Monday, 28 December 2009

362/365 Hospital Corridor

This scene would usually conjour up nightmares for me. I don't mean my good friend Shelley in the wheelchair, I mean the hospital corridor. Since a childhood trauma in a casualty dept. (ER), I have been terrified of hospitals, (very long story, some of you know it already!) and that was the driving force behind my choice to have homebirths, which I did very successfully with my two girls, but sadly not so with my son.
Paradoxically, I have been able to visit Shelley over the last few weeks without freaking out. We think the reason for this is a combination of factors: I first arrived in the dark, and this little hospital does not look or smell like a hospital; and I was very busy in the run up to Christmas, but fitting in short visits which involved concentrating on Shelley - learning how to collapse a wheelchair, mastering the best approach to getting it in the boot (trunk) - all she had to do was chuck herself in the car! - and accomplishing the task set me for each visit. Really, I didn't have much time to think about where I was going. I am amazed at how chilled I have been when inside St Oswald's Hospital in Ashbourne. Of course, the real test will be when I next go to a particular acute hospital... but I feel encouraged, as I have set myself a personal challenge which requires me to be able to manage this irrational fear in the not too distant future.
Originally, St Oswalds was built as the Ashbourne Union Workhouse. Able bodied inmates in the workhouse performed stone-breaking - aggregate then sold for road-making, while the elderly were employed in picking oakum - rope fibres which were then mixed with tar to use as caulking on the hull of a ship.
See here and for more details on Ashbourne Union Workhouse, including images.
View to St Oswald's Church from the hospital's drive.
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