It's funny how all hospitals smell the same.
I mean, with all the sanitizers, sterilizers and soap, I suppose it makes sense.
I guess it would be more appropriate to say, it's funny how the memories of past experiences can be brought back by little more than the mere smell of a hospital.
I spent the better part of today in the emergency room with my grandmother, and found myself being transported back in time. Every time I shut my eyes, depending on where my mind chose to take me, I found myself either in Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul or St. Michael's post-surgery.
With such a strong connection between olfaction and memory, it is understandable how people develop a dislike (or phobia) of hospitals. Let's face it, with the exception of maybe giving birth (depending on how long you were in labor), good things rarely happen in the hospital.
Today was one of those not so good events.
My grandmother called early this afternoon complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath. We rushed her to the hospital and this time it was her turn to undergo a battery of tests. She kept her brave face on the whole time, which I admit, helped me stay calm.
After a few hours, the Dr. came back to inform us that my grandmother had suffered a heart attack. She has been put on blood thinners and is staying overnight for observations, and will be seen by a specialist tomorrow morning.
It was almost surreal to see someone who has been such an inspiration to me, look so small and frail. Having her hooked up to so many machines, not knowing what was going to happen next, was difficult... almost heartbreaking.
I am fully aware that these things happen as we age, but we never want to admit that it can happen to our family. We never want it to happen to our family.