Ten days ago, I had to call an ambulance for my husband. All week he had been struggling with what we thought was a bad reaction to his chemo. All week the nurse help line at the Cancer Care Centre advised us to keep following the protocol we had been given and continue to monitor his symptoms. But by Friday when he was no better, the time for monitoring and managing on our own was over.
“Try not to spend another six weeks in the hospital,” I said. He laughed in response. Surely that couldn’t be.
But after talking with the emergency room doctor, I wasn’t so sure.
“Your husband’s case is complicated,” he said. And it seemed the longer my husband was in the hospital, the more the complications grew. A cardiologist was called to consult. Then a surgeon. Then a specialist in internal medicine. I’m learning a new vocabulary I never wanted to know, of atrial fibrillation and cardioversion and ventilation-perfusion scans.
But one by one the complications have been sorted out, and I’m so grateful to God for the skill and thoroughness of the doctors, grateful for the expertise and care of the nurses, grateful for care aides and cleaners, for phlebotomists and lab techs and hospital porters, and everyone working in health care in these trying times.
My husband was technically admitted to the hospital that first night in the emergency room, but due to a shortage of beds, he spent a week in emergency before being transferred to a room with a proper bed for him, a chair for me, and relative quiet compared to the busy emergency room. We pray this change in our circumstances means that the pressure on the health care system is easing overall; we pray for other individuals and families needing medical treatment; and for my husband we pray that no new complications will emerge. Please God, bring him safely home to me.
If you have a loved one in the hospital, I pray that our story might encourage you to keep calling, caring, taking care of yourself, and praying. If you’re going through a hard time or know someone who is, I pray that these positive thoughts and prayers might offer some comfort and inspire your own expressions of care. Our story isn’t over yet, and neither is yours.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: What prayer is most on your heart and mind these days?
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