February 26, 2013
Gift, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 9
I don’t remember much about my hospital stay, a few visitors; the new room service food plan that was excellent and has many merits. I remember more about what was going on around me. The two roommates I had; one pleased to be discharged, and the other with a faith of such enormous strength it over-rode years of medical training and hospital experience. Our GODs were not the same, but our faith certainly was. I asked the family member who came and stayed overnight, a doctor from Chicago, if I could pray for them.
It’s hard to describe why I asked. I pray for plenty of people who have their own GOD, and do not know mine. I wasn’t sure it would be appropriate or acceptable for me to pray to my GOD about the situation they believed their GOD would carry them through. It wasn’t for a gap-save back-up plan in case their GOD failed. I have long been stuck on the idea of an Avengers-like GOD collaboration; a plethora of GODs under one One Almighty who created and assigns different GODs to reach different types of people. Though I don’t talk it about it much, I believe the same method of employ must be true of the devil.
My roommate left for surgery, with an expected best outcome of being in ICU. I don’t know, and never will, how that story ends. Instead, I was given another one to share.
A few hours later, getting ready for discharge, a woman came in and introduced herself as a social worker. She was working with a patient a few doors down who needed two witnesses for paperwork he was completing. My sister-in-law and I readily agreed.
I knew there were only two reasons requiring witnesses – either a Durable Power of Attorney or a Living Will, and I knew if the hospital had deployed a social worker to secure those two items the situation could not be good. Just a few steps down the hall, we were ushered through a door bearing a large black print on white paper sign. The sign said "DIFFICULT PATIENT." Through the night I had heard bursts of mumbled moaning and attempted shouting and realized this is where they had come from.
He was sitting in a chair by the window with monitoring tubes everywhere, and another one down his throat. He nodded at us and signed the document he had been holding, while the social worker explained that he was signing over his rights to his ex-wife. We signed them, too. He wrote out a note that said “Thank You,” and then motioned for us to wait. We watched him for a few moments while he scribbled another note. That one said, "I am a prayer warrior. Please write the names of the people you would like me to pray for." Without hesitating, I added my roommate’s name to his list. When I handed it back he had tears in his eyes and kept touching his heart. “May GOD be with you,” I said. He replied with an offering roll of his hand.
I have no idea if his GOD is the same as my GOD or the same as her GOD.
I don’t really think it matters much, anyway. A prayer is a gift, and that’s that.
February 19, 2013
Healing, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 8
It’s been a long time since I’ve had nothing to say. I don’t really have nothing to say, but I do have a lack of being able to say it, or write it. Thinking isn’t going so great either. I’m tired, and medicated and looking forward to someday soon being neither of those. In the meantime, though, here are some things others have said that have healed me in one way or another. Healing is a good thing. We should all do it. As often as needed. :-)
February 10, 2013
Hernia, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 7
I’m one of those people they write warnings labels for..
This is for sure the earliest early edition of MidWeek Encouragement ever sent. That’s because I won’t be available for more than a few days on either side of this coming Wednesday. In fact, tomorrow late morning I will be having surgery, again. This time it’s for an innocently gained hernia of rather large size.
I managed that by exercising, untraditionally. It seemed to me that I wasn’t getting the same core workout on the elliptical that I did on the treadmill. I know that’s counter-intuitive, but it’s true. My treadmill style included hip-hop moves, boxing, and high marching all while moving. The elliptical pretty much only allows you to do… an elliptical motion. The only way I could think of to jazz-it up was to… well… assume a downhill ski position while pedaling and working my upper arms. That was a work-out I felt the next day, and for a few days afterward. Nothing horrific, just some general soreness.
At first, I though the little bulge was an indicator of weight gain. However, as it grew I became increasingly concerned. Within a few weeks nothing more than a slight horizontal slash remained, and my belly was pretty much button-less. So, off I went to the doctor explaining that it didn’t hurt; it just felt uncomfortable. Sometimes it was hot, sometimes cold. It got bigger and smaller, and until all the poking and prodding and pressing, it hadn’t been the slightest bit painful. After that, it was.
The theory is that I may have had abdominal weakness after they had so much trouble getting my gallbladder out. The hernia’s been living happily above my belly-button since October. An MRI and few visits to other doctors raised some interesting conflicting opinions about what may or may not be going on in there. By the time I finally saw a surgeon, it was estimated that the parting of my abdominal muscles have left 12 x 7 cm gap, and the hernia itself was to quote, “the size of a cantaloupe.” Please don’t panic: in my opinion it would be a very small cantaloupe. Seriously, I wouldn’t buy one this size; not enough bang for my buck.
So, there you have it: a short synapsis of a four month odyssey which won’t come to a complete end after surgery. Repairing the hole is just the beginning. I have no idea what the time-line is for recovery. I was told to expect to be admitted following surgery, and that I would probably remain in the hospital 2-3 nights. There are driving restrictions and weight restrictions and, of course, exercise restrictions. The most important of which would be to only use the equipment in the way it was intended. Sigh.
February 05, 2013
Fortune, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 6
Celebrating a rarity; startling good news.
For so long, aimless; moving makes it harder to be found.
It’s odd to have arrived by ceasing the search.
As if by standing still, straight lines have a chance to converge; radiating an inward flow.
Truly, I was only hoping to not be worse off; validity was unexpected.
Suddenly roots, and running in place, for another 15 years seems the way to go.
Making a nice quiet life for myself, not much different from the one I have now, just ... different.
Justifiably believing I am a remarkable achiever; rising in phoenix fashion.
Banking bittersweet tears; the reality of good fortune morphs into a real let down.
I would have called out “celebrate with me!” to too many; gone now
Emotionally tight, barely whispering: a feather-light wish on a cold winter night.
The shimmering wind breathes it in, and slowly answers back: with
Echoes of sweet smiles and crackling sparkle-lit eyes;
therein lies true fortune.