Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Poetry 

The Convalescent Hospital Home

May Beaumont

Abstract

So you've been contemplating going to a convalescent hospital home. And you dread it, because it means leaving your loved ones behind. Take it from one who lives in such a home. It can bea lot of fun. So bring your sense of humour, and lots of compassion to share with everyone you meet there.

Let me tell you some of my experiences, to prove my point. One night, six of the teenage patients were seated in their w heelchairs in a straight line. The ringleader was a young boy who had been in an automobile accident. He had to hold his feet straight out in front of him. (Or was he pretending to be afirechief on a truck?)

Now the six patients all started to go around the corridors in a sort of circle. Around and around they went, faster and faster and faster, until at last three of the young people ran into each other, their wheelchairs bumping together. No damage, nobody hurt; there was just laughter and fun, in a spirit of youth.

You'd say this thing wouldn't happen in a convalescent hospital, but it did. For I saw the whole show.

Then there was this Russian lady with afine alto voice. She used to sing a certain song about a sailor and a girl. I didn't understand her Russian language, but I loved her singing voice.

Another time, when I was sitting in my wheelchair, in a brand new blue robe, which my son had given me, a lady came up to me. She was 90 years old and had never been married. Looking over at me, she asked "Who are you trying to vamp?" I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair, because I hadn't heard that word "vamp" since the '20s.

I told you in the beginning to bring your compassion. And if you did, on the return current came love and kisses. You'll have three good meals, a clean bed to sleep in, your spic-and-span room, and at nighttime the young attendants will come at your call, w hen you ring the bell. So you'll dread it? No! No! NoHf you do come to the convalescent hospital home, it may be the highlight of all your earthly experiences.…

So you've been contemplating going to a convalescent hospital home. And you dread it, because it means leaving your loved ones behind. Take it from one who lives in such a home. It can bea lot of fun. So bring your sense of humour, and lots of compassion to share with everyone you meet there.

Let me tell you some of my experiences, to prove my point. One night, six of the teenage patients were seated in their w heelchairs in a straight line. The ringleader was a young boy who had been in an automobile accident. He had to hold his feet straight out in front of him. (Or was he pretending to be afirechief on a truck?)

Now the six patients all started to go around the corridors in a sort of circle. Around and around they went, faster and faster and faster, until at last three of the young people ran into each other, their wheelchairs bumping together. No damage, nobody hurt; there was just laughter and fun, in a spirit of youth.

You'd say this thing wouldn't happen in a convalescent hospital, but it did. For I saw the whole show.

Then there was this Russian lady with afine alto voice. She used to sing a certain song about a sailor and a girl. I didn't understand her Russian language, but I loved her singing voice.

Another time, when I was sitting in my wheelchair, in a brand new blue robe, which my son had given me, a lady came up to me. She was 90 years old and had never been married. Looking over at me, she asked "Who are you trying to vamp?" I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair, because I hadn't heard that word "vamp" since the '20s.

I told you in the beginning to bring your compassion. And if you did, on the return current came love and kisses. You'll have three good meals, a clean bed to sleep in, your spic-and-span room, and at nighttime the young attendants will come at your call, w hen you ring the bell. So you'll dread it? No! No! NoHf you do come to the convalescent hospital home, it may be the highlight of all your earthly experiences.

10.3928/0098-9134-19820301-14

Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents