THE BLOG

No Sense of Direction

17/07/2014 11:35 BST | Updated 15/09/2014 10:59 BST

I will admit many things, one of which is my inability to follow a map, and poor sense of direction. Well, if I were being totally honest, I'd confess, I have no sense of direction whatsoever. My husband will quite happily back me up on this point for I have demonstrated on many occasion, much to my shame and his amusement, getting lost even in familiar surroundings. Perish the thought of being somewhere new, or abroad, you could blind fold me, turn me around once or twice and I'd more than likely never be seen or heard of again!

Unlike a homing pigeon or Lassie who always find their way home, I was born with a huge deficiency in this area. As a child I even managed once to get lost in a museum. I was thankfully found by the curator who gladly returned me to my class mates grouped together, and a rather relieved school teacher who had done a head count and found herself short of one child!

It was several years ago, on one of my many hospital visits, having a general check-up, that I noticed the outpatients day-ward was exceptionally busy, and nurses were frantically running back and forth with a sense of urgency. The ward was short staffed and an unusual number of patients were pouring in that day. A rather apologetic nurse awkwardly asked me if I would mind going down to the hospital pharmacy and bringing up my medication which would save a lot of time. Not minding in the least, and realising this would speed up my own treatment and departure from hospital, I took the prescription from the nurse's outstretched hand. She gave me instructions of where the pharmacy was, and by the time she had finished her lengthy directions, all I could remember was it was on level -1.

"How hard could it be?" I thought to myself. I'll take the lift to -1 and there are bound to be signs down there, or worst case scenario, I'll ask someone. So it was with prescription clutched in my hand that I confidently took the lift down into the very bowels of the hospital, a place most patients aren't privy to. I stepped out of the lift, and the difference from the pleasant airy brightly lit hospital wards upstairs and -1 were immediately evident. The long corridor which looked like it ran the entire length of the hospital was dimly lit, and huge industrial size ugly pipes ran along the ceiling. Even the flooring was a dull grey colour and as I looked left and right, there wasn't a soul in sight, nor could I see any signs.

It was at this point, I regretted not paying closer attention to the nurses extensive directions. Which way? In the end I heard a door slam, and decided to follow the noise, so walked along the corridor a little, where I found a large imposing metal door. Knocking gingerly, I got no reply, and after a second try, hesitating, I slowly pushed open the stainless steel door and found myself standing in the morgue! My mouth dropped open and I felt the colour drain from my face. A man in a white lab coat abruptly turned and nearly jumped out of his skin seeing me standing there. "I think I'm in the wrong place" I managed to stammer, feeling distinctly cold as a shiver ran down my spine. "You think?" the man said almost mocking me. Only too happy for some lively conversation, he escorted me to the pharmacy, and for good measure, to ensure I made it out of there, he led me back to the lift. I may have no sense of direction, but enough sense not to fetch medicine from the pharmacy in future!

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