Until last year, I was one of the few people my age I knew who could say they'd never had a filling. Then I had to have five. Until last Sunday, I was one of the few people my age I knew who could say they'd never been admitted to hospital. Then I had to go to Emergency.
Having not stayed in hospital before, my associations of them are mainly from visiting my grandparents on their numerous admissions as they got older. It always seemed like a pretty okay way to spend a few days: helpful nurses, nice tea ladies, nothing to do but lie around reading or watching TV and lapping up the sympathy from visitors. But if you have to spend more than an hour in the place (and especially if you're stuck on a drip that means you can't move more than a metre away from a powerpoint), you realise that the nurses are too harassed to actually pay a second's more attention to you than they absolutely have to; that doctors think visiting wards and actually talking to patients is below them, so they'll make you wait three hours before they deign to grace you with their presence; and that hospital food is actually as bad as everyone makes out.
Thankfully (in all senses) I only had to stay in for 24 hours and am now recovering at home with my furry ginger nurse. The pain relief may not be as good, but the food makes up for it!