March 11, 2017

Hospital(ity) ~ Horror, Humor & Humility

4:20 am
Yesterday was the 12th day I've spent in the hospital with Tom during which time he has had three major operations. It has not been the best time of our lives to say the least.  

the horror
Some time early this morning he woke me up with screams from the excruciating pain he has been experiencing during this time. I grabbed the "call button", a large control panel that calls the nurse, controls the TV, etc. I pressed it. Nothing happened. I was groggy & confused from having just waken up but instantly became alarmed & went to find the nurse on my own. None was to be found anywhere, not even at the front desk; it was totally surreal & I thought I was having a nightmare. I had this sensation of being in a Rod Serling episode of Twilight Zone where everyone in the world has disappeared.  

the humor
I went back into the room to check on Tom & just as I got to his bed the nurse must have returned to the front desk, saw the call light was on & asked what I wanted. I told her Tom was in pain & the "call button" was not working. She asked me if the TV was working. Still groggy & confused I thought to myself, "WHAT?!" & blurted out, "I don't want to watch TV, I need HELP!". She quickly said, "I'll find your nurse."    

The nurse came, gave Tom his pain med which got him back to sleep & all was well. Now, the whole time I've been here & had to ring for the nurse they've responded & come pretty quickly. The nurses here have been  fantastic! What I discovered is when the front desk replies to the button call they sort of reset the button so it can be used again but it cannot be used until it is reset by them. Tom must have rung the bell before I woke up; this is why it hadn't worked for me.  

I was so jacked up by the incident I couldn't go back to sleep again. My mouth tasted like 10 miles of dirt road so I went into the bathroom to rinse my mouth out. I had tried to take a shower during the time I've been here but the water was nothing more than lukewarm. One day out of desperation I went ahead & pretended I was on one of the camping trips I used to take. It was not a pleasant experience, however.  

To my astonishment the water was hot! Not boiling but at a delightful temperature to enjoy a long, luxurious shower. I have no idea how long I was in it but it felt SO good & I realized that the hot water must get used up during the day & only gets hot in the middle of the night when it is not in use. 

the humility
After my shower I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't because my brain would not turn off. I thought of the situations around the world where basic resources like hot water or just water period, good food & health care are not available; I thought to myself, how lucky we are here. I live in a land of plenty & too often take it for granted.  

I needed to write all this down so I can remind myself, after all is said & done, life is good. 

Styrous®, March 11, 2017  

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