Mirum Hospitium (Remarkable Hospital)

So you wake up to a morning that seems possibly your last because of a frightening dizziness. The world is spinning so you close your eyes to avoid the turmoil. If you get up you’ll fall over so you stay in bed hoping the revolving world will stop. It doesn’t.

You’ve been dehydrated before so maybe water will fix things. You therefore struggle out of bed and blunder off to the kitchen, hands sliding along a hallway wall to help you avoid falling over. Two big glasses of water.

No relief. So you stagger onto an adjustable chair and almost pass out. Your wife finds you there. In conference, you both decide to ring 000.

Remarkably helpful phone service follows. First the ambulance section arranges for a doctor to talk to me on the phone. She checks things out with pertinent questions.

“Are you in pain anywhere?”


“Are your limbs functioning properly with feeling?


I can’t remember the other questions but they made me feel I was  being advised very wisely. Then I was asked to hand the phone to my calm and caring wife to pinpoint the address for the ambulance. I was to stay put and wait.

The paramedics came so quickly to my unit. The date was January 14, 2018. I hope that date brings credit to two fine, professional people.

“Hello,” said one cheerfully at my shoulder. This cheerfulness was magically relaxing to the patient to be.

“That your self-portrait?” he asked jokingly looking at my Frans Hals Laughing Cavalier painting on the wall.

“Every painter paints himself,” I said, “so that is Hals’ self-portrait not mine. A few hundred years out of my time.”

“That your guitar?”


“Do you sing?”


“What songs?”

“Folk mainly.”

Then I sang:    O the summertime is coming

And the trees are sweetly blooming

Where the wild mountain thyme

Grows around the blooming heather

to some considerable applause…

While all this was happening, professional expertise had sprung into action. Blood pressure. Standing blood pressure. Blood test. Other tests I don’t understand.

I was in good hands.

A trip to hospital was decided upon. I walked with help to the ambulance. What a spotless, well equipped vehicle! Comfortable travel bed with my paramedic seated beside me getting details – with driver’s licence help.

What a calm, smooth ride to Ryde Hospital, mirum hospitium! The travel bed smoothly unloaded and I’m wheeled into Emergency. Explanation of case by paramedic to one duty nurse.

Ryde Hospital: January 14, 2018

It is hard to do justice with words to the benefits I received there. Such thorough, caring attention by my second duty nurse. There is a businesslike energy in that place. You can feel the concern for you and you can see it in the eyes of the staff. Care for your comfort. Care for your valuables. Care for your identity. Care for your peace of mind.

My doctor’s thoroughness amazed me. So many tests to check my physical and mental capacity. Such caring and helpful advice. My dearest wife too, who braved the traffic to follow the ambulance, and remember we are both octogenarians, stayed in the ward for the four hours I was required to complete. She was treated with much care and kindness too.

And so the diagnosis was benign vertigo. My doctor and nurse gave me the final walking test. Then home in my dearest wife’s care. All free.

Can you see why I am a fan of Ryde Hospital and the fine paramedics who took me there? Lucky country.

Lucky me!


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