Spinal Thoughts III – Sidewalk Stains

This is true. A few days ago I was at the hospital where my Dad has been in and out since August, when he broke the top of  his femur and had a partial hip replacement. The operation was a success, by the way, but he was having other troubles for us to be at the hospital. I had lost track of how many times, and at some point was waiting for Jim to drive the car around and pick up my Mom and I to take her back home after a visit.

There is a waiting area outside the main entrance to this lovely hospital. You can sit on one of two slatted benches, hardly touched by sunlight, and wait for a pickup. Two or three very nice young men are always in attendance. To their credit, I never see them texting. They watch the comings and goings of people and always seem really helpful when people need help in and out of chairs or the car.

So, I get outside. It was before the sciatica operation, and well within the limits of the worsening of my symptoms into a limping, cringing victim of pain. Mom was worried, and I’m not sure how well Dad understood the total picture. Maybe it was because of him that I developed into a full-blown sciatica complete with the burning pain down my leg and the numbness that settled in to my surprise in late January.

Look around. There on the floor, under and emanating from the bench, a dark spot. It is irregular, like the outline of the crime victim in chalk on the sidewalk. It is dark, oxidated. It is obviously from someone bleeding, perhaps waiting to go in to the hospital. Or maybe they chickened out and were leaving. Either way, it was pretty gross. Not to mention disturbing.

No matter how you look at it, you’re going to see red. Either in anger, fear, excitement. Red is the color of fresh, flowing blood. Nobody should see that, and nobody should experience that.

But, it is the hospital after all. And someone’s lifeblood has been spilt again.


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