Mindful Living

Hospital visits, life-lessons and gratitude

Hospital visits, life-lessons, and gratitude. #lifelessons #gratitude #mindfulness

We spent almost all day in hospital yesterday. It was time for my husband’s follow up visit after two weeks on a new medicine. This meant blood tests before starting these meds and blood tests after two weeks to see their effect on his system. Apparently, these have a load of side-effects including anemia and dizziness and stomachaches and headaches…and so on.

So this Monday morning, like almost every Monday and Saturday for the past six months, we set off after breakfast. There was another worry. A week after starting the medicine, my husband experienced a dizzy spell accompanied by breathlessness and general discomfort.  Once the feeling passed, he shrugged it off, but of course, we were worried to death.

To add to this, one of my close friend’s friend’s husband, who led a healthy lifestyle felt a little uneasy and was rushed to the hospital at midnight. A couple of hours in emergency and a bunch of tests later, they discovered a 70% block in his heart and he had to have a stent.

Naturally, we were worried, yes. And we certainly could not ignore it. The feeling of breathlessness did not really disappear. We did call the doc and were assured it had nothing to do with the medication, which increased our worry.

When we finally met the doc yesterday and explained this, he suggested that my husband get a full physical to rule out any serious stuff.

We did consider going to our usual physician closer to our place, but weighing the pros and cons, decided to do it at the hospital as it meant a little less running around, with all facilities on the same premises. And thus started our waiting saga in a massive waiting area overflowing with people.

So we settled down to play a game, guessing people’s backgrounds and occupations, and of course, ailments. It was fun to hear the names—some very unusual—being called out.

Our appointment came after two hours. We were standing as there was no place to sit, in spite of there being more than a hundred and fifty chairs. All were occupied.

We were momentarily freaked out over what the diagnosis would be, but quickly got over that, reaching the conclusion that there could be two outcomes:

  • All is well
  • Something is wrong

We should feel grateful for both, my husband said.

If all is well, great. Let’s make lifestyle changes and strive to stay healthy.

If something is wrong, then let’s feel grateful we now know, and can take timely action.

Couldn’t argue with that logic, eh?

Finally, they called his name and we went in. After the clinical examination, as a first step, the doc advised a blood test, an x-ray and an ECG.

The blood test was painful, thanks to some target practice by the phlebotomist. (Yeah, those are the guys that draw blood).

What followed was some running around, upstairs and downstairs.

If you are familiar with how hospitals work, you’ll know that one has to wait in line for something before they tell you to go to the cash counter at the other end of the building, pay for the service and bring the receipt. By this time you lose your place in the queue for the test. The procedures that precede lab tests and other diagnostics are quite tiring, especially in a hospital that size.

Once the blood was drawn, the emergency section advised us to hand it over to the lab three floors down. The lab refused to accept it without a payment receipt. Urging my husband to stay put, I ran back to the emergency section to ask them what to do, because we were holding the sample in our hand. They looked surprised and sent someone with an ice pack to hold the sample since the cash counter had a long queue and the blood sample would get messed up during that time. Half an hour later, I ran back up to bring the sample and handed it over to the lab with the cash receipt.

Realizing we would have to rinse and repeat this for the X-ray, I cleverly included it while paying for the blood test to avoid standing in another queue.

So by this time, it was 2.30 pm and we were hungry as hell.

A funny thing about hospital visits—you go there for treatment but end up skipping meals and standing around and building fatigue and feeling worse. I always joke it’s a good thing, as one can immediately seek treatment for the new ailment. Ha, ha, funny! Not.

We settled down to wait for the x-ray.

Got it done.

Went back upstairs for the ECG.

After another long wait at the cash counter attached to that department, settled down to wait again.

This time around, we managed to find two chairs. I mean, after all this even a normal person would feel exhausted, eh? We amused ourselves by playing song-tag until our turn came. After the ECG was done I ran back to the lab downstairs to get the blood test report.

