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I'm searching for some positive things to say about spending the past two days at the hospital. One of them is that hospital food has really improved.
My Dad has never gotten over the UTI that he had last summer. His doctor has tried several antibiotics for drug resistant bacteria. Each time Dad finished a course of antibiotics, they waited a week and did another urine test. He would e-mail saying, "I failed another test," and back on antibiotics he would go. When he failed the last test, I called his doctor and said I thought he should see a urologist. He had an appointment for the first Wednesday in December.
When we left their house on Saturday after Thanksgiving, he was happily waving good bye. Saturday night he sent me an e-mail detailing things we had accomplished on our Thanksgiving visit and making plans for the Wednesday appointment. Sunday morning my Mom called to say she could not get him to wake up. EMS took him to the hospital, and I grabbed my bags and started for their house. During the night the UTI had exploded into a full body infection. He was dealing with pneumonia, kidney failure, and a possible heart attack.
He is a critically ill man. I have had to talk with the doctors about his "directive to physicians." I have to walk a fine line between having my Mom at the hospital to see him during the brief ICU visiting periods, and making sure she gets enough rest so that she doesn't get sick herself.
In high stress situations, I ask myself two questions: What is God trying to teach me? and Where are the hidden blessings? I've found two of the latter. One is a big improvement in hospital food. Vending machines have bottled water and juice not just soda. The snack machines are still filled with things I can't eat because they are made with wheat and peanuts, but at least I can get something to drink. Today Mom and I went to the cafeteria for lunch. I wasn't expecting much, but she has knee and leg issues and walks with a cane. It was a much shorter walk to the concourse than it was to the parking garage.
We had a delicious and healthy lunch. I had grilled tilapia with onions and red peppers. For side dishes I had green beans, zucchini, and carrots. The green beans were fresh and cooked to perfection. This is not the bland, overcooked, mushy food that hospitals used to serve. If I hadn't known better I would have thought I was in an upscale restaurant.
The second hidden blessing is that I am truly thankful I have not found a job yet. It leaves me free to stay with Mom and Dad while they need me. If I had found the perfect job a month ago, I would now be negotiating for time off and wishing I could be two places at once. As always, God's timing is perfect.
I don't know if Dad will recover. It depends first on whether they can find drugs to knock out a very resistant bacteria and second on whether his heart, lungs and kidneys can recover from the damage done by the infection. We wait.
The patients love it and it has cut down on the waste.
I too try to find the blessing in each day, and find that I am a better wife and mother because of it. Hang in there, and make sure your get enough rest too!
Your family is in our thoughts.
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