Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting Room

Today #NHBPM prompt is, "Redesign a doctor’s office or hospital room."

I don't have a ton of clear memories of the hospital. It is a series of impressions and some distinct, individual memories. But my general impression was that everything was lacking in color. So, first of all, I would say, make sure there are some color splashes! A friend asked me what small gift she might consider taking to a nursing home. I did not hesitate to suggest bright flowers.

Second, I would say, make sure the room is bright and feels as non-claustrophobic as possible. I  didn't have great views in the main hospital, a hospital roof and a brick wall, but at least I could see out my windows (I had severe double vision and couldn't really see out, but that;s not the hospital's fault). I have no idea what my ICU room's view was like and I couldn't describe the first room they brought me to in the main hospital, so I can only comment on the two I remember well enough.

My rehab hospital rooms (all three!) had huge picture windows, but they were unusable. Here is an excerpt description from my stroke blog: "I was in three different rooms at the rehab hospital and all threee had frosted windows, where they are contracted to hold prisoners in need on rehab, with no view of the outside world. At least I never had a sheriff station outside my door, though I did have a man burst into my room in the middle of one night. "Help! Help! It's a catastrophe. I can't find my clothes." I was still unable to even sit up in bed on my own, much less stand on my own two feet! You better believe, a semi naked man, at the foot of my bed in a wheel chair in the middle of the night, so disoriented that he had pulled out his own IV and couldn't understand that we were both in a hospital, certainly had me urgently pushing my nurse call button! I kind of wished I did have a guard outside my room at that point."

More from my upcoming book tells, "The windows were blanked out. The opening part of the windows secured shut. While I could sense the rising and setting of the sun, hear voices from by-passers, and knew one of the rooms to be situated next to a lovely courtyard, I could witness none of this from my bed. As I lay there, day by day, staring at a darkened piece of glass, I tried to have hope in the prospect that one day I would not only see, but breath, that fresh air outside, for myself...

"I think it is like that with Heaven. We read descriptions and promises, but it is easy to loose patience and real belief, that we will actually get there some day. All we see are the often-dismal limitations of our circumstances, the walls of this finite time line. If anyone asks, we intellectually believe in the goodness of God and the glory of an afterlife with Him, but it is no different than trying to look through my inmate-frosted windows. We can say we believe that glory awaits us down the hall and through the doors, but until we taste it for ourselves, we only know in part and really have no concept of why we are to patiently hold on with hope."
So how would I redesign a waiting room or hospital room? You would think after all the doctors I visit and nearly 2 month in at least 7 different hospital rooms, I would have more input, but my redesign ideas are pretty basic. In addition to what I've already mentioned (color and brightness/visibility) I would simply add that rooms should be rather modern in feel. I've sat in way too many dark, dingy-feeling, dated waiting rooms with carpet and/or wood paneling out of the 60s or 70s. This doesn't instill great confidence in the doctor I am about to meet! And while I love pastels, a waiting room out of the 80s decor isn't much more exciting. So a clean, bright, modern look is pretty important. Plants and flowers, especially live/fresh, or at least high quality silks (the kind you have to inspect and debate over its realness) are a nice touch too!

Very soft, gentle music (in a waiting room, the option to turn sound on and off in a hospital room) is important too. There is little more prone to grating at my nerves more than irritating waiting room music when I'm already feeling anxious about my health issues. I take that back, silence, punctuated by whirring, clicking or other sound effects (medical equipment from the practice, an old heating/cooling system, other building noises) is worse!


Happy birthday (yesterday) to Susan, sister of my heart! <3 br="br">

Today I am thankful that God is the one toward whom I entrust my future, not only eternally but for the days ordained for me on this earth.

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. –1 Timothy 2:1-3

First Published Book: Hannah's Hope : Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss

Book-in-progress on drawing on the fruit of the Spirit in times of trial: Harvesting Hope from Heartache

Next book-in-progress: 6 strokes at age 39, Stroke of Grace

Future manuscript in the plans: Given Me a Thorn, the apostle Paul's story as applicable to living with chronic illness  

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