Hospital. This is a place where no-one can ignore reality, where life presents itself as a vision of all that is monstrous, unfair and inhuman.
Well, some people think that.
Once a hospital was to medicine as the cathedral to religion and the palace to monarchy. It is the heart of the enterprise, the site where medicine was practiced at its most advanced, specialized, innovative, complex and costly. In the developed world, I mean nowadays, hospitals claim the lion's share of the medical budget. Which to me, is a good thing.
I've always seen a hospital as a place where a hush hangs over the endless corridors and swinging doors. The rooms where night and day are an irrelevance. Artificial low light maintains a clinical 24-hour world. Beds, patients swathed in tubes, oxygen masks, wires. Machines whirring, clicking, beeping.
There was one time, I visited my auntie in the hospital where beside my auntie laying a girl, and which I got cognizant of her austere condition. She was at my age and pretty. She was connected to the tubes and IV's, fighting for her life. Her mom approached me and said that she almost died during transport. I prayed for healing and mercy of her. I kept seeing her eyes pleading, "Please, help me." And after a few days, she was gone. The loss filled every waking moment on her family's lives. They had consented to an autopsy and learned that indeed, she had died of a coronary thrombosis - heart attack.
The news was baffling, because she didn't have any risk factors of heart disease. In fact, she was physically active, watched her diet close by, and even had normal cholesterol levels. There was not even a recorded history of heart disease in her family.
And death, makes me wonder a lot. Sometimes, there is no sign, no warning. And the pictures are grim. And how sickness and pain can change a person. From vibrant, funny, charming, someone can be immobile, incontinent, unable to speak, eat, drink or breath properly.
And as we grow older, I believe it is widely known, that these changes have been noted in our body:
1. Blood pressure rises by about 15% between ages 30 and 65.
2. Cholesterol level rises.
3. Blood levels of abnormal proteins increase. Of special significance is the rise in the rheumatoid factor, considered a cause of arthritic.
4. Hair will lose about one fifth of its thickness.
5. The ear lobe lengthens.
6. Aging spots appear.
7. The eyes become far-sighted.
8. Bags form below the eyes.
9. Hair becomes gray.
10. The skin loses some of its elasticity especially if there is much exposure to the sun.
I have read an anatomy article published in newspaper last week that; the health of a person depends on many factors - for example, whether or not they were born free from the disease, where they live, how they live, their age, etc. In some countries, high infant mortality rates are often caused by poor sanitation, poor diet and a lack of immunization programs to protect young people against diseases.
Our first 18 years are spent growing. Right? That was when we enjoyed all the fast-foods, high sugar snacks and drinks, we ate varieties of French fries and some addicted to liquor and drugs. Those times when we thought we can eat whatever we want, we can do whatever we want.
Generally, however, it is not until the age of 40 that we are usually at risk of major illnesses like heart attacks, cancer, bronchitis and strokes. No one can be certain how long they can live.
Be safe. Be healthy. Live your life well. Assalamualaikum.