Monday, January 5, 2009

Things we learn, part 1

It's the end of hospital day 5. I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm lonely. Spent the entire day in the hospital with Chris, waiting for various docs and dietitians and nurse-advocate people. We started the day hopeful, ended the day crying over the phone. We thought he'd be coming home today, but around mid-day his pain came back with a vengeance, so they stopped the liquid diet and pumped up the morphine, drew some blood, and came back two hours later with the news that the magic numbers that need to go down have instead started going back up. So we wait. Maybe another day or two. We hope. Deja vu. This is exactly what happened last time. I'm trying to not think about that, trying not to panic.

Tonight after tucking my sweet little one into my bed because he is afraid to sleep alone, I'm taking a minute to count my blessings. One thing you learn when you spend time in a hospital is there are many, many people in the world who are worse off. For example, the man in the bed next to Chris is very ill, with all sorts of buzzers and beeps and monitors sounding all day and night, and he doesn't have anyone visiting him, ever. That makes me sad for him.

In times like this you learn, too, what you're made of -- and what your friends and family are made of. So many people swooped into action for us this past few days without me even asking. I'm so grateful for my little village. And for my family. You learn how much your marriage and your family mean, and you learn how easy it is to make sacrifices without even flinching.

You also learn not to take things for granted. Big things, like the wonderful Christmas and holiday break that the three of us shared, are so much more meaningful. As I look back on last week, I smile just thinking of Christmas morning giggles or our walk through Rittenhouse Park on a crisp winter evening. And little everyday things come into sharper focus. For instance, and this may sound silly, but one of the things Chris does around the house is fold the laundry. This is huge for me because I HATE to fold laundry. I am currently staring down three large baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded; they've been sitting here mocking me for five days. I won't overlook these things anymore.

As hard as this week has been, the real challenges lie ahead as we learn how to deal with his disease. I know this and I'd be lying to say I'm not afraid. But I won't dwell on that right now. Tonight I'm focusing on the positive things that will come out of this week. We will have to focus more on our health -- which happened to be a New Year's goal anyway. We will be leaner -- which means new clothes, new haircuts, new self-esteem -- all good things. We will exercise together, which is excellent time for talking and planning and dreaming together. We will teach our son how to make good lifestyle choices so he doesn't ever have to go through this himself. And Chris's brother has told him too that he wants to go to the diabetes classes with him, since he is also diabetic, so maybe they'll both be healthier for it -- and maybe their relationship will strengthen too. We will appreciate the mundane, routine, everyday-life little things even more.

It's been a long day. I'm going upstairs now to cuddle up with my little one. I know I'm blessed.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Good for you! You have an amazing attitude and Chris is lucky to have such a wonderful cheerleader in his corner. I know it will be hard to keep the pom poms shaking so remember that your friends are here for you when you need to take a break (or have a margarita or three.)

So sorry to hear that his numbers went back up. I drove up the street earlier and felt so sad when I saw his car in the driveway, all by its lonesome. Hopefully, those damn numbers will climb back down and he'll be home really soon. In the meantime, don't hesitate to call if you need anything at all.