Male patients gain a great deal of gravitas in hospital. In their cotton johnny gowns, with their ascetic pallors and beatific beard growths, they resemble a council of early Byzantine bishops, temporarily at a loose end while awaiting the latest news from Nicaea.
Obviously, this saintly countenance could simply be a symptom of too much time spent indoors watching the History Channel; or perhaps sixty milligrams of pure gravitas are always included in the array of intravenous drips hanging over the patient's bed; or maybe it's just that the patient's cheeks hollow and lose color because his martyr's diet of shapeless, unappetizing gray hospital sludge makes Jack Sprat's fabled fat-free dinner look like a dazzling smorgasbord of nature's most succulent bounty.
Alas, the physical trappings of holiness do not confer upon patients the ability to perform the miracles of holy men - if they did, the patients could easily conjure away their own diseases with a single incantation: "Take up thy bed and walk," they would announce solemnly to themselves (except, of course, the bed would belong to the hospital and far to heavy and cumbersome to carry).
And so these patient's must languish on those beds, surrounded by floral offering from well-wishers and work colleagues, waiting for test results and consequent medications; and I imagine this is pretty much how the aforementioned Byzantine bishops spent their days; although they waited for complex doctrinal ratifications rather than test results, and for the approved bottles of communion wine instead of medications by the dose. They hid behind the sword of Constantine like we patients hide behind the staff of Aesculapius, neither group really knowing for sure what is going on behind the scenes.