Paediatrics: The discipline of medicine concerned with the treatment of children and infants suffering from illness.
Walking to my new attachment at the Temple Street Children's University Hospital in -1 degree weather is not much fun. My ears turn all red and tingly and my hands start to sting. Winter has begun in earnest and the trees are mostly bare save for a few resistant leaves (good on ye!).
The walk to the hospital takes me up Gardiner Street and into a few of the more underprivileged neighbourhoods in Dublin. As I walk through the streets I'm astounded to find remnants of architecture with actual historical significance. Outside a building site I noticed an old tower that looks like the sole remainder of a fortress wall, and around it had been built a small community playground and park. As I walk towards the hospital I can see the tower of a cathedral from a distance, the "temple" after which Temple Street had been named. The funny thing with that is that it used to be a nightclub, believe it or not. Yes, the church was one large nightclub that we used to frequent during my first two years here. It had hosted its fair share of high profile events such as MTV parties that brought some of the biggest acts in the Hip Hop/R&B world at the time right here to Dublin. The place was shut down two years ago after constant complaints from nearby residents and the hospital across the street about the noise levels and drunken buffoonery over the weekends. Now that I stand next to it on a weekday morning wearing a shirt, tie and sobriety, I actually appreciate the scale and beauty of the edifice. It's a shame that its been allowed to erode away the way it has. I hope they clean it up and re-open the place as a historical tourist attraction at some point.
The actual hospital is akin to a mouse maze. As I turn the corners of its corridors I find myself constantly expecting to run into a dead end and a piece of cheese. The original building is quite old, so the expansions over the years had been visibly arbitrary. One thing that struck me about it was the cheeriness of the floors, walls and ceilings. The colors are bright and breathtaking and the cartoon drawings all over the place fill you with a fuzzy sense of warmth. The fact that the Accident and Emergency waiting room is filled with benches that were propped up by massive wooden shoes brought a smile to my face. Here's an area of the hospital most commonly associated with acute illness and death and the walls are colored differently with drawings of flowers and teddies all over them. I know it makes sense for the kids, but wouldn't adult hospitals benefit from such a burst of cheer?