Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When a Hospitalization Drains Me of Everything

It's 10:42pm and my head is pounding. My gut is still hurting. I have more needle pricks and medical tape residue on me than should be legal.

So very thankful that my hospital room was on the side facing the lake. 
Such a gift.

I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

And yet this need to write, to tap these keys on my MacBook into words, is so pressing that I hardly have a choice but to type them out.

This hospitalization has left me more drained mentally and emotionally than usual. I appreciate each and every single text, voicemail, card, or Facebook message/comment but I just do not have the energy to respond to nearly all of them. (And I mean truly appreciated every. single. one. You guys don't even know how much they help me make it through each day.) 

Usually I blog at least once during each hospitalization. This one left me empty, with nothing to scribble from my keyboard.

It wasn't until  I was being wheeled down the hallways after going through the discharge papers that the words started just flying around in my head. 

It's like moving into a different world when living in a hospital, whether it's twenty-four hours or twenty-four days. When being wheeled out of the wing I was staying in (in a wheelchair with no foot rests but that's another story), it was like being released from prison. 

And then we went down the elevator to the first floor and we strolled over the skywalk and past the waterfall and down the hall overlooking the garden, and I suddenly wanted to cry.

That waterfall, that garden, those halls, they hold so many memories from last summer. 

Walks through the garden with my siblings and parents.

Watching the water tumble down the waterfall next to the workout room.

My brother lifting my IV pole up and down the stairs in the back part of the garden.

That one bench in that one lounge that got washed in my tears of frustration and hurt after a difficult phone call last June.

It honestly is a bit of a second home. A home I'd prefer to not have to return to for a very long time but that's beside the point. While I don't like why I've had to spend so much time there, I am thankful for the lessons learned and the growth in relationship during those times.

At the same time, being chained to an IV pole, sleeping in a plastic covered bed that makes me all sweaty, being woken up at 5:45 each morning for blood draws, being told what I can and cannot eat or drink, having my freaking pee measured? Yeah, all that stuff isn't my favorite.

I'm glad I'm out of there. 

But I'm also grateful for the care when I need it. Although my prayer is that I won't need it for a long time. 

This whole flare and hospitalization was so random; so unexpected; just so hard to accept.

I thought I was doing better.

I thought the medications and nutritional supplements were working.

Darnit, I thought that I was past this.

At least for a long while.

The discouragement, the depression, the frustration, I cannot pretend it's not here.

I cannot be less than honest.

I must be real.

But part of being real is also writing how thankful I am.

So thankful that I made it over six months since my last hospitalization.

Thankful that I celebrated the six month mark, since it turns out that I didn't make it much further.

Thankful for the love of my family and friends.

Thankful for all the prayers (more than I'll ever know and that is so humbling).

Thankful for hospitals in my time of unbearable pain.

Thankful for awesome EMT's and ambulances.

Thankful for IV's and medications.

Thankful for fuzzy socks and blankets.

Thankful for flowers and other gifts of loveliness.

Thankful that God stays the same even when life is so freaking unpredictable.

Thankful for my gorgeous golden retriever who covered my face in kisses after I was released.

Thankful for understanding employers.

Thankful for the knowledge that my God will provide financially.

Thankful to know that I don't have to rely on my own strength to get back on my feet.

Thankful for life.

Even when it hurts.

A lot.

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