News - April 11, 2013

A visit to Dutch hospital (II)

Maybe as somewhat I regarded Cato as my grandma, I was a bit nervous before entering her ward. When I saw Cato having dinner in bed at her ease, I felt relieved and gave her a hug.

A wall full of love
Cato looked surprised as she didn't expect my visit. Karin simply explained my coming, then talked to her mother in Dutch. I didn't listen to them, because the things around us were more attractive:

  • An elaborate bed with all kinds of electric accessories

  • A wall full of handwork

  • A suitcase standing in the half-open closet

  • A small whiteboard on the closet with a Dutch word 'koektrommel' (cooky-tin in English)

Cato discerned that I was fascinated by the surroundings. She decided to explain them one by one. First she showed me how to play around with that fancy bed, and told me her grandchildren made the drawings during their weekend visit. For the suitcase, 'because only in the operation you have clothes from the hospital, afterward you have to wear your own clothes,' she said, 'dus you need a koffer.' 'What an eye-opener! In China, a suitcase is only for travel,' I said, 'you Dutch create more uses for it, like for work or for home-going from school, and now even for hospital stay.'
What about koektrommel? It was sadly about her postoperative delirium. Cato thought she was at home when her grandson was visiting her. She asked him to get snacks from the koektrommel. Frits, her husband, then corrected her immediately by drawing words in that whiteboard: first "een koektrommel in het ziekenhuis" in blue, then "een" was crossed and replaced by "geen" in red. Meang no cookie tin in hospital.
Luckily it was temporary, but I still recognized her worry thus I said: 'don't take it too seriously. It would be a classic joke in your pocket.' Karin seemed quite appreciative of my idea; she thought it was positive attitude. She even passed it onto Frits when we were home. At that time I realized: 'wow, actually I can be something more than an inquisitive looker-on.'
At last I also noticed the dinner she had. It looked decent. It was made by the new food-ordering system in hospital aimed at better and cheaper meals. Interestingly WUR is also involved in that pilot project. Tastier but also cheaper? That's really the food for thought.
This visit to a Dutch hospital was an enlightening excursion.

Vid of the Week:
A quick look of the "At Your Request" program by Gelderse Vallei