Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

What Floor Is This

When I first got admitted to hospital, I got my family to buy me a journal so I could document everything that was going on. Even though part of me wants to forget all of this ordeal when it’s over, another part of me knows I will want to be able to go back and remember the little details.

Problem is, writing is hard! Not the process of putting thoughts into words, that is easy. But physically picking up a pen and writing out letters is a slow process, and my hand cramps after five minutes.

I am truly a member of the computer generation.

After about a week, I moved to typing all my thoughts and experiences into WordPress and not publishing. That way, if I do feel like sharing one particular story, it will be easy to put up.

Well today I am going to share a piece I wrote in that original journal. It’s a little short because, as mentioned, my hand cramped up and I couldn’t get the words on paper fast enough before the inspiration left my head.

It’s not funny, or witty, or inspiring. But it’s something I think about and go back to a lot…

The Moncton Hospital is made up of seven floors. Each floor has its designation and purpose. Instead of saying “Maternity,” often people will just say “the second floor” and know what area is being referred to.

The sixth floor is the oncology ward. Everyone knows it’s where the cancer patients go.

Even though I’m 25, people my age often go to the Pediatrics ward. There aren’t very many people in their twenties who require long-term care, so it’s easier to stick them in with the youngins’. We’re a little more active than those who take up many of the other beds anyways. But the kid’s ward is hectic, and busy, and I hear the nurses there are a little more harried. So my family doctor requested I be put in onocology.

It is mostly elderly people on the sixth floor. They’re quiet, apart from when their obnoxious middle-aged children come in to visit. The elderly actually like the food at the hospital, and they all look dead when they sleep. I chat with the other patients up here, but it is never a friendly chat. Everyone is engrossed by their own illness and problems.

Some of the lighter characters I’ve met in the hospital are the porters, those designated to wheel patients around to appointments and tests. The small talk with the porters is always a breath of fresh air after the depressing talk that happens in the oncology ward.

The other day, a porter was taking me back upstairs after a round of tests. He expertly turned my stretcher into the elevator and pushed 6.

“What the hell are you doing on the sixth floor anyways?” he asked.

I thought about it. This is where I would crack a joke or just tell the truth. But really, I didn’t have an answer for him. Because I don’t know why I’m up here. 25-year-olds aren’t supposed to get cancer. And I don’t belong here.