I came across something I’d written a few years back when I was hospitalized with a minor condition. I’d actually been suffering for a week before I decided to seek a doctor’s attention. And although my threshold for pain is very high, being admitted to a hospital was daunting.
I remember being scared and alone. I was newly divorced and living in a rental by myself; my daughters were grown and lived hours away as well as my brother. They had put me on a strong medication for the pain while testing, and I was out of it. During the night a nurse came into the room to check my vitals. She asked if I needed more medication, and even though I did, I requested a lighter dose because I felt I needed to have my wits about me. She obliged after consulting with the doctor. We got to talking and she was divorced as well, although way younger than me. She had taken a chance on marriage again and was very happy. We had a little bit of a heart to heart, which I desperately needed. When she was getting ready to move on, I confided in her that I felt so alone. She turned and looked me square in the eyes and said, “Oh, you are NEVER alone.” Then she was gone.
That one sentence gave me the confidence I needed because I realized God was always with me. I looked out of the window and up into the sky and saw a brilliant orange moon, which was typical on an oppressively hot August night. I prayed for my friend who was also in the hospital in the distant state of Indiana living out the last weeks of his life. My heart ached with the thought of how I would miss him when he passed because he had been my father figure, mentor and encourager since I was 19 years old. It was a horribly sad night for me.
I awoke the next morning somewhat renewed. I luckily had a kind doctor who decided I would not need surgery and treated me instead with a heavy dose of antibiotics in an IV drip.
As I progressively improved, my family came to be with me. I got stronger, and in a few days was able to leave the hospital. Although I wanted to see and thank the nurse who had helped me through that rough first night, I never saw her again. I still think of her as an angel sent to me.
I began to write down the lessons I learned during that trying period to encourage others who might find themselves going through a similar situation:
- You are NEVER alone.
- You can take care of yourself most of the time, but when you need help, asking for it is not a weakness.
- You can have an infection without a constant fever.
- Taking a shower with an IV in your arm wrapped in a plastic bag is doable.
- Ice chips can be a big treat.
- Clear liquids can be nourishing.
- You don’t always need heavy-duty pain medication to get by, but can ask for them when needed on demand.
- Just what the doctor orders is usually best, albeit contrary to what you think should be. Trust.
- A private hospital room, if you are lucky enough to have one, is awesome.
- Spending time in a hospital is not the worst thing in the world.
- Construction outside your hospital window is not always noisy.
- You don’t need TV to pass the time.
- People are basically kind and caring.
- Angels show up when you think you’re alone.
- A big orange moon can seem like a friend smiling down on you.
- Cards and flowers are wonderfully uplifting and heart warming to receive but not necessarily needed to make you feel cared about.
- There are people in the hospital way sicker than you are, so it’s a strength to keep from complaining and pray for them instead.
- God sends angels to call on you out of the blue.
- God is always and forever with you.
- Trust in God and in His goodness in all circumstances.