Armed with the ECG and blood test report, and being assured that the doc could view the X-ray on her system, we waited. A little bit tense, yes. But also hopeful.

As my husband loves to say, until the fat lady sings, we cannot assume anything.

I somehow like to think we lived in the present moment throughout our visit.

  • We did not check our phones. We generally don’t until it rings and the call appears important.
  • We chatted, joked, laughed and tried to make our visit as pleasant as we could.
  • We realized it was pointless to stress ourselves out. The staff was doing its best and accepted that we weren’t the only ones waiting.
  • We appreciated the stressful schedule of the doctors on duty.
  • During the times I was by myself, I was constantly chanting prayers, both for us and for all the patients waiting there. It was the least I could do.
  • Moving around a large hospital puts our own lives in perspective. We see people from all walks of life, some from neighboring towns or cities. They come with their families and luggage and try to make themselves at home off the corridor or anywhere they can if they are allowed. We see them struggling with infants—obviously, they can’t leave them somewhere, right? We see people who have no clue what to do in that huge place teeming with people. It is heart-breaking to see those accompanying surgery patients. Some of them have no idea when they’ll get back home.
  • Consequently, when we look at our own lives, it seems like a cakewalk. We have access to treatment, are able to afford it and have a comfortable home to go back to. Also, we have each other’s support and love.
  • We were grateful to be able to get all the test reports after a short wait, without having to make another trip for it.
  • As it happened, the doctor okay-ed the reports, even though some breathlessness persisted, and attributed it to the seasonal changes. She also warned us that bird ’flu was in the air, and to be careful. She advised plenty of steam inhalation to keep the airways moist.

We got back home and had a super late lunch, which I had the presence of mind to make the night before and stash in the fridge. We enjoyed a cup of coffee together, followed by a chat with our son. My husband caught up with his work.

I took a nap and sleep off my worry, deciding everything could wait.

As my eyes closed, I was filled with a sense of gratitude for all that I’ve got.

Hospital visits, life-lessons, and gratitude. #lifelessons #gratitude #mindfulness

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    January 10, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Oh the dreadful hospital visits. True, even a healthy person would start feeling dizziness after staying and running around so much in the hospital. I got a taste of it during my last visit to India. But I love how you two played games and kept yourself engaged. Love the positivity. Glad nothing serious came up in the reports. I wish your family good health. Take care.

  • Reply
    Mayuri Nidigallu
    January 10, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Glad to know everything is ok.
    Hospital visits are painful, glad you both turned it around and made it as pleasant as possible.
    Wishing you both health and happiness always.

  • Reply
    SHALINI BAISIWALA
    January 10, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Super duper happy that things went well Vidys; hospital visits are exhausting and scary to say the least! I remember the time my dad was there and I used to thank god after seeing what others were going through at the hospital.
    I loved the positive way with which you tackle things Vidya – very heartening to read about it.

  • Reply
    Ramya Abhinand
    January 10, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Oh God hospitals and the long waits it comes with. I remember the days, when I had to tend to my father who was unwell. We first had to tackle the consultation queues. Post that, depending on diagnosis, there are tests, and then the wait at the counters to pay and later, the Pharmacy ones. Phew, an entire day would be spent just in the hospital.
    But as you have mentioned, sitting on that hospital bench, makes for some good observations. We subconsciously tend to make these comparisons, some pistive ones too. that we are probably better off than most people around :)))

  • Reply
    Jayakrishnan KK
    January 10, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Our prayers for you and your dearest ones, a speedy recovery of your husband and to keep you all in good health & peace.

    Hospital is a place where in one could get in to all kind of confusion and frustrations of life. But here is the place wherein the lessons of life unfolds and we could observe majority feels the oneness and wish to share the moments with open mind. This the place where one willingly offer to care each other, non-believers turns to believers and many looks forward for miracles to be happened.

