Yesterday, I was sent off from work to the clinic, which sent me off to Singapore General Hospital, which then decided I needed to stay for a few nights for observation. The reason? My left leg is currently swollen, as if it Hulked out and the rest of my body didn’t follow suit. (For the morbidly curious, here’s what that looks like.)It’s never fun having to go through the hospital system, and nobody dreams of actually staying at the hospital. The whole process of waiting, analysis, diagnosis, and more waiting gets old really quickly, and simply being at the waiting area of a hospital increases one’s anxiety. All I wanted was to get out and go home, so when I was told I had to spend 2-3 days, I cringed.Thankfully, after spending a night at the hospital, I’ve found that it’s not so bad. Okay, so Singapore General Hospital is a world-class facility, and I paid a little extra so I would have a private room. Nor do I have a very serious condition which requires me to be hooked up to machines, or have needles poked into every possible part of my body. But even when you consider those, my stay has so far been better than most nights at a hostel, or even at a budget hotel.

For starters, I have my own room, which generally doesn’t happen at hostels (except for one time in Bangkok when I was the only one in my dorm room). And even if I didn’t have my own room, I would have my own TV, which is not only absent from dorm rooms, but is also absent from my own flat here in Singapore. Perks of having my own room include privacy (which you could never get in a dorm), as well as a phone line that allows people to call my room directly.

Another “perk” of staying at a hospital is that visitors are welcome. Try bringing guests to your dorm room and the front desk will probably chase you AND your guest away. Even if you had your own room at a hostel or budget hotel, visitors would either have to register or leave their passport at the front desk, or be turned away completely. On the other hand, visiting hours aside, guests are welcome to visit me.

There is also this wonderful thing called the call button. All I have to do is press a button, and a nurse will come in and ask for what I need. I have yet to use it for anything useful, but it’s a good thing to have in case I need more water, or feel even a bit peckish. Compare that to hostels, where sometimes you’re lucky if the front desk staff actually responds to you.

Meals are provided, and contrary to popular belief, hospital food isn’t always bland and tasteless. I had a lovely salmon dish for lunch, and I’m looking forward to my chicken for dinner tonight. I even get a choice of what to have as a meal, and I’m glad I currently don’t have any dietary restrictions with my condition. At a hostel, usually the only meal included is breakfast (and to be fair, some hostels have a great breakfast spread). Other freebies I’ve gotten are a little grooming kit (kind of like what they have at hotels) and the morning paper.Still, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies here. I AM here for medical reasons, which means assorted medical checks. Nothing too serious for now (no tubes in uncomfortable places, no needles in painful places), but my blood has already been drawn twice, urine collected thrice, and my finger pricked once to get my sugar checked. That doesn’t sound too bad, but I hate needles. Also, my blood pressure and heart rate are checked constantly throughout the day, including a nice little wake-up session at 6am. But hey, I’m thankful that this is all I’ve been going through so far. Let’s hope it stays that way.Also, I still want to go home as soon as possible. Now if someone could help me unbolt this flatscreen TV…

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