The Privacy Curtain
Nothing is private in hospital. You hear everything - the cancer diagnosis, the family squabble, the coughing and hawking.
Yet when you draw that curtain around your bed, something wonderful happens. You have your own tiny world - bed, chair, table - and no-one intrudes. Nurses will enter and sometimes a doctor, but they are asking nothing of you. Instead they come with offerings - information, meds, linen. Otherwise you are alone. When you are tired of being alone, you pull back the curtains and only then does the world come flooding in.
To get from the ward on the 11th floor to the cafe on the 5th floor takes only a few minutes. The cafe is full of staff huddled around their coffee cups, holding early morning meetings. A patient has the leisure to wait for warm, spicy milk to be frothed and then to breathe in the cinnamon in the lift back upstairs.
It's Easy to Be Kind
These women in your ward become familiar to you. When Grace is awake all night, her lung collapsed and her corner of the ward full of x-ray and chest tubes and pain she crumbles under, finally finding the limit to her stoicism, kindness fills the room along with the early morning light.
Nurses with Endone, a hand on the shoulder, conversation from bed to bed - we see your suffering. Rest now. Rest.