The Simple Life

A moment among the suffering


I have just visited a hospital. Strange to say but this is a very interesting place to be. Ok, it is sad that we are there because we are either sick or bringing someone sick. All the same it is interesting to watch people. The hospital I visited is a small one about 2km outside the central business district. It is in a well populated area south of Nairobi and is very pocket friendly. It is a forty-five bed hospital with excellent services. I know because I have actually been admitted here and spent almost a week with great care. Additionally, it is the recommended hospital for several insurance providers so there are many different people around.

I will call her Jane, is an elderly lady walking with a bit of a limp escorted by an elderly man I have decided is her husband and a younger lady who is her daughter by my assumption. She looks well for her age that I will guess is about seventy. There is nothing to tell me what she is going through but I know that there is something cooking since she is sent to have lab tests.

In the other corner is a lady of Semitic origin with her daughter. They are drinking pre-packed juice. I have always been mesmerised by their colourful long outfits that they so carefully match with their headgear. It is so interesting to be so colourful and beautiful at the same time. The doctor walks in and stares when he realises she is drinking juice and just laughs and walks away. My guess is that she is diabetic and they needed to do a blood sugar test and this will just blow it out of the roof.

There is also a gentleman from one of the local water supplies companies. He is impeccably dressed in a white branded shirt and a dark blue trouser. Coming to think of it he didn’t look sick then again, we do not wear sickness on our sleeves do we? He sits there and walks out often to go only God knows where so when his turn comes he is not there. Eventually he gets to tell of the nurse that he had been waiting and people who came after him have been seen and gone. How easily we forget that if we do not stay where we are supposed to stay our opportunities can pass us by.

Then there is…let’s call him John. He is a lab technician who has a seemingly know it all attitude. He determines that he needs to get another adult to hold my son down for the drawing of blood as though he is a maniac. It is interesting that everyone seems to find that they know the way children react. No one seems to expect children to be different. There is a general saying I am getting tired of hearing that goes like “That is normal with kids.” The funny thing is that I am on a very different plane. Everyone one seems to accept sickness and struggle as the norm but I refuse to do so. The more interesting part of this discussion came later in the day when I visited some friends and when they realised my son was sick they said this is normal. I remember one of my teachers saying that we need to dissociate with things out loud that the world would know where we stand. His actual words were “A silent Christian is a weak Christian.” It has taken me a while but I now am able to declare what I believe wherever I am and not bother what people say about it.

Sitting in hospital I realised just how much we have that can change the way our lives are going. It is so hard to be different yet when it starts coming to pass it is the best thing that can every happen to someone. It is the most liberating place I have ever been. The one thing I learnt from sitting in the hospital waiting room is that we go through life right next to each other and rarely learn much about each other. It is a lonely world out there and all we do is speculate on the things that make us who we are and often blame those that have gone wrong on others. For instance, if you had diabetes why would you drink a soda or juice just before a blood sugar test? If you really want to be seen by the doctor, shouldn’t you keep around the waiting room till your turn comes? When serving young patients shouldn’t one ask the parent or guardian in attendance how the child responds to these things rather than expect the usual reaction despite the 90% chance that the reaction will actually be the same….

My simple thoughts…

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