Life felt like it was placed on hold the four weeks I was in hospital. Of course, I knew that life continued outside, but there was so much I had left unfinished. I was at the end of the semester. A friend was visiting from overseas to teach a postgraduate intensive. I had spent ten months planning and organising his trip. That semester I not only had a full lecturing load, but I was also trying to hand over subjects to lecturers who were filling in for me while I was on study leave the next semester. I never got to finish anything before I was suddenly admitted into hospital. Sure I finished all my marking from my hospital bed, but I was no longer keeping up with life on a daily basis. The longer I was in hospital and lost touch with what life was like before, the more I felt like life had been placed on hold. Part of the problem was that life in hospital was not part of my ‘norm’. It’s so different and regulated.
On the day before I was discharged, I was battling between the reality of knowing that life continued without me and that part of my mind trying to think that life was on hold. I kept catching myself thinking for a second that I was re-entering life where I had left it. It was just a fleeting thought, but the thought was causing havoc. I had to keep reminding myself that no longer was I at the end of a semester, but at the beginning of a new one. Life had gone by and more than this, life had changed. Ahead of me was not a rest and then my study leave; ahead of me was another semester. Life wasn’t placed on hold. That reality was hard to grasp while in the ‘in-between’ of still being in hospital and yet waiting to leave.