Sunday, August 3, 2008

Looking Out of the Hospital Room Window

It was a wild ride from Tuesday to Sunday. Friday night I was looking out of a window from the fourth floor of Howard County General Hospital. It was my first (and thankfully as it turned out, only) overnight in a hospital as a patient for other than an elective procedure. I was hooked to an IV pumping antibiotics into my arm to kill some then unknown bug that had gotten into my blood--I knew the medical terms for what the doctors thought we were fighting, but frankly it was all making my head swim. I was in, as it was explained to me--for the weekend until they were sure that the treatment plan would work against the infection raging in me.

My family had surrounded me with an inspiring amount of love. And when I say my family, I mean my whole, large extended family. With my wife leading the charge--and each of my children and their families, and my parents and each of my siblings and their families, friends and coworkers--I was surrounded and encouraged with love and prayer from an army of prayer warriors.

Looking out of the window it was a surreal. I actually felt better Friday when the doctors admitted me than I had in about three days. I had been to the emergency room Wednesday night--being released from there about 3AM Thursday morning. And Thursday I was a mess and really felt bad--but the treatment began to take hold and Friday as I was admitted to the hospital about 7AM, I actually felt much better and almost normal.

By Friday night--after my family gathered for Chipolte dinners around my hospital bed, I was feeling really good--but also, based upon some preliminary internet research we knew that this was a very real concern from a medical standpoint. If the treatment plan was not correct, I could be in a lot of trouble very quickly. Sometimes the internet can tell you more than you really want to know. And it is interesting that as each one searched (because of course I didn't have internet access in the hospital) some new piece of information emerged to help us grasp the strategic understanding of the fight we had been engaged in at the tactical level.

The staff of the hospital was fantastic. They provided information and assistance at every juncture and went out of their ways to help us through the long day Friday while we were in the ER waiting for a bed on the floor. We even secured a couple of hall passes to roam a bit--always with the promise of returning in about 5 minutes.

As I was looking out of the window Friday night, I wondered how long and was thinking it could be till Monday. I tried to figure out what may have caused the condition--still don't know and that becomes the subject of probably a number of tests over the next couple weeks. There were a lot of unknowns--but although I felt a bit trapped, I knew there were a lot of things I was sure of. Chief among them was love from everyone--family, friends, coworkers.

As it turned out, the doctors chose the right course of treatment from the start (at least as of this writing) and through no small miracle, I was released Saturday afternoon to continue treatment at home with the promise that I would stay at home and be quiet until Monday when I was cleared to return to work.

The fight is not over--but right now the tide has turned and the bug is on the run. The medicine, the prayers, and the grace of God are winning. My job is to continue to let those flow through me and not do something stupid which will cause a set-back.

Thank you everyone for your love, prayers, and concern.

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