What happened to wayocross you might ask. I had heart surgery for a leaking heart valve. That was the easy part. The recovery and rehab were the hardest. Also not helped by my attitude.
If I felt better I’d finish this post – but I don’t feel better – now I feel better (skipping taxes for a while).
I have gained an enormous respect for our health care providers. And a very healthy respect for the patients in the hospitals and rehab. Even though as a church leader I visisted many people from our congregation who were in the hospital; I didn’t recognize the level of discomfort and anxiety that they experienced.
In my case my mitral valve repair was difficult for the surgeon; leaving me with several tubes and wires, bruises, pain, and disorientation. The second day I had a lot of pain, was over-medicated, which resulted in nightmares/hallucinations. I woke up to find myself in a new room, right across from ther nurse’s station. I was the official bad boy of the floor. Pulling out tubes in the hospital is not allowed. My nightmares had me sensing a different reality and wanting to escape. I did for the next three nights by not sleeping at all.
I apparently already had a swallowing problem which was aggivated by the tube down my throat for the heart surgery. I ended up with a feeding tube, which I didn’t have to use when I got home. I would have been in the hospital for five days with no complications. But ended up with twenty-two days in the hospital. I went from surgery to ICU to Intensive Care to Rehab (different hospital).
My wife was an angel and drove across town every day to be with me. As great as the staff was – it would have seemed a lot more lonely if she had not been there. Next to God she is the most important anchor in my life. As much as I fall short of being a good husband, I do remember what Charlie Pride sang “Kiss an Angel Good Morning”.
I’ve always thought that I could enjoy doing Rehab. I used to encourage people in the hospitals when I visited to put in the work for a better outcome. Having Rehab was a good way to break up the day. I had fivr to six sessions a day with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy (for my swallowing).
Now that I’m home I still have a month or two before I’m back to normal (relative term). But I am getting better. I’ve learned a lot, including about myself.
I always had a smile on my face (several nurses commented). I sought to encourage each one. I also had a stack of tracts that I took wioth me and made sure each nurse got one. They are available at Moments With The Book @ http://www.mwtb.org 814-623-8737.
A ready smile and a listening ear are the essentials to minister to people who are hurting. It also works for the patient themselves as they see reflected their own attitude in the face of the nurses.
We all can use the touch of a fellow saint to guide and cheer us. Our world is imperfect – but there’s a better world to come. When anyone would comment on my cheery disposition I would simply point Heavenward and received a smile in return.