It's interesting what happens when someone you care about is in the hospital. It seems like everything in the outside world just stops and the only reality is what's happening in the hospital.
For most of us, our everyday lives don't really have pressing responsibilities that can't be missed, so our normal life stops while we tend to the one we love. When I try to think about my day-to-day tasks or deadlines that may be missed, I try to put it in perspective with a question. "In the grand scheme of things, if this doesn't happen today, will anyone know or care 10 years from now?" I'd say for 99.9 % of our lives, we can easily answer, "No" to that question.
Wednesday night, my sister took my (83 year-old) mom to the emergency room because she'd been having extreme fatigue, lack of energy and some shortness of breath for a few days. She'd been feeling under the weather for a week or so, but thought it was just a virus or something. A few days ago, when she admitted that she didn't have the energy to walk down and pick up her mail, we knew there must be something wrong. She LOVES to be out and about seeing her neighbors, so it was a big deal when she couldn't do that.
My other sister and I met them at the hospital. After they ran a few tests, they decided to admit my mom. They found that she had fluid around her heart that was preventing it from pumping like it should. They had to do surgery to drain it. So, for the last few days my 2 sisters and I have been taking turns at the hospital, with a few other visitors coming in along the way.
Today mom had the surgery, which went very well. Sad thing is, she's had a headache and nausea all afternoon since the surgery, probably from the pain killer that they gave her. It's hard to just sit and not really be able to do anything to help, but I feel better somehow just having at least one of us here with her.
Hospitals bring up lots of thoughts in me. I'm constantly thinking about the patients and families that are here with much more serious issues than me. I'm also reminded of the times when I was visiting the hospital with more serious issues.
It so hard to be in a place like this without thinking of our own mortalitlurk y, but it's comforting to know that God is watching over the details of each of our lives and that nothing happens without him knowing about it and giving permission for it.
We'll continue to pray for my mom, of course, but she's a real trooper and in great shape for her age, so I have no doubts that she'll be up and around in a few days. Every member of the staff who comes in to see her says she looks great for her age! I think she does too. It will be really nice when she's back to normal and feeling better.
The realization lurks out there that at some point, she may need to live with one of us, but for now, she loves her independence and we'll let her hold on to it.