There is a panoramic view of any hospital admission but step closer and the days are riddle with particular incidences creating a uniquely, stomach churning rollercoaster.

Our time in hospital has highlighted it this week. Messages went out saying,

He’s getting better”

“Doing well”

“It’s been a success”

These statements are all true. They are honest, broad strokes of the panoramic view of this current chapter in our story. 

But step closer to the scene.

A little nearer,

a bit more,

just one more step so you can smell the hospital soap mixed with bleach and stale, crisp linen. 


That’s it. 

Look close enough and between the lines of sweeping statements lies particular details;

Vomiting, Young man lying in a hospital bed in HDU recovering from spinal surgery. He is wearing an eye mask that looks like a sheep's face and his hospital bed is surrounded by medial equipment.


thumbs up from the consultant,

concerned looks from the nurse, 

sitting up,

sitting out,



Small steps,

occasional smiles,

glimmers of hope, 

sodden bed clothes, 


mouth care,



Pressure area care,

stained pillow cases,

postural care,






Attentive care,

real connection,

hours of crying in discomfort, 

moments of delight,



alarms, alarms and oh so many alarms. 

The complexity of care grows as more and more professionals build their own particular web.

We start juggling treatments, complications and medications. 

Before long, prescriptions are written to tackle the side effects of the pain medication. 

Then at two in the morning, in the fog of fatigue, the puzzle becomes too complicated as we try to understand

the new side effects

requiring another kind of treatment

prescribed for the medicine

given for the ramifications of the first pain medication

set up for the mammoth consequences of the original monstrous surgery. 

Each bump and dip on the daily rollercoaster is fizzing and tingling with every kind of emotion.

Breath holding where incidences of kindness pierce loneliness like a knife. 

Fear and anxiety about the unpredictable future (or next hour) ripple constantly under the surface, only drowned by the ebb and flow of the hospital’s rhythmical 24-hour clock.