Most of us have had an experience with an emergency run to the hospital, whether for ourselves or for a loved one, we can’t deny that these visits are unnerving, between the reality of the unknown and the knowledge that these visits are inextricably linked to life and death.
My family has had quite a few hospital emergencies in recent years. I don’t think I’ve ever had an easy hospital experience either. Besides the reality of seeing our loved ones in pain, we also have to contend with the long hours traipsing to and from various waiting rooms, abiding by visiting hour regulations and enduring bedside capacity limitations. Then there’s your inner curiosity about other patients while you wait to be seen, bumping into a friend or acquaintance and swapping hospital stories, paying for tests to be done, and then going to do the tests. Let’s also not forget the stress of finding palatable food and getting a change of clothes if a long stay is required. Finally, there’s the need to combat, or voice, your feelings of frustrations at the inefficiencies within the health system.
Suffice it to say, hospital emergencies can be a lot to deal with.
In 2017, I had a hospital scare that had me admitted for a week and in recovery at home for almost a month after.
In 2018, my uncle died while on his way to the emergency room. Shortly after that my mother had to be rushed to the emergency room. Between recently losing his brother and seeing his wife in such a weakened state, my father collapsed beside my mother’s bed in the ER and both my parents ended up spending the night side by side in hospital beds attached to drips. While my father was released the next day, my mother spent almost a week at the hospital after that.
In 2019 we were back at the hospital with my father, but thankfully he spent less than two days there before we could take him home to continue his recovery.
In 2020, I was back in the emergency room, this time in California. But the major scare occurred later in the year when my brother and sister-in-law rushed to the hospital with their week-old daughter, and we were once again praying for the preservation of a loved one’s life.
Earlier this year, one of my brothers-in-law had to be rushed to the hospital in the UK. Thankfully, his visit was brief and the prognosis meant he could complete his recovery at home.
On Friday my mother sent a message in our family’s Whatsapp group to tell us that she and my father were on their way to the hospital with my grandmother. Hospital emergencies with aging loved ones have an added level of angst as your mind runs through the plethora of conditions that older people are more susceptible to and the increased difficulty their bodies have with recovering from those ailments.
Thankfully, after the initial scare that prompted the visit, my grandmother became lucid again. While they spent many hours waiting to see a doctor and then waiting to do an ultrasound, the rest of us kept pace with prayer and frequently checked our phones for updates from our various positions around the globe. Thank God my eldest brother was at hand to help ease my grandmother and parents’ discomfort and deal with the matters of food and other logistics.
You can imagine the discomforts endured by one Traditionalist and two Boomers waiting at the hospital through the night and morning hours. But thank God, the prognosis was not dire and surgery wasn't necessary to alleviate the pain or resolve the issue. So they returned home and my grandmother can continue her recovery in the comfort of her own space.