Whilst in hospital, one of the best ways to calm down, relax and indeed remain sane is to chat to other patients. The ward I am on holds 5 bays of 4, not all of which are full (no doubt cuts mean no staff) and has a high dependency unit. I’m no maths genius, but that suggests to me there are at least a few others in here that I can chat with. One such person is Nick. I’ve only actually met Nick the one time, but I’ve spoken to his wife, Nicky, plenty of times. They as a couple, and individuals, are my definition of inspiring. I won’t explain their journey as it’s not my place to do so, but believe me when I say they’ve been through the ringer.
The reason I mention meeting Nick is twofold; one reason is a warning, a second reason is a lesson. Firstly, a warning, or something like one, take from it what you will. As cliche as it is, life is too short. I really wish I’d gone and met Nick earlier, because if I had I’m sure we could have shared stories much earlier, and quite simply doing that is fantastic. Sharing and talking with people in similar situations is one of the most cathartic and soul serving activities anyone in the same place as me can do. And so, Pirates Ye Be Warned; if you fancy a chat with someone and for whatever reason haven’t got around to it, crack on! Don’t wait! Or, if you decide to ignore what I’m saying, fine! But at least have a good excuse. Secondly, we can all learn a lot from Nick. As above I’m not going to get into details, but it is certainly fair to say than the guy has been in hospital far too long, which means too long away from home, family, friends and his life. But, get this, he’s still smiling. Seriously! And I genuinely believe that’s what we all need to do a little more of. Prior to my accident, it would certainly be fair to say I could be a little cynical. Now, I’d like to think I’m much more positive and upbeat, and I take my inspiration from people like Nick.
Being in hospital is very hard, I’ll be honest. Chatting to other people in the same position, learning and trading coping mechanisms, and simply taking the piss out of yourself can make this very hard to deal with place that little bit easier. It’s the little things that matter; a quick hello in the corridor, someone suggesting a good pair of gloves, a fellow patient bringing you a can of coke – it all matters! Obviously family and friends (or Visitors as they are known in here) make the biggest difference, but we are all in this together. After a while, places like this really start to feel like a prison. That means that everything feels much bigger, and everything is harder to cope with. Obviously this is all just my opinion, but I imagine most people feel the same, which is why I really enjoy my little conversations with people, and why we should all be more Nick.