Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sitting where they sat...

Yesterday, two friends of mine underwent surgery. Neither of them had to stay in the hospital overnight. In fact, one of them underwent back surgery in a special surgery center that wasn't even part of a hospital. Both of them are doing fine today. Thanks be to God.

Yesterday morning, I drove to the hospital, found the surgical waiting room, and sat for less than an hour before being ushered into the recovery room of a dear girlfriend of mine. I sat and chatted with her for a few minutes before the nurse helped her get dressed, and I drove her home. Easy peasy. All is well.

But while I sat in the surgical waiting room, I looked around at the other people also waiting. I wondered how many of them would receive bad news from a surgeon - kanswer, an amputation, an organ failure. I wondered how many of them would leave the hospital with the worst news of all - that a loved one had died in surgery. I wondered how many of them didn't have health insurance and were wondering how they would pay for the procedures being carried out on their loved ones. Most of all, I prayed for every family represented, every patient in every OR, and every doctor working to restore health to the sick and dignity to the dying.

My mind rolled back four months and one day - when my husband, Kristiana, my mother, Karen, and Gibbs sat in that same room waiting for news about the two surgeries I was undergoing on the morning of April 19th. I wondered about what they must have been thinking as the hours rolled by, as the family members and friends of other patients came and went, as they held onto hope for my full recovery.

I don't remember much of that day. I don't remember being wheeled from the surgical preparation room into the operating room. I don't remember being wheeled from the OR to the recovery room or to the room where I stayed overnight following the operation.

There are vague memories of friends visiting, nurses checking my vital statistics, and even the food I ate. There are blurred images of bandages being changed, drains being emptied, ice packs on my chest, and leg compression garments inflating and deflating for 24 hours.

Yesterday morning, while sitting in the waiting room where my dearly beloved ones sat, I was reminded of how blessed I am to have so many friends and family members who sat vigil with me and for me during my battle with kanswer. Many of them, many of you continue to pray for me, to check in with me, and send me reminders of just how loved I am.

Sitting where they sat, I was reminded of how skilled my doctors are, how compassionate, how hard-working and how dedicated they are to the health and well-being of their patients.

Sitting where they sat, I was reminded of the rich blessing of having access to medical facilities, medical personnel, medical insurance, and medications that have been effective against this dreadful disease.

Sitting where they sat, I was reminded of how far I have come, how strong and flexible I am again, how much I am able to do that I couldn't do in the early days following surgery - including sipping a green tea latte at the airport in Tampa.

Sitting where they sat, I gave thanks to God for the inestimable gifts of life, love, joy, hope, health, and health care.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Amen...and amen!