If your health is in such a state that you or someone else has decided you need to be in a hospital, it stands to reason you're not going to be feeling cheery or putting your best foot forward.
But that doesn't mean the people who are there to look after you in your worst moments deserve the sharp end of your tongue.
I recently had an illness which meant I made the decision to go to the emergency department.
While severe pain and discomfort replaced my usually sunny disposition, at the time, I remembered my manners, I spoke politely and was grateful when offered treatment.
I remember lying in a cubicle in the ED listening to a nurse who was trying to talk to a patient but was being spoken to disrespectfully.
I remember thinking: "This person's trying to help you, why are you so rude?"
And while my illness was treated as a genuine emergency, I still felt some guilt for taking up the hospital's time and resources.
This week we reported that Rotorua and Taupō hospitals are at capacity and patients who are not classed as an emergency are clogging up emergency departments and due to their longer wait times are abusing staff.
Abusing healthcare workers is completely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are just trying to do the best they can.
And being seen in an emergency department is not "first-come, first-served".
Everyone is triaged and ranked according to their needs, so, for example, someone with chest pain might be seen by doctors before someone with a sprained wrist – regardless of what time the person with the sprained wrist arrived.
Those who decide to use the EDs for conditions that could be easily managed by their GPs are putting the system under pressure.
I suspect poverty could be a factor – people just don't have the funds for regular GP visits – especially if their conditions are chronic and need constant monitoring.
I also suspect lengthy wait times to see GPs are an issue.
Hospitals don't charge New Zealand citizens and permanent residents and some GPs have weeks-long waiting lists.
But as Rotorua Hospital emergency department head of department Dr Suzanne Moran says, managing conditions not classed as a health emergency is not the role of an emergency department.
Healthline is a free telephone service, staffed by registered nurses who can help you decide what you need. This, and your GP, should be your first port of call if your health needs are not an emergency.
Meanwhile, a heartfelt thank you to the team at Rotorua Hospital who helped restore me back to health.