Tag Archive | sickness

On A Soapbox About the Medical Industry

Hospital-entrance-signYesterday was a gorgeous June day. Perfect weather and Ken felt strong enough to go out in the afternoon. so we got in the car and took a little trip. We spent the afternoon visiting my Dad and our friend, Patrick, at the hospital.

My Dad is still with us. Dying is such an interesting process. Two weeks ago, I thought he was taking flight on angel wings, but yesterday he was watching a baseball game on the television. He has rallied so much, the hospital is requiring him to leave. Yeah. You read that right. Dad has to go somewhere else. Like he can catch a bus to go somewhere to do his dying business.

The poor man is too weak to sit in a chair. His breathing is so heavy he gasps for air when he does the slightest movement, and the damn hospital is making him leave. Unbelievable! It seems the hospice care unit doesn’t make enough money, so they do this to dying patients when they deem their stay has been too long. Because my Dad hasn’t died on their schedule, he is being sent away when he needs the care most. It’s true. Money makes the world go ’round and the rest be damned.

Deep down, my Father is hoping to go home. I think once my sister arranges a 24-hour hospice nurse for him, he will feel safe and ready to die in the corner of the world he built with his own hands. He’ll be surrounded by pictures of his loved ones, and he’ll have  familiar things surrounding him. I hope for his sake, my sister can arrange for him to go home. I know he will be happier there than a nursing home.

Another person we love is also in the hospital, so after my Dad feel asleep for an afternoon nap, we got into the elevator and went to the second floor to see Patrick. This year has been so difficult for him. He’s suffering the mean stage of Type l diabetes and has had several surgeries, has had to go on dialysis, and has had complications with medications. Because things haven’t gone exactly as the doctors have anticipated, he’s suffered for it.

Medicine doesn’t seem to be an exact science, does it? There’s a human spirit which has some say in our fate, and unfortunately, it seems the medical “INDUSTRY” doesn’t recognize that factor. Just because a person doesn’t fit into a preordained medical box, they are pushed aside as if it were their fault. Too bad we can’t go back to the days when older people were respected and their doctors knew there was more to good health than medication and test results. There was human empathy and medicine was a  profession.

A Search for Normalcy in a Sea of Sickness

Which wayLately, my posts have been rather mundane. I’ve even skipped a day or two because I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to discuss, and that’s a personal disappointment because it was my goal to write a piece everyday. I had hoped by now that I would have a huge following–but such has not been the case. So, what happened?

Life got in the way.

If you are one of my faithful followers, you know that my father is waiting to take his last breath. I try to see him in the hospital everyday, but even that goal has not been achieved. I know our time is short, but I also have my husband to consider. Sometimes he’s not able to walk and takes falls. It has become so often that we’ve made a joke about it. Remember when I told you about the Cool Runnings reference? And then there’s a dear friend who also needs someone to help him. He’s suffering the lasting trials of diabetes. He’s become so weak that he cannot drive, and about once a week he needs me to take him to an appointment.

So right now, this is my life. I’m surrounded by sick men, who need me in one way or another. Not my choice. Just my circumstance. I was raised to be in service to others, or so I was told by my mother. I guess she was right because as much as I’d like to run away and leave all of this pain and suffering in my wake, I can’t. I need to stay the course, live everyday to its fullest, and try to find the joy along the way. It’s there somewhere–it’s just more challenging to find it these days.

Yesterday I got a little piece of heaven when Ken and I went out for lunch. This time we opted for Applebeas, which was really more expensive then the $4 Senior Special at Burger King, but we hadn’t been out together like this since Valentine’s Day. So, we had the joy of sitting across the table from each other, talking about things that didn’t involve sickness. For one short hour, we stepped away from our normal surroundings of the living room and enjoyed each other’s company like we used to do when we were dating. It didn’t even bother me that I had to cut his chicken breast because the tremor in his right hand has become so severe. Our little impromptu outing gave us what we both needed–a little normalcy in what has become anything but normal world.

So when your life becomes overwhelming with defeat, remember you can still find joy in the simplest things. A lunch away from home. The beauty of Spring flowers. A phone call with a friend. Just step away from what’s bringing you down for a minute or two and your soul will be rejuvenated.