A Room with a View…is it always worth it?

Rather unusually for someone that’s been on the planet as long as I have, I’m lucky enough to have never spent a single night in hospital.  It’s been an experience therefore to have spent the last 3 days at the bedside of a very sick relative in the quite odd Hopitaux du Pays du Mont-Blanc in the town of Sallanches near the French resort of Chamonix.  It’s not like I imagined hospitals to be.  It’s modern & very clean.  It’s quiet & eerily empty.  There are no wards, just rooms painted bright yellow with one or two people in them.  Every room has a stunning view – either out onto the Big Mountain itself or one of the other minor peaks.  Do people recover quicker when they’re in a room with a view?  Maybe.

Twice a day a black helicopter lands on the roof bringing in an emergency – either a holidaymaker that’s damaged themselves whilst indulging in one of the many, many extreme sports on offer in this part of the world – or transporting someone from one of the remote villages.  Yesterday we watched an elderly gentleman in his neatly buttoned overcoat walk from the helicopter.

I feel as though I’ve slipped into a parallel universe in only three days.  My day to day life at Learning Pool seems like a distant dream.  I’m either in the hospital feeling helpless or I’m outside reading Haruki Murakami’s surreal “Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”, drinking coffee out of a machine and wondering why people that are sick enough to be in hospital think it’s a good idea to go outside & smoke, even when that means dragging their drips & tubes with them.

Human life – it’s a beautiful and fragile thing – we should remember that and try to be a bit nicer to each other for the short time we spend on earth.


One comment

  1. Honest writing Mary, being close to someone so ill really brings forward feelings we all have but so often choose not to show. When my dad was having his brain cancer treatment last year I remember looking at all the patient smokers and thinking the same thing. Life is strange we all kind of live in denial of death really until you loose someone then suddenly you see the real value of life and learn to appreciate it more.


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