Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Final Thoughts

Okay, one last post on my surgery and then I promise I'm finished! I just have a few last thoughts I wanted to cover before I put my hospital narrative to rest. The first thought is about friendship. Friends make all the difference when you're going through a difficult time. There's just nothing like visiting with friends to help the time pass a little quicker and to make you feel more normal! I don't have a huge group of friends, but the ones I do have are sure gems!

On the day of my surgery my friend Lacee was off work so she sat with my mom while I was in surgery, and then she stayed and visited with me for a few hours after my surgery was over. Of all my "pre-accident" friends, Lacee is pretty much the only one that I still see on a regular basis. Most of the others have either stopped visiting or have just become "Facebook friends." Lacee is loyal with a capital "L" and is a great example to me of how to be a good friend.

On Wednesday evening my sister Chandra came to visit since she was off work. I'd been missing her since I only saw her for a couple of minutes on Tuesday. She smuggled a pizza into the hospital which really hit the spot. My friend Laura also came to visit that evening and it was great to see her since it had been a few months since I'd seen her last. As Laura left my friends Debby and Curt came in. They are just a hoot! What they say about laughter being the best medicine really is true!

On Thursday morning my friend Kellie stopped in. Her visit was unexpected since I didn't know she was coming. She couldn't have come at a better time. Thursday was a really discouraging day since I found out I wouldn't be able to go home that day or the next. She brought my mom and me four big cupcakes from a cupcake shop. I wasn't allowed to eat at the time, but Mom and I did enjoy the cupcakes later on.

On Friday I was able to Skype with my sister Annette. We usually Skype one or two afternoons a week and before I went in to have my surgery we set a tentative Skype date for Friday since I was sure I would be home from the hospital by then. Well, that didn't happen, but since my mom had her iPad with her we were still able to Skype. Annette (and her daughter Rebecah) were both sites for sore eyes and talking with them really cheered me.

On Saturday morning when I was twiddling my thumbs waiting to be discharged, Lacee's husband Ryan stopped in. (Lacee sent him on her behalf since she was out of town.) I was so surprised to see him because he has a strong aversion to hospitals. (Seriously, just the smell of hospitals is enough to make him woozy, and a few years ago when he and Lacee visited me in the hospital he got so light-headed that he nearly passed out.) I was touched that he would brave the hospital all by himself just to come visit me.

Last year my mom bought an iPad with a little keyboard. My mom getting an iPad was pretty surprising because she's not the type of person that's up on all the latest technology/gadgets. But she thought having an iPad would be really nice/convenient if I were ever in the hospital (this was her number one motivation for getting one). She still had a way to stay in contact with people without having to leave me for long periods of time to search out a computer in one of the hospital's waiting rooms that wasn't in use. I tell you what, Mom's iPad came in SO handy! It help keep her occupied and it was so nice to receive little emails and Facebook messages from people. Getting those messages and well-wishes from family members and friends sure did brighten my day!

I don't look forward to the times when I have to have surgery or be in the hospital, but I always try to make the best of it. I go to a great hospital, and one of the best things about it is that it's a teaching hospital. (Barnes Jewish Hospital is associated with Washington University School of Medicine which is currently ranked as the sixth best medical school in the country by U.S. News and World Report. It has been ranked second two times in 2003 and 2004 and has been on the top 10 list since the rankings were first published.). I really like that I'm able to play a part in educating others and exposing them to different scenarios, just by being a patient. No, it's not the contribution to healthcare that I thought I'd be making when I decided to enroll in nursing school, but it's still something.

I love the hospital environment because I love learning new things. I've always had a fascination with the human body/medical things, and my interest has only grown over the years. I always watch everything that's going on around me (or that's done to me) with great fascination and I always ask lots of questions. I was a big fan of the TV show ER back in the day and have fond memories of watching it with my dad when he was still alive. I learned a lot of medical lingo from watching that show. I really didn't understand these terms/conditions at the time, so it's nice to learn what they are. (For example, pleural effusion and pneumothorax are both terms that I'm familiar with thanks to ER, even though I didn't really know what they were. After my most recent hospitalization I have a much better understanding (which you can read about in here and here).

I got such great care while in the hospital and everyone was so nice to me. I always try to be very pleasant/appreciative to everyone I come into contact with and I'm easily able to charm people with my pleasant personality. Being nice is my secret to getting such great care! I've noticed over the years that the resident doctors are slowly becoming younger and younger as I get older and older. It won't be long before the doctors are younger than I am! I will be 30 this summer and I wish I could physically freeze at that age forever.


Elaine said...

Fun update! Thank you. And FYI, I have been trying to freeze my age for a very long time. If you figure it out, please say I can be the first person you tell. Please:-)

Shelby Cherry said...

Beautiful person, (another) beautiful post!

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