I was warned a few years ago that the cataract growing in my left eye would need to be operated on and the time is now. Given all that is going on in the world, I am filled with gratitude that care and operations are still going ahead here. I was unusually anxious as I set out for my pre-op assessment yesterday and not exactly embracing what lay ahead.
The instructions were clear and I was not allowed to drive afterwards, so I checked Google maps and saw a train station and a fair walk would bring me to the clinic. Off I set on a lovely sunny afternoon.
I stood outside the station absorbing the sight of a steep, and long, hill in front of me and acknowledged that Google maps appear flat!
Half an hour later, glowing (as they say ‘horses sweat, men perspire and women glow), I arrived at the back entrance to the clinic site. I wished I had taken a taxi or phoned a friend.
Entering the site through a beautiful stone archway, the modern clinic building nestles beside an old church, church hall and community centre on lovely landscaped grounds. It was so peaceful and I sat down on one of the benches. The bees were busy in the roses beside the church, a pharmacy was operating beside the old church hall and people were chatting quietly as they waited to be served. Folk were cycling to and fro and the car park was dotted with trees.
Inside, it is a bright and welcoming space with the eye clinic on the top floor. There was an escort and he chatted about the way they are keeping everywhere sanitised and how I would be cared for. He took the time to help me complete the forms. All the people who carried out the assessment stages were kind and gentle, so the peace gifted from the churchyard continued. They even laughed when I opened my distance glasses case and it was empty. I’d left them in the car console back home!
In 1861, it was where the Union Workhouse was built and then in 1866, a hospital was added. In 1948, the whole site became St. Catherine’s hospital. In 2009, it was revamped to become the largest community health care facility delivered in the North West of England for many years. The architects and planners have done a wonderful job of marrying the old with the new and the way the facility is being run are sympathetic to their vision.
If I’d gone by taxi, I’d have arrived at the front entrance and missed the wonder at the back.
‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.’ ~ Rumi