This morning was a different story, however, as an even earlier start was required. A routine hospital exam in a nearby town was set for a time that would ensure I got back to work with minimal time lost.
It was an appointment I would happily have avoided; I actually did once forgetting a previous one. However, when it comes to health I like to be proactive. I visit the doctor for a checkup as recommended and have all of the requisite tests as prescribed and advised.
Arriving in plenty of time this morning, there was barely time to sit and absorb the atmosphere of a hospital as it came to life. Where once entrance for radiology was straight through the emergency room, this has now been separated. Ambulances with critically ill or injured patients pull up at the far side, away from the rest of the traffic coming in for more minor concerns.
As I passed by the spacious waiting room I noticed just one person biding her time, a very different situation than any time I've been there.
Making my way to the cheerfully, bright radiology department, I paused at reception to hand over my shiny new Ontario photo health card, entitling me to these services at no cost, and was immediately sent down to the change rooms. Twenty minutes later the deed was done and I was back in my car heading off to work.
Given how hospital experiences can be, this one measured up pretty well. With the exception of the discomfort that typically ensues with any examination, it was oddly almost restful. The volunteer helping prepare me for the procedure was a lovely, chatty octogenarian, who eased any nerves. The technician was disarmingly young, but she handled the job with no-nonsense efficiency.
The areas I was in were deceptively hushed. It made one forget that in wards and wings throughout the building, there was bustling, immediacy and urgency. Life and death were happening, and everyone from housekeeping to surgery had a part to play.
I've been fortunate enough to not have spent a great deal of time in a hospital. Six days after the birth of each of my four kids has pretty much been it for me personally. In those days, doctors made sure they stopped by every day and nurses had time for plenty of TLC, including evening back rubs. They were so attentive with after care that we moms often joked we'd get more rest at home.
My most recent hospital experiences were as a visitor at the bedside of my elderly parents. This was when I really saw how different healthcare is. This was now a place where finding answers was a challenge. Nurses though accommodating weren't ever present. My siblings and I often had to go in search of them for assistance.
None of this is their fault, of course. As is typically the case government can be blamed. The healthcare professionals are worthy of our respect and often our gratitude.
Here to recognize that is a wonderful collection of images from iPHOTOS.com