Yes, it’s time – the 2014 Winter Olympics are here and I was reminded today of the last Winter Olympics of 2010, which took part in Vancouver, just an hours flight from here. I visited a dear friend in hospital this morning, where, in her room, she had the opening ceremony on her TV. We sat and chatted, and in between watched the spectacle unfold, when suddenly it occurred to me that 4 years ago, I had been the one lying in hospital with the 2010 Winter Olympics on my TV.
It was a strange feeling to be back in the hospital where I had spent so much time during 2010/2011, especially as my friend is on the same unit and has been in some of the same rooms I had been in. My first visit to my friends bedside was a week ago, and it was the first time I had been back to the unit that had been my home/prison for such a long time 4 years ago.
Everything went well, I found a parking space (no mean feat let me tell you!), the lift was cooperating and came straight down to the main floor to zoom me up to the 10th floor; and that’s where it stopped. Well, that’s where I stopped to be honest; my legs just wouldn’t take me any further than the entrance to Unit 102. After gathering myself for a couple of minutes I ordered those legs to move down the corridor and not stop until I got to my friend’s room. All was well and I tried not to think about where I was; until today, when I sat watching the Olympics in that hospital room and I realized that it was on this day 4 years ago that our lives changed (for a while at least). I remember lying in ICU with a TV to one side, watching some skiing event, but not knowing why I was there and how I had gotten there (and I am not sure I really was watching the TV). A week later I found myself on Unit 102 (which happens to be the busiest unit in this hospital), having fought for my life and won, doctors decided it was time to move me out of the ICU unit and put me on the slow road to recovery. A lot of my time in bed was spent watching the Olympics, in fact, I watched nearly every event our Canadian station was able to show. You could have asked me about the medal position of any country, at any given time and I would have known it. I watched sports I had never heard off and cheered for Team Canada, Team GB and Team Deutschland in equal measures (Canada because it is our current home, Great Britain because it is my adopted home country, and Germany because I was born and brought up there and my family still lives there).
I was in a 4-bed room for the majority of this particular hospital stint and the nurses and doctors would come and join us to watch the Canadian athletes compete. Our room was full when Canada played against the US in the men’s ice hockey; Canada was looking like they would win this and my lasting memory of this particular match is that my husband and I decided to take advantage of a quiet lift and hospital and cart me and my wheelchair downstairs to enjoy the nice sunny winter weather. Just as we left the entrance way we heard that the Canadian team had done it and won gold. People all around us were looking very happy, despite the fact that most of them were patients in this hospital.
Yes, hospital was horrible and painful most of the time, but it was the place that had kept me alive, made me better and eventually released me, and I am forever grateful to all the nurses and doctors that worked there. I am also grateful for the Olympics having been on TV at that time; it distracted my thoughts daily, entertained me, kept me company in the wee hours when I couldn’t sleep and provided a talking point that wasn’t about my illness, operations, treatments etc.
So today, when my visit with my friend came to an end, and we slowly walked down the corridor, I quietly said a thank you to Unit 102 for having healed me during 2010/2011.
I will now look forward to watching this years Winter Olympics from the comfort of my sofa!
Go Canada/Great Britain/Germany!!!!