Hospital Time

Kathleen and I have spent the last week in the hospital. She was taken by ambulance to Franklin Square Medical Center last Sunday with gastric bleeding. Once stable and diagnosed, she was transferred to University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment. She’s doing well in most respects, so we had high hopes she would get out today, but it looks like we’ll be here over the weekend now.

When one enters a hospital, time is altered. An hour on the inside isn’t like an hour on the outside.  The availability of doctors and nurses and facilities changes with the influx and outflow of patients, varying unpredictably with the condition of those patients. You can spend hours waiting for the simplest test or procedure, or you can be called in at a moment’s notice for something more complex.

In our case, a whole week vanished while they got her stabilized, ran a battery of tests, and performed a procedure to reduce the risk of future bleeding. I didn’t go to work during this week and did very little writing. One of our daughters took over the homestead. I haven’t even had a chance to pay the bills. Things await my attention, piling up, preparing to ambush me whenever I return. The cats don’t much like our absence, either, but I suppose they’ll live.

By the time we get home, I probably won’t know what day I’m on anymore. Time on the outside will have moved on, while time on the inside seems to crawl. I’d blame it on some strange effect of General Relativity, but no. It’s just the hospital.