My First Hospital Experience

by RB, massage therapist, mother, artist, business owner.

Recently I was away from home, studying and training for a week. I developed a pain in my back which got worse by the day, but because I am always so tough on myself, I just continued on regardless. It was compulsory work training, after all!

I have never taken much medication – instead I have been the hippy herbalist who would avoid doctors and medications at all costs – but this time the pain was getting too intense. I started taking off-the-shelf pain killers to the maximum dose and was still not getting any relief. I tried hot showers, sleeping on the floor, walking, moving, whatever, to just get relief from the pain, but it kept increasing.

By the end of the week, the pain was crazy, so I asked my trainer if I could leave early and drove home. I tried to play with the kids when I got home, but was really struggling with the pain, and the next morning my flat mate tried to convince me to go to the hospital or at least to see a doctor. I kept saying I would be okay, but when I realised that I couldn’t urinate anymore, I finally admitted something was wrong.

In hindsight, if I had actually stopped and felt the pain I was in, I should have been to see a doctor or gone to the hospital earlier but I am used to not caring fully for my body, to over-riding the signals it gives me and most of all, to pushing on through. I can see now how I chose to abuse my body by not going to doctors and getting support over the years, instead choosing to be in pain and suffer.

My time in hospital was pretty short, I spent three days there and during that time, although I was in considerable pain and on a lot of medication, I really enjoyed meeting the nurses and doctors who were caring for me. I got to know some of their names, who they were, what their story was and it was lovely because I could really feel how much they cared. I watched how some of the other patients treated these nurses and doctors with such disrespect. It saddened me to hear how they were spoken too. I can understand it is hard when you are in a lot of pain, but that gives no excuse to abuse the staff who work long hard hours to care for us. It made me aware of how so many of us abuse our own bodies, and then end up in hospital and expect someone else to fix us, without taking any responsibility for what brought us there in the first place.

We expect so much from others, yet we don’t even give that to ourselves.

I could also see how easy it could be for me to resist the care that they were offering, to fight and not be open to receiving them and what they brought.

In the past I have found it hard to trust people, but on this occasion I let go of all that, and the result was so beautiful.

I learned a little more about letting people in, to my heart and to my life, about trusting and allowing them to help me, and the joy and healing this can bring.

601 thoughts on “My First Hospital Experience

  1. One of the things I appreciate about doctors and professionals involved with medicine is the lack of judgement. For them it’s a normal day to meet many people with health issues and although that’s what they deal with in the consult they meet me as a person, and embrace me without any judgement. There is a lot to appreciate about the qualities of the people who have dedicated their lives to assisting others.

  2. True ‘We expect so much from others, yet we don’t even give that to ourselves’. I recently learnt how ignoring something is not a good idea when not tending to a small mouth ulcer which because of this turned into a huge one that affected me for a week. This was a lesson to put my health and wellbeing first and take tender care of me as if we don’t then it affects everything else in our life.

  3. I hate how we treat each other with such disrespect and I hate how the Hospital staff especially are treated when they are trying their best to support patients to get well enough to return to their homes. I watch how nurses and other staff are around patients and they seem to have endless amounts of understanding even though they are over stretched by the work load. They never cease to amaze me every time I have the privileged to be around them.

    1. I find the medical professionals and their staff (reception, etc) really enjoy being appreciated, as well as time for a short chat where they are genuinely connected to. They are all so genuinely caring and so dedicated to the level of knowledge and skill they need, and when they receive an appreciation it’s a lovely acknowledgment of who they are and a confirmation of what they bring and it’s impact on their patients.

  4. It wasn’t until I came to Universal Medicine workshops that I began to consider how important medical care was, I only went to the doctor, and begrudgingly if I had to, as I was wrapped up in fears of something being wrong, and compelled to try to deal with my health on my own and with natural therapies and herbs. Serge presented the common sense of medical care as part of self care, and how dedicated and skilled professionals were like surgeons. It was so common sense it changed my perspective and I now allow myself regular medical support. In addition I now have a deep appreciation for doctors and other professionals within medicine, they have felt that they wanted to care for other human beings and I feel that when I am with them, as well as their dedication to learn what they need to so they can provide me with the level of care I receive.

