Daily Archives: November 22, 2006

Sometimes a hospital is a happy place

You encounter the gamut of emotion at a hospital. You can see it in the faces of the people on the sidewalk and along the hallways – some are anxious, worried, some sad, some determined to go on and not to cry. Some are happy, or suddenly relieved, or both at once.
Sometimes their eyes search yours for something – maybe sympathy – for some reaction – for some human contact. Some smile, a bit guardedly. Some try to hide their faces, and most seem to respect the conflicting and potent mixture, keep everything private.
It is not a place you frequent – it is unfamiliar and when you go it is for some specific reason and often enough something to do with life or death.
No happier place exists than a maternity ward. No more beautiful smiles than new parents gazing on new babies.
But down the hall or a few floors over among the geriatric wards, the intensive care units, the emergency room, or the surgical theatre, sometimes scenes of sudden sadness occur, unexpectedly perhaps, but always shocking when something goes wrong, as it often can.
Mass General yesterday full image

So it was with great relief yesterday that Mass General turned out to be a happy place, where my mother emerged just fine from a lengthy heart valve replacement surgery.
I have to say that Mass General was just great. Dr. MacGillivray, the heart center, the nurses, the staff, the volunteers in the waiting area – everyone.
Sometimes it is really, really good to step back from work for a while and think about what’s really important in life.