I’ve had the misfortune to spend a lot of time in hospital as a patient in my life, and have also had my fair share of visits as a dad of young kids. Everyone thinks that the worst thing about hospital is the pain and suffering, and I suppose that if you’re severely injured or unwell that might be true. However for most people, for whom a hospital visit is mainly about stabilising a condition, the worst thing about hospital is the boredom.
Sure, it seems like a holiday – time off work or school, no responsibilities, mushy food on a plate. But it begins to pall surprisingly quickly.
The bed isn’t as comfy as your one at home. There is constant noise, even at night. Light seeps in around the doorways and under curtains. Other patients are unworthy jerks with unwholesome personal hygiene.
And the boredom! No Netflix. No video games. No sports or outdoor entertainments. Books are much less interesting without the option to get up and make a cup of coffee. One day may be a semi-pleasant disruption to normal life. A week is torture.
It would (and I know I sound insane here) almost be preferable to be really really sick. That way you have a project – getting better. If all I’m doing is hanging around, I’d much prefer to do that at home thank you.