Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Sometimes there is a thick smell. These are sucked out of the air, bundled, and tossed down a chute.

There's no breeze and the air is always a little too warm, but often people complain of feeling a chill. There's no sunshine. The light is stale and for lack of a better word, 'clinical.' There is no day nor night. Just clocks.

It's never quiet. Oops. There is a prohibition against using that word. There is never a moment in which someone is not talking on a phone.

The monitors blip in overlapping rhythms like a gaggle of ill-tempered metronomes. They frequently alarm. These are always meaningless annoyances, except when they signal critical emergencies.

There are nocturnal creatures here whose behavior escalates when night comes, outside. There's no moon or stars in here. The birds cackle in the trees even in the pre-morning hours.

Most of the people here have actually very little to do; no tasks assigned, no work, just rest and recovery. But everything is urgent. There is no time.

If you need something it is usually rather far away. Out of reach. The ones who are not resting are always walking to get something or walking to bring it to where it is really needed. Of course the resting ones occasionally walk, too; at least they are supposed to. But they walk slowly and often with assistance. There are falls.

Nobody will be here for very long. Lots of people coming in and going out. Everyone leaves eventually. A handful of people come back.

1 comment:

Onehealthpro said...

And if you are a family member, those unknown sounds and alarms are terrifying. Patients and family members are haunted by them long after they leave the inside.