Tales from a Syrian Hospital: Part Two

Having chosen a bed, the only one available in the room, we then had to make it up with bedding that Suzan had to go hunting for.  Watching the speed at which these beds become vacant I suspect she wont be allowed the luxury of staying too long to enjoy it anyway.

Suzan’s bed sorted, I looked to see where I would be sleeping.  Suzan had told me that relatives usually stay with their patients to look after them after surgery.  Apparently the nurse’s job is to administer treatment, and that’s it. Patient care is down to whoever you can find to look after you, and has to be female.  Men are only allowed in the ward during visiting hours, and that is only if no one in the ward objects to their presence. At only severn years old, Shereen is considered too young for the job (but not too young to lug steaming kettles around the kitchen it would appear).  So here I am.  But if I thought I was going to sleep in a guest room, or even a bed adjacent to her bed, I was very much mistaken. Omar has just produced a sleeping mat which he has slid under Suzan’s bed.  I don’t think so Mate. “Move over Sis I’m with you.”

Suz has just gone to theatre, but no trolly came to collect her with an attentive pre-op nurse injecting a calming premed.  Her last words to me as she followed the my handsome doctor out of the ward was, “Whatever you do, don’t get off this bed”.  I can see why now. People  have been coming and going all morning.  As the hospital has got busier patients arriving for surgery have been waiting outside in the corridor for any sign of movement inside the ward that might signal that a bed may become vacant.   They’re like vultures – anyone strays too far from their bed and someone else is by the side of it taking their shoes off.

Pause while I recall the second really worrying incident: I had been waiting for Suzan to come back from theatre for about an hour when suddenly the doctor who she had left with, completely gowned up, came running up to the bed I was guarding with my life and handed me a list of supplies saying he couldn’t complete the operation without them.  All I needed to do was go to the pharmacy and buy the things he needed. The list was in Arabic. “Right.”

“Don’t panic Jazz,” I told myself.  “I know where the pharmacy is. I can’t read Arabic, but hopefully the Pharmacist can.  And I do have money. However, my big, BIG problem is leaving Suzan’s bed unguarded and coming back to find another woman already fast asleep in it. Where will Suzan to rest her dying body?” I quickly jumped off the bed into my chair and darted to the corridor to see if I could see Omar who had been lurking out there for the past hour. Bloody typical. He wasn’t bloody there!

“Oh God! What do I do now?

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