Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hospital Noises

As I walked into the ICU to visit me mum today, the first thing I noticed was that the television was on.  I waited for the nurses to have a free moment, then asked for the daily update.  No worse than yesterday.  Good enough for now.  She's totally out - completely sedated and comfortable.  But was she coming out of her medically-induced fog?  Had she been watching TV?  No, the nurse assured me that no television-watching had been going on.  "I just turn on the TV for some white noise," she cheerfully told me.

I returned to Mom's room and looked at the brightly flickering screen.  When we were kids, and had it on too long, it was called the boob tube.  Nope, no one was watching it.  I switched the channels until I found a classical music station.  That would be better than the chaotic hubbub of commercials.  Not as soothing to her as Josh Groban's crooning, but better.  Mom likes music.

But do you really need white noise in the ICU?  This is nearly the noisiest place in the hospital.  The nurses' stations are close by, and someone is always talking about something.  The floor polisher guy just went by with his grumbling machine, drowning even the chatter out.  Mom's machine beeps and blips; a random alarm sounds.  The ventilator whooshes and sighs repetitively, pushing air and then relaxing.  A motor purrs.  The oxygen is a constant hiss.  The bed self-adjusts to change positions with a hum.  Who needs TV when you have all this real white noise?

Me, I'm kinda enjoying the peaceful din.  It's a nice change from the happy hullabaloo I left home.

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