A bell is ringing in the hall. Voices are heard behind a closed door. I look at a bed mussed and a monitor no longer clicked. At least for now. I wonder at the changes that can come so quickly for which you have no time to prepare. I wonder at that very word. Prepare: to get ready to put into motion. This all involves that process of: On your mark: Ready. Get set. Go! So, here we go.
On Friday I did all three. I bypassed ‘On your mark’, leapt over ‘Ready/Get set’, landing directly on ‘Go’ and did not collect $200. So now a bell rings in the hallway and conversations are going on as well. My hospital bed is messed up and minus me, because finally, today (Sunday) I am allowed to move around on my own minus IV lines I had plugged into my arm. Free at last! Yes, my friends, I was not prepared.
For almost 10 days, I had been on an antibiotic for my ever-aching gut. But, alas, the meds were not fixing the problem. At 3:30, I went to urgent care, informing the doctor that above mentioned medical condition was not resolved. Well, let me tell you, this doctor went into action and sent me immediately for a CT scan. At 7 p.m. I got a call to go to the hospital immediately. A bed would be waiting for me. Oh, by the way, I might have surgery.
Now let me tell you a thing or two about missing those steps of preparation. My ‘ready’ got trampled on as I ran out the door. Luckily, no one here at the hospital was nearly as concerned even though they prodded and poked and slammed me into bed with a couple of IVs becoming my current dinner table. Yes, my innards were a mess. I had an abscess in my colon that needed to be resolved. Well, yep, I’d say so.
So how prepared are we if we only have time to grab a bag? I went to an earthquake preparedness session a couple of weeks ago and learned what I need to do to help myself, family and community should we get the big one. In both instances, I have learned that no matter what the best laid plans are at the time, your plans just might not work out the way you want them to. I have an earthquake bag ready to grab if need be. I had no plan for this trip to the hospital. A will, a directive, a sack lunch on the way in? All are good; we never really know.
So lessons I have learned the last three going on four days: Live each minute of your life to the fullest. Make life wonderful for all of those around you and even those you are yet to meet. Do not dwell on what you cannot control. You just get frustrated and your health goes sour. If you are ill, take care of yourself for those who love you, including yourself. Do not dwell on your health. When your body requires attention, it will certainly let you know. Prepare for what you can so there are no worries later, but live life to the fullest every day.
Tubes are out and I am called ambulatory. I am dressed in my own pajamas, sitting in a huge, soft chair with my feet up (looking a bit like a miniature Alice in Wonderland). A pull down TV hangs above me, so I can watch movies whenever I want. Life is not the best but pretty darn sweet right now. Wait! What do you mean I can only have chicken broth and orange jello?!?!? Nooooooo. Be prepared!
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.