Where sick people could get sicker

December 13, 2011 By: saani

One of my best friends recently had surgery and has been in the hospital for a few days … which means I’ve been at the hospital just about every day too. Based on my most recent venture to the place that most go with hopes of getting healthy I’ve made a conclusion that the hospital environment could probably cause those who are unwell to deteriorate even further while they should be on the road to recovery due to the reasons listed below:
1)      Trade one kind of sickness for another
In my opinion the number one reason to opt for a cabin (if your finances allow for it) is for your own personal bathroom. Having to use the bathroom shared by all the others in the ward is a sure way to stay sick, even if you’re switching from tummy aches to nausea from the smell of unhealthy urine and cleaning agents that do more harm than good.
If not the smell, the probably-not-working-flushes leave a grand mess so while you’re clutching your belly from recent surgery wounds, you can add an extra day’s day to your hospital bill because of the projectile vomit that these bathrooms can induce.
If you somehow manage to avoid other ills there are basic things that lower a sick person’s spirit – like disgust. If you have the unfortunate luck of being located near maternity wards you best book a cabin room because I just discovered that women bleed after giving birth – and most often the pads and sanitary napkins they bleed onto are discarded on the floor instead of being disposed in a dustbin.
(I actually spoke to a cleaning lady about it and this is what she had to say, “It’s the husbands who do that – they help their wives in the bathroom but don’t have the decency to put the pads in the bin. It’s gross for us too, our job is to clean up on a timely manner not be there to clean whenever a husband can’t take proper care of his wife or the facilities.”)
All that to say…gross.
2)      Visiting hours are….up for discussion
There was a sign on the door that indicated what the visiting hours were but I didn’t see any visitors (myself included) heeding the paper notification, nor did I see anyone from the hospital enforcing it.  What this means is that there is a constant flow of people and the poor patient is left to grab what snippets of sleep he/she can in between visitors.
While some are left alone for hours without anyone to attend to them, other families have decided the hospital is just as good a place as any for a picnic and out comes the hot cases and tito-karela and roti.
I’ll admit, I was guilty of breaking the rule of how many visitors a patient could have – but somehow all my friends and I ended up there around the same time and truly, letting only one person stay isn’t enough – given the running around and the small things that need to be attended to at least two people will do.
It seems no one gets rest and at a hospital, in recovery, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?
3)      Little luxuries ... like sleep
Speaking of rest, in the general ward it’s hard to get any during the day with the throngs of visitors but it’s impossible to attain at night. I volunteered to spend one night taking the overnight shift so my friend’s mother could go home and at about 3am … boy did I regret it.
Never mind the fact that no beds or bedding is provided for those who stay to assist the ailed, (I pre-planned and brought a sleeping bag) the hospitals MUST do something for those who stay because the snoring I heard is enough to haunt every night of (attempted) sleep.
Husbands spend the night, which is sweet and all, but the noises they were making I couldn’t help but wonder if their wives got sick just to get a good night’s sleep away from the rumbling and guttural symphony produced from the depth of their husband’s breathing.
Sure, there are bigger things in Nepal’s health scheme that need to be resolved, things like providing health care and care givers, having access to basic medication, educating people on why they should go to the hospital and medical centers, but for now, in the middle of the city where we’re supposed advanced, and when most people stretch their budgets to provide for their sick ones – how come no one has brought up quality?
Saani has no real goals and aspirations but she sees opportunity in everything and goes with the flow. This is probably because she loves exploring and discovering. She writes for fun but for the same reason she also cooks, reads, and spends a lot of time on random websites that offer a chance to learn all sorts of tid-bits on life.

Living in Kathmandu