The undersigned was a patient…several times.
Personally, I think it´s good to have been hospitalized on different occasions throughout y our life if you are a physician. Well, mostly…for your patients.
When I was five, I remember seeing my father and brothers just once every 15 days through a glass, but today that pathology is considered banal. They were 70´s. Other times, other concepts.
With sixteen I was admitted in another hospital for a traffic accident. 45 days in a bed, supine perennial, without leaving the room. I remember saying, thinking… My greatest wish was seeing and stepping on the grass and feeling fresh air.
Juan Pedro, after several days in the hospital without get out of his room, was admitted in the ICU one month ago. After being extubated and a few days already awake, more stable, with less medication but still waiting discharge to the ward, alternating with oxygen therapy non-invasive ventilation, he repeated me he couldn’t wait anymore.
He wanted to get out of the ICU.
I remember me unjustly angrying with him. Then, out of the BOX, I remembered those 45 days that I had to live… And then, an ICU I visited years ago that has a huge terrace overlooking the countryside, and where I could see how tracheostomized patients went for a walk in a wheelchair to enjoy the air, the Sun, feel the breeze of the field, and see more than just walls, ceilings and machines.
And I remembered their faces… And there was no problem.. Nothing!
Nurses and assistants of our ICU had an idea several months ago. They put it on the table, and began to get out for a walk inside the hospital to selected patients who could tolerate it for a while safety. Patients appreciated it very much. Our hospital is in the foothills of Sierra Morena… in an environment surrounded by slopes full of vegetation, idyllic, and only some isolated houses. It has several terraces where ward patients can walk and see that landscape. A new wing has a huge terrace with spectacular views.
That day we decided to take another step and take Juan Pedro beyond: to the terrace… “to feel the air”… to see the landscape… Why not?.
As the recently and great post by Ángela Algaba said, and she was right, you will see as people (although in reality, less than those who thought) will open their eyes freaking out.
Well, perhaps you only have to look at the patient’s eyes… Nothing more.