Saturday in the Hospital Privado

“A few years ago, I had a scary encounter with a masked man, wielding a knife. I remember him with gratitude though, since he was an orthopaedic surgeon to whom I paid thousands of dollars to correct some problems with my left foot.” Philip Yancey in “Rumours of another world”
Skills and aptitudes can be used in many ways, depending on circumstance, context and opportunity. While we were waiting for Martin to come out of surgery on Thursday, our friend Ana said that a kid from a villa (shanty town) who proves to be good with a knife might be sent out to hold people up at cash-machines, while the same kid if his parents could afford to wait while they learn a trade might become a butcher, and the same kid if the family could afford to see them through years and years of studying might have to opportunity to make it as a surgeon.

Today I arrived at the hospital to find Martin raring to get out and see the world. So we asked the junior doctor if we could go down to the coffee bar, she said “it’s probably best if you don’t tell anyone”. So down we went. His walking is improving, at the moment it’s a sort of sideways shuffle, a cross between Quasimodo, and a crab with bunions.

Sometime later, Dr Campos and the posse arrived in Martin’s room, and found us missing, so the junior doctor told them where we were, and came to fetch us. We headed up in the lift back to the ward, at the same time as Dr Campos et al were heading down in the other lift to the cafe, c.f. Hoffnung “half way down, I met the barrel coming up…” Unlike Hoffnung’s barrel though, we missed each other completely.

When the medics eventually caught up with us, we were surprised to see them dressed in mufti. Apparently they do a brief round of their own in-patients at weekends unless there’s an emergency, so they called in to see how the walking etc was going, and then they were off for a game of tennis.

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