As you may know, I’ve been spending way too much time in hospitals this calendar year. And man-o-man, (there’s some 70s slang for ya!) do those hospital waiting room/guest chairs hurt my back!
First I found everybody smiles at the hospital. It’s a much different atmosphere than I remember 20+ years ago. I didn’t find a “Nurse Ratched” anywhere. I smile a lot and even my face hurt by the end of the day responding to everyone’s smiles. Even, those of us with pain in our eyes would return the smile. It’s uplifting for those of us in a place we really don’t want to be. Still…Will someone please design an affordable ergo-whatever waiting room chair! You’d make a fortune! I’d love to make the dinero but, I don’t have a décor/design bone in my body.
Conversations while visiting someone in the hospital can take some surprising turns. I found my son’s innate sarcasm came out in silly ways while he was under the influence of meds. The nurse asked him to say something about himself for the white board. He said “Sarcasm is my second language.” She wrote it down. None of the nurses or doctors changed it but boy did they comment on it. That and the painkillers gave his sarcastic mouth free rein. It is funny to watch someone being sarcastic with a drug befuddled brain.
My husband came out of his first surgery feisty. There was a mix-up at the hospital and I was not told he went to ICU. I was late getting up there. He was mad because he didn’t have his book and the world was a horrible place. I think they shouldn’t have given him the remote cuz he had gone straight to the news. Hoo Boy! Was he ever cranky!
After his second surgery he was the model patient. We were able to discuss the surgery and have pleasant small talk. His nurses loved him! What happened? I don’t know. I warned him to treat everyone better. I made sure I was there when they brought him up to ICU. Personally, I think the anesthesiologist slipped him a happier drug.
My dad this week was glad for all the attention. I could tell. Oh yeah, he grumbled when they wouldn’t let him go home the next day and about the antibiotics and IVs. I got to hear all about his bowels and the wound care. Then he would want me to share his meal. Really? No thank you. My stomach was already in knots from the calls that he had bad infection…then the discussions…Ah no…I don’t think so.
Being the visitor is hard. Some patients like my husband will allow me to sit and be quiet while we read or rest. Others like my father will want a running dialogue the entire time I’m there. And some like my son are the comic relief. Not only does the patient have to be patient (hee hee) so does the visitor. I just try to adjust myself to the patient and know that God is holding my hand through the process.
In all the visits, I only had to be at the hospital for two to three days. I found myself exhausted and wired after each one. Oh! And let’s not forget my back hurt! (Somebody’s gonna figure out those chairs. I can feel it…). I found myself thinking of the family and friends of people under long-term medical care. How do they do it? I don’t know. I have been blessed with short stays in my family. Thank you Lord Jesus. As much as the hospital stays have caused me physical pain, I discovered my family and I have been truly blessed.
During this time, I’ve found myself praying for all those who support patients with long-term and major illness. The family, friends, and medical support are the heroes bringing comfort and aid. The patients are heroes for going through the medical process and not giving up. I am humbled by their commitment.
God Bless you all! May you be blessed with strength on your journey,