As much as we all know that hospital is good for us, we all dream of our great escape. Life is a struggle, and the world in which we live is a war zone. This makes the hospital something of a prisoner of war camp. We’ve all been captured by the enemy; brought down by the vicissitudes of life, and laid low in the wards of the hospital under the watchful eyes of the guards nurses. Private One’s escape committee is headed by Max – a larger than life auld fellow with a noble looking bed gown. On the first floor, in St. John’s it’s Tara, and above here in Victor Synge it’s John and I. Escape for the most part comes in the shape of day release, which I managed to wrangle today from the surgical team. Still, it is never that easy. Day release is a window of about two hours to rotate back to the real world and get back again in time for meds and the evening meal. Without fail one of the dark blue guards nurses will question where the hell you think you are going, and stall the tunnel digging.

Every now and again, however, a rank outsider will make a break for it. Most often they are found dangling from the razor wire fence in the morning or blown to pieces on the mine field around the camp hospital. Then there are the pure flukes like Agent M. She gives the impression that she hasn’t a clue what she is up to, but sometimes she just disappears. Tonight she simply upped and over the wall. An hour or so later she was discovered standing outside of Heuston Train Station waiting on her friend. Obviously she had help on the outside, but, alas, her plans were dashed when she was picked up and dragged back by the Germans security.

Deep down we know fine well that the place and the staff are good for us, but man does not live on bread alone. What is also good for us is the freedom of our own lives; the world that we have created for ourselves. One of the greatest frustrations of the hospital experience is that we are restricted and deprived of our own reality by the often sad reality of hospital. After all, few would argue with the fact that hope is the greatest medicine of all. Long live the escape committees!

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