting rooms, there are a lot of kids who are in pain and have disabilities and are sick. There is no judgment in that room. There are no eyes ripping you apart just because you flinch a little every time you take a step. Stares are simply nonexistent, because everyone is busy enough with their own lives. When you walk out crying, everyone understands. All of the other kids and teenagers are sick too, and they get it. There is no need for an explanation or babbling.
       That's the good in hospitals. There is no one from the outside world pushing you to be something that you just can't be because of your illness. As much as I try to deny it, I can't be everything. But I can take comfort in knowing that whatever I'm meant to be I will be. If someone offered to make every experience I've ever had with JRA disappear, I would say yes. I would be grateful and I would say yes and I would let them take it and I would probably run a thousand miles around the world with perfect knees.
       I have arthritis. It does break me down, but I can use it in good ways, too. I understand chronic illness. One day, no matter what I'm doing, I'll have this experience to relate to others with. If I'm a pediatric rheumatologist, I will be able to use my arthritis to prevent more pain. And knowing what pain really is, it would be completely awesome to be able to end that for someone else. That's something to be excited for.
   

Love,
Rachel

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