I was recently a patient in hospital following surgery. Here are 5 (Huffington Post style!) reflections on my time there in relation to our work as Clowndoctors:
1. Indirect and no pressure is good. We know this, and practice it. I felt sore and small and tired after surgery. I wanted company but was anxious that I had nothing to say, and for my visitors not to worry about me. Visiting time was the best part of the day and the most exhausting. Us CD's maintaining a light, comfortable, confident relationship between each other is so important and the foundation to everything. I have flashes of the odd visit, on a tough day, walking into a room side by side, needing input from the client. Do you want a song? A dance? a joke? I DONT KNOW WHAT I WANT!! cringe, cringe cringe.
2. If you are on morphine, everything feels pretty good (it doesn't really deal with the pain, so much as make you not care about the pain), but the brain slows down somewhat. We should probably slow down too.
3. When even very good friends are standing up around you, it feels really weird to be lying in bed. Being a patient is a very objectifying experience. Interesting to observe how our status is dictated by our physical relationship to the client as well as each other as clowns...
4. Not being able to sit up in bed, or reach a cup, or eat something delicious that somebody has brought you sucks. Being able to help with anything, however small, is so lovely.
5. Laughing really does make you feel better, even when it it really hurts. I laughed a lot in hospital, and my memories of being there are good.
So keep up the good work, Clown friends!
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and reflection on clowning as an (therapeutic) art form.