Monday, December 08, 2008

Being Brave

Recently I visited someone at the hospital. Someone from the office had a major operation and will be out of the office for weeks, so as to make their stay in the hospital more uncomfortable, we visited as an office.

Before I continue with this post, I just want to say that if I am ever in the hospital, I don't want my co-workers to visit. Imagine being cut up, drugged, in a hospital gown, and being surrounded by co-workers. That is more like a nightmare for me.

Now the co-worker will be fine, and if he wasn't, I'd be okay with that as well. Not like we are family. Cruel on some levels, but some people have to get sick, and if a co-worker does, then perhaps someone I really care about dodges the bullet this year. This does not make intellectual sense, but deep down, I sort of believe it.

Anyway, I had excused myself from the party – I was not a main character in the event, and the nurses were looking a bit peeved that we broke some kind of visiting hour rules. I sat with another hospital extra in the waiting area for the OR – and I could see a bunch of families waiting for their loved ones to come out of surgery.

I have never had to do this – wait for someone to come out of surgery. I could see worry and pain on some faces, and it occurred to me to ask my self, "What kind of moral support would I be?"

Would I be a brave wife, a brave aunt, waiting for someone to beckon me to the recovery area? I have never had to be brave, and I am not sure I would be brave when the opportunity presents itself.

Now I am planning non-red-meat meals for my hubbie, making sure he gets all his veggies and that he exercises four times per week. I do this because I really don't want to be one of those people in the waiting room, gazing in space while paging through a Cosmo. I'm not that brave.

9 comments:

Grant said...

Since I got sick earlier this year, it means safe blogging for you.

If hubs ever goes under the knife, ask the doctors to leave a post-it note on his forehead from you saying "Thinking of you while at home drinking wine and checking out the pool boy."

Anonymous said...

That was a very stupid post.

Ian Lidster said...

Keep working at that ounce of prevention so that the situation doesn't arise.

Advizor said...

I have spent a lot of time at the hospital over the past few years. Sometimes I was at the bedside of a friend or family member, and sometimes it is holding the hand of the wife, the mother, the sons, the daughters of someone I barely knew.

Each and every time I wondered what kind of strength they needed. Was it a kind word, a quiet silence, a practical suggestion, help with hospital paperwork, or a hot meal delivered when they were too tired or sad to leave?

Though it was a co-worker, don't think that they don't want you there. Maybe in smaller groups, but the outpouring of support outweighs the embarrassment of an ass-flashing gown. And if you don’t like hospitals, contact the family and see if the laundry needs to be done, or the cat needs to be fed, or the kids taken to school. Practical help and the skills of a good listener are sometimes just the strength they need.

mal said...

I have been on both sides of the door. In the waiting room and on the table.

Since most hospitals have now closed the nursery I do not like being in hospitals period.

You were a good sport to go.

Leesa said...

Grant: you give such useful advice.

Amy/anon: thanks, sweetie, for your comment.

Ian: I have been to health food stores and have yet to purchase an ounce of prevention.

Advizor: helpful advice that marks your experience.

Mal: yeah, nursery rooms used to be like supermarkets. Yeah, I will abscond with the second baby from the left later today. Frightening in today's world.

Mezo said...

it's an awuful feeing, from the second you step into the hospital's gate until that second before you knock the door not knowing what is waiting behind....
the harder feeling than waiting someone in the OR, is getting INTO it! but knowing that your loved one are waiting you outside might give you courage and will to get back to them well..
no one is that brave, no one wants to be in that situation.....sometimes we have to

~Deb said...

We can plan the most vegetarian diets for our loved ones and for ourselves, but remember: life isn't guaranteed to last forever or for a long time. My uncle was a vegetarian, never touched alcohol or ate fatty foods. He exercised every single day of his life jogging 5 miles per day each morning and at the age of 30, he died of a heart attack.

You'll be braver than you think when or if something like that (God forbid) ever happens in your life.

Great post. You have verbalized a lot of what people think, but do not say.

Leesa said...

Mezo: thanks for the insight.

~Deb: I don't think we know how we will react to very stressful situations until we have been in one.