    Appreciate the way, you and husband tuned minds to accept the truth and reality, to overcome the stressful situation, by positioning your thoughts in a positive direction. You have greeted the anxious moments with thoughtful mind, and opened it up to “let go” all negative feelings and lived fully in each moment by praying for yourself and for the ones all around there. That is the reason you could feel that you are placed much comfortable level compare to others who are struggling around, appreciated the services of doctors, observed sincerity in other staffs and finally could able to express the gratitude. Keep going, holding the strings of self motivation and definitely in turn it inspire, not only you Vidya, but us also to lead a meaningful and worthy life. Very good contribution to mankind….

  • Reply
    Anamika Agnihotri
    January 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    That was such a testing day for you and your husband. Both of you have a great amount of patience to deal with all that which happened that day at the hospital. I dread hospital visits but I guess certain times it becomes inevitable without them. I am glad that nothing serious came in the tests.

  • Reply
    Parul Thakur
    January 10, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I am happy to know that Sury is okay.. May be it is the cold or the weather change?
    You know what, Vidya – hospital visits make me feel so grateful. A couple of months back, VT had a full scan and yes after the medicines changed, he seems better. We have made health a priority and in my heart of hearts, I wish we never have to go to a hospital. Take care, Vidya and hope things look up North from here.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 10, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you, Parul. He’s still not okay, so we may need some more investigation. I wish you and VT excellent health. I include everyone in my prayers first thing every morning because that’s the best thing I can wish for. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Picking the Right Furniture for Your FamilyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    January 10, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    What struck me most is that you have to pay and they don’t care about anything else until you pay. I am soooooooo grateful I live in a country where all I have to do is show my health card and that is that. The waiting time can be long as well but we usually have a bed to lay on and the loved one can sit in a chair. I am very happy and thankful that your husband is ok and I still would not rule out the medication side effects which he might just need to suffer through until his body adjusts. Take care and let’s hope no more hospital visits

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    January 10, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Bless you both. ~hugs~ And I hope that stent does the trick. What is it with heart problems lately? Blogger Annie of McGuffy’s Reader just shared news about their kitten, Clyde, having such an enlarged heart they couldn’t have him neutered and he’ll be lucky to live five years. It made me cry. Thank you for your wonderful, uplifting attitude.

  • Reply
    Vinitha
    January 10, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Hospital visits are always scary accompanied with long waits. I am glad that nothing concerning came out of the tests. I loved the way you managed to see the brighter side and spent the time in the hospital looking at the positives. Take care you both, Vidya. Health comes first.

  • Reply
    upasna
    January 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I too visited our civil hospital to get an ultrasound done but all I could return with NOT DONE HERE after 2 hours of running up and down. But yes I am grateful for the same reasons you mentioned.

  • Reply
    Marian Allen
    January 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I love your attitude! One of my favorite books is EVERYTHING IS A BLESSING, by David Vennells. It’s inspiration to watch you live what he writes about. HUGS! What’s song-tag? Mom and I used to play games when we were waiting for her doctors’ appointments, too! We played “Who Am I?” and “The Minister’s Cat” (with multiple variations).

  • Reply
    Soumya
    January 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I’m so glad that Sury is hale and healthy. He’s your husband after all 🙂

    Hospital visits are very difficult for me. I’m someone who always hated the whole experience. But when my mom went through a brain tumor surgery last year and was hospitalized for almost a month, I realized that hospitals come with hope and gratitude too. While the wait for tests and results of the surgery can be painful, the others in the waiting room give you hope in one way or the others and you end up praying for them too. It is like an unsaid relationship that has formed without either of us knowing it.

    I’m glad everything worked out well for you too and you guys came back feeling grateful.

    As promised, I’m gonna visit you as often as I can this year.

    Love!

  • Reply
    Rachna Parmar
    January 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    So sorry to hear about the harrowing time you had, Vidya, and how you saw the positive in everything. Frankly, hospitals stress me out completely. I panic easily and I have had some pretty bad experiences at the hospital. How is Sury doing now? Could the doctors figure out what exactly happened?

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