The human spirit is amazing! Before I go into it though, can we admit that hospitals are far from a fun place to be! No patient is there willingly, or at least none that I came across. I spent 5 days in the hospital, there were further complications and it will take me a long time to recover from having been cut open. But this post is about our beautiful spirits.
In my ward, I was surrounded by amazing women who were all trying their best to recover from the various surgeries they’d had in a very emotionally charged environment. A woman next to me who worked in the arts had had to come in for an emergency pain in her abdomen and needed an operation with the result being a stoma. She wouldn’t be able to continue the tour she’d been on and as with theatre jobs, if you weren’t working, you weren’t getting paid. She showed me her ‘Frankenstein’ scar as she called it, it ran across her stomach horizontally and was held together with staples. She was concerned that she may not have a belly button anymore, but we joked that they were only really good for collecting lint.
The other side of me was a lady who’d undergone numerous operations and they were still unsure of how to alleviate her pain. Having spent two weeks already in the hospital, she had arranged for her son to take her home. That plan was thwarted when the doctors came in to say that they would be able to perform the other surgery in a few days. Bittersweet news and I could understand the mix of emotions as she wept with both exhaustion, hope, disappointment and relief.
The other two in my 5 person ward have stories that are a bit too personal, they are not for me to share. So, it’s easy to see how one could have easily fallen into a pit of despair surrounded by so much pain. This however wasn’t going to happen on my watch. I suffer from the Wounded Healer syndrome, and as much as I have been complaining about my symptoms, I believe in the power of positivity and communication. Each one of us had a story to share, but rather than dwelling, we took the piss out of each other. We joked about our problems with gallows humour instead of lying there in silence. I asked each person to speak their truth, get angry about their condition and moan it out. I encouraged open crying suggesting that the tears being shed weren’t ugly and snotty enough because this was a safe space for us and none of us was alone. Then came the roars. We roared like lionesses. It was quiet at first, but after a few attempts, we got louder. We roared enough for a few nurses to come in wondering what on earth was happening in our ward.
It was liberating and it brought me joy. I got these women to roar! We wouldn’t suffer in silence, nor would we bottle our emotions up because we had each other. Every time one of us achieved a longer-than-average activity, the others would cheer at them, clap, and congratulate each other on every small feat achieved. When things were bad, a roar was emitted and we would roar back in solidarity. I left the hospital impressed by all that the women had gone through, but mostly yet again impressed by the human spirit.
We really can be beautiful!
This really is an uplifting story, I agree that we need to support each other in times like these and really be a help to one another.
There is already enough hate to go around, let’s give each other something to smile about and learn from the bad things that happen.