Why any right-minded person would watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy of their own free will defies comprehension. Ditto All Saints, House, Chicago Hope or any other medical drama ever made.
Not even the prospect of a young George Clooney was enough to entice me to tune in to ER.
No amount of implausibly beautiful actors and soap-sudded storylines can disguise the fact they all take place in hospitals. Yes, hospitals – those buildings filled with bad food, overworked nurses and sick people.
Fictional or otherwise, surely a place best avoided wherever possible.
So I can sympathise with Dannii Minogue when she claims an aversion to hospitals was her motivation in attempting a home birth for the arrival of her son almost two years ago.
Speaking out recently in defence of the controversial practice, Minogue cited her older sister Kylie’s high-profile battle against cancer as the first of two harrowing experiences that left her wary.
“The second time I was in hospital for a friend who died of cancer,” she added. “She never came out again.”
Growing up with a mother who was fighting aggressive cancer I lost count of the afternoons my siblings and I spent perched at the end of her hospital bed for an after-school visit.
The corridors of her ward, staff in the radiotherapy unit and well-worn gossip magazines in the oncologist’s waiting room are among the familiar fixtures of my childhood.
Although I didn’t realise it at the time, hospitals became inextricably linked with feelings of helplessness and fear.
Then, when I was 17, my mother died and for several years those once-regular treks to hospital became confined to my paying the occasional bedside vigil to a friend or relative.
But the moment I would walk through the doors, and breath in that distinctive smell of disinfectant, the memories would come flooding back.
It was not until I reached my thirties and my husband and I decided to start a family that I was forced to confront my fears. I suspect this probably isn’t the technical term, but basically I had to “get over myself”.
This wasn’t just about me anymore – there was now a baby involved. And it is here the home-birthers and I part ways.