I have been trying to help someone who is, as I have had to, lined up for a series of operations. As something of a veteran now of hospital wards I have found my own way of coping, so another session I can meet with a degree of stoicism, but someone who is in for the first time? It does make me feel that I am playing Norman Stanley Fletcher to their b; the old lag and the innocent newcomer.
So how do I cope? My basic stance is to spend my time reconstructing various pleasurable trips abroad; my first time in the US (Atlanta 1993), riding the ICE from Hamburg to Hannover, the Monaco GP 1973, streaking under the channel in my car on the train, seeing California and so on. I have been lucky enough to have been around a bit and can dredge up these memories.
And there you have it; when I’m lying in a hospital bed trying not to worry about what happens when they take me down or later trying not to think of the discomfort, I can shut my eyes and transport myself to somewhere that a memory will take. Lie back and think of somewhere nice.