  5. I have been a health professional for over two decades now and would love more and more patients with the attitude you held, “It made me aware of how so many of us abuse our own bodies, and then end up in hospital and expect someone else to fix us, without taking any responsibility for what brought us there in the first place”.
    If more people took responsibility in caring for their bodies, this world would be a different place. The health system, whether GP practice, hospitals etc, will not be at breaking point, and more patients will be seen with different mind set. True healing could really occur.

  6. It is interesting what happens when we are brought to a standstill, due to severe pain or an accident and end up in hospital. My very first hospital stay was after being hit by a car crossing the road- I was not consciously present and didn’t see the car coming before it was too late. I was studying nursing at the time. I was quite controlling and didn’t always trust the nursing staff in my care. It was certainly an opportunity to surrender and be vulnerable and let others in.

  7. We lose out on so much and create complication when we do not surrender to the support that is there waiting for us any time we choose to ask for it. So why do we not ask? Is it because we are afraid we will not get what we want and don’t want to be disappointed, therefore to deny ourselves is somehow ‘safer?’

  8. Love how life is always presenting us with situations from which we can grow, evolve, learn and ultimately love ourselves and others more.

  9. A stay in hospital is an opportunity to surrender allowing our body to heal and to appreciate the care offered by all the medical and nursing team.

    1. Mary I’d like to add, not only a stay in hospital allows the body to heal but any sickness/illness is an opportunity to spend time with you.

  10. “We expect so much from others, yet we don’t even give that to ourselves” – this is so true. And we set out to prove that we do not deserve to be given what we should be given aplenty.

  11. It is interesting to explore what makes us so often ignore pain and disregard our body to such an extent that we can no longer function properly? Accepting that we need support when needed is a loving choice to make and the more we surrender to that the deeper our awareness and the healing that is offered.

  12. When we are super vulnerable, such as moments when we are sick and need help it is an awesome opportunity to learn to let people in more and also see how amazing human beings are and that we are never actually in this alone – life can only be perceived this way.

  13. How freeing it is to finally surrender to what our body communicates to us, and how much understanding we can find in this simple choice…

  14. If anyone we knew was in pain we would insist that they go to the doctors yet when it is us we try to override the pain, because we think we are able to manage however all we are doing is prolonging the visit to the doctor and increasing the pain.

  15. RB, there were so many areas of healing experienced other than for the back pain. Hospital can definitely be a humbling experience, we often don’t want to be there and it can feel like an enforced stop, but there is much on offer in terms of healing (beyond the physical) including letting ourselves by cared for, and seeing the beauty that humanity can be in the care brought by doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

  16. Today I do find it much easier to let people in and care for me when I am not well; it is when I thought I was physically well that I have tended to struggle taking on too much and thinking I could manage when asking for help even a little would have supported me enormously.

    1. Thanks Caroline for your comment, I felt quite uncomfortable reading it, which I appreciate, because this is still an area I need to look at and grow more in – letting people in to support me and allowing myself to be vulnerable with others.

      1. Melinda I had the same experience while reading Caroline’s comment as I also have a tendency to struggle rather than ask for help. Recently I did ask for support and it was given whole heartedly I felt such warmth with no judgement what so ever which allowed me to let go of the tension I was in and just surrender knowing I didn’t have to solider on as I have done in the past on my own. Such an amazing and confirming experience.

      2. Hi Mary, thanks for your comment, I find it’s an ongoing cycle for me to dip back into old patterns of soldiering on and not sharing with others where I am at and what my needs are, but I recently completely opened up to someone about how I felt and the lack of support I was experiencing – and my role in that also. It was the most settling experience just to genuinely express, without reaction but with an openness to be real and lovingly understandIng of myself and the other person. I can see I have been in a generational behaviour of not speaking up about what I am experiencing and my needs, and resigning myself to take care of others or just be there to ‘do the listening‘. Lovely to experience the open and honest sharing here also, thank you.

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