Monday, March 7, 2011
The last several days have been spent at the hospital. "Pulmonary Embolism" "Coumadin"--words I never wanted to hear EVER again. Pastor Battle's message last week concerning his own condition really prepared me for hearing the full extent of my Dad's condition. When Mommy was diagnosed with PE there was fear, caution and anxiety. She wouldn't even go into the kitchen. Knives were there. She'd limited her mobility. What if she would fall? I remember her blood running out of her nostrils like water as the hospital staff tried to revive her. They did all that they could. Coumadin COULDN'T be a good thing, could it? Why is it STILL the first weapon reached for in cases of PE?
Daddy said he thought he was having a heart attack. The pain in his chest was worse when he inhaled. Loss of energy, low heart rate, high blood pressure, clots in the pulmonary arteries--Dr. Barakat said most people don't make it. We all knew that all too well. Dr. Washington wanted to see specific numbers on every test. If he didn't see them, hospital would have to be home.
I almost panicked, but I know it was God who has calmed and comforted me last Wednesday. I almost relived the pain of 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007. Illness, death, and crazy, selfish, nosy, intrusive, insensitive people are a toxic mix. God arrested me and my thoughts. "I've got this. It's going to be okay this time. Trust me."
"This time" has been less stressful, people have been considerate and helpful. It has also been an opportunity to show kindness to strangers, and comfort friends. Drama kings and queens, familiar spirits, and lovers of strife have managed to stay away, praise the Lord. I experienced so many things that let me know you can't be intimidated, and asking questions is not a crime. An hospital is a busy place, English is not everyone's first language, and people do make mistakes. Part of caring is getting as much information as you can, and speaking up when you know something is wrong.
I've met some of the most grateful,encouraging people in the past several days and they were lying in hospital beds.
Dad is home today. He will have to be on a low sodium, low cholesterol diet and his beloved collards, mustards, kale, and okra have to go for a while, but he's still here to tell about it.