As a Christian, my two favorite Bible verses are: in everything give thanks for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thes 5:18) and “ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).
As a writer, my two favorite Bible verses are: in everything give thanks and ALL things work together for good. For a writer, every new experience is a series of words waiting to be written. My two-day hospital stay is no different.
While waiting for a knee replacement, I discovered my blood pressure was high. So I began walking about a mile, and up the 39 steps that lead back to our house—on crutches. After three days of that, my left side was sore.
A few days later I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to go to the bathroom and could barely move. Once there, I couldn’t sit down on the toilet. I yowled every time I tried, even when husband Alan came to help. Somehow, Alan finally got me down…then I couldn’t get up. I sat on the seat from 5:30-6:30, before calling 111, the medical emergency number for Scotland. They said they had no staff available and I should call friends and neighbors to get me off the toilet seat. Really?
We finally called our pastor and his wife from “New Life Christian Fellowship.” We will be forever grateful to them. Jenny and Alan got me up and transferred to Alan’s desk chair. But I was still in too much pain to move and screamed in agony when I tried. Jenny—having been a nurse—called 111 again. She was informed that no ambulance would be sent and that I should call and make an appointment with my general practitioner. I couldn’t have made it to an appointment even if I scheduled one. I could not move. Any attempt to lift, move, slip, slide, or dislodge my left foot led to roars that would have startled an injured grizzly bear. When I finally got my GP, she dispatched an ambulance.
NEVER take the next moment for granted. I went to bed expecting to get up out of bed, take a shower, and head to my computer to work on my next book.
NEVER fail to express love and appreciation to those closest to you. You have no guarantee of your next moment of health, your next breath.
The EMTs injected me with 10 units of morphine before moving me. At the hospital, from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I attempted to make conversation work. No one seemed to comprehend that the reason I couldn’t move my left foot was because the pain incapacitated me. They had never experienced anyone in as much pain who had not been in an accident or broken something. X-rays showed no fractured ribs. It appeared that the pain was caused by bruised ribs and pulled muscles from overuse of crutches. But before that became clear and I was given a huge injection for pain, an enthusiastic physical therapist was sent to get me mobilized so I could go home. He told me to walk “just a little” from the bed to the dresser across the room. He didn’t understand that I couldn’t. I could not lift my left foot. I told him, but he didn’t understand. He put his foot behind my left foot and when I lifted my heel a few inches, he pushed his foot under my foot and attempted to slide my left foot forward when I moved my right foot. Major failure. My left foot was wired to the floor. The bear yowl I let out startled everyone within earshot. With him pushing and me leaning on a walker, I progressed three steps in 15 minutes. Enthusiastic therapist decided I really could not move my left foot and I should return to bed—but I couldn’t get back. I finally twisted my right foot around enough, threw myself over the walker, and propelled it with my right foot.
Lesson learned: Just because you are talking, don’t assume communication. People who have never experienced what you are experiencing won’t understand no matter how many ways you say it or how many times you say it.
I was admitted to the hospital. I was somewhat anxious when I was wheeled into the “Hospice” ward. On reflection, I shouldn’t have been stunned. I did sound like a dying cow.
I’m home from the hospital now.
There are jokes about hospital food. Meals at Cowal Community Hospital in Dunoon, Scotland were lovely. The EMTs were awesome. The doctors were competent and caring. The nursing staff was friendly and helpful. Patients were made a priority, not just a job.
In everything give thanks. I got an idea for a blog. All things work together for good. I can get up and down from the toilet seat again.