I always thought “mental health day” was just a clever way of saying “I don’t wanna go to work today”, but here I am taking an honest-to-Stan mental health day because my mentals are just plain not healthy.
Last night, Josh, Shan, Ed and I went to the Vancouver General Hospital to visit Miranda, who is broken in several places. I was excited to see her, but the moment I stepped out of the elevator and onto her floor, I was hit with a massive, horrible case of the wiggins. I was completely freaking out, and spent the majority of our visit hunched on the corner of Miranda’s bed, tense and wide-eyed, saying maybe 4 words in total.
It was the first time I had been in a hospital since my dad died.
I don’t count that time I was in the ER because of my disco shoulder – that “visit” was a haze of floppy arms, missing socks, and pain. No, this trip to see Miranda – which eerily mimicked a lot of the details of the last time I saw my dad, minus the death (thankfully) – was my first trip to a hospital ward since 2005. Luckily (and in my case, surprisingly), we are all fairly resilient people, and as such we never go to hospitals (except for Josh, who works in one). Since all our friends are healthy and we are not such noble citizens that we spend our spare time visiting the ill or elderly, we just don’t have a need to hang out in hospitals – until last night.
I feel really badly for reacting the way I did – I wanted to see Miranda and cheer her up (not that she needed it; she was very cheerful!), not have a complete mental breakdown. I owe Shan a beer or three – she kept up a steady stream of chatter, so it wasn’t immediately obvious that I was trapped in my own private Idaho of painful memories and gay male bonding. It wasn’t until Ed maneuvered Miranda’s wheelchair (everyone was going for a ride) over to my side of the bed and saw my face that he realized something was seriously wrong. I think people assumed I just plain didn’t like hospitals, until I found my voice again and managed to squeak out what was wrong. I have nothing against hospitals – it’s the only place I know where you can wear those awesome gowns – but last night was just horrible.
I’m sorry, Miranda – unbeknownst to me until last night, I am a terrible hospital visitor. I will visit you when you are at home, and I promise I will not have any sad flashbacks!