Home at last!

It’s been a long hard road to travel, but after nine weeks in hospital my husband and I are finally home at last. I am so grateful for the people who shared my trials during his hospital stay. I am grateful for the daily phone calls with my siblings; For the many kind words delivered via social media. And I am grateful for new friends who supported and sympathized with me while they themselves were walking the same or a similar road.

Yes, we are home. Is he better? No, he is not, but he is no longer in a crisis situation, which, again, I am very grateful for. Our first day back at home had me awakening to the sound of the thud as he fell to his knees on our bedroom floor. No, he was not hurt, but it is an example of how he is not really ‘better’. The dizziness remains, and most likely will form daily living for as long as life lasts. This is not new; he has been living with this condition for a few years now. I had hoped the doctors could find some magic pill that would take it away. Sadly, that is not to be. It is simply one more side effect of diabetes. It places severe limitations on what he can and cannot do. I sigh, but I met so many wonderful people during hubby’s hospitalization – people who are enduring much more and much worst conditions.  Yes, we had to face several disappointments. Yet, while his quality of life is much constrained, he is at least alive to tell the tales of his adventures in the health care system.

His kidneys failed while in hospital and he is now on dialysis and will likely be for the rest of his life, though doctors tell us miracles can happen and there is a possibility of his kidney function returning – it is a possibility but not a probability. Still, he is still here beside me and I am so very grateful for each moment of each and every day. And it is good to be home at last.


Angels in human form

When all is dark and we’re feeling lost

It’s then they do come near

They look like us and talk like us

They come in friendship, hope, and love

With gentle, healing words

Words that comfort

Words that bind

The wounds we’re suffering here

Empathy, compassion too

By these a divine essence revealed

We may call them friends

We may call them family

But truth be known

They are for us

Angels in human form

Slow down the quick, quick

These days I have a lot of time on my hands as my husband receives treatment and recovers from some serious issues. I am in the big city far away from home; from family and friends; from work; from the people, pets, and things that make up my daily life. I am grateful to my son and daughter-in-law for sending me a notebook to use while I am here. It allows me to access my emails, social media, and gives me a tool to write with.

 It’s an older model and in combination with public Wifi, it can be a little frustrating doing anything online. Which got me to thinking about the fast pace of life. Being forced to slow down for a spell is a good thing.

I am being taught patience – by a machine no less! For instance, allowing the notebook to do a “performance scan” seems to take forever. I can get pretty impatient with it, and yet I have no choice but to wait until updates are installed and the antivirus cleans things up. Perhaps it is high time I used a personal antivirus program to defog my life – some call it prayer.

It also makes me think of the last time I took serious stock and really reflected on my life. In a sense this time away from home is helping me do a “performance scan” of a different sort. As the saying goes, “the unreflected life is not worth living”. I am not sure who the author was of that bit of wisdom, but I find it so true. It is in the deep reflection of one’s life that personal and emotional growth happens. So, I am doubly grateful for this notebook!

In addition to the path of self-discovery, this extended hospital stay has made me appreciate anew the gift of each minute, hour, and day I have been given and helped me to realize how much time I have allowed to be consumed by technology.

It is as if the universe is sending me a message to slow down the quick, quick.

How much time do you spend online?

A Walking Miracle

As many of you know, my husband has been hospitalized since early February. During my time here in the city I have met many people struggling with various health concerns. One story stands as a testament to hope, faith, and the indomitable human spirit and will to live.

I would never have guessed when I met her. Betty is a bubbly, upbeat, and joyous human being. She loves to laugh and enjoys making others laugh with her. Her sense of humour his quirky and contagious.

There were three of us standing around chit-chatting and telling one another our stories of how we came to be at the hospital. Betty was here supporting her husband of forty-four years. It wasn’t until we had each exchanged our tales that the subject of close calls came up and Betty told us her story.

She was driving when she suffered a brain aneurysm. Slumped over the wheel she went off the road, through fences and mowing down trees and brush until the car finally came to a standstill on a little hummock . The car would remain on that spot for two hours before Betty was found, her right foot still pressing on the accelerator . She was rushed to hosputal where she would remain in a coma for nearly two weeks.

“Some people say I was lucky. I don’t think I was lucky. I think I was blessed,” Betty says. “I believe God was watching over me. Even the airbag did not inflate or I would have suffocated. I was really blessed. I am really blessed.”

I see her around often and always stop to chat with her. Some people make the world a better place just by being in it and Betty is one of them. Her smile is infectious and her warm heart and mischievous grin lightens up the somberness that prevails around hospital waiting areas. I am grateful to have met her and to hear her story. I found it uplifting. I hope you will too.

Betty is a walking miracle not just because of what she’s survived but because of all the people she helps survive crushing bad news or crippling worry and anxiety.

The blessings of a good sense of humor

I recently told a friend about how I met my husband. She laughed – a lot. That man can be so infuriating, but he has always had the ability to make me laugh – a lot! I hear anecdotes from other people that tell such sweet, lovely stories of how they met their significant other. Our story is not sweet. In fact, I often wonder how we came to be at all, given that we are so different from one another. But, his sense of humor and his tendency to act the clown to make others laugh was a big attraction for me.

I was working at a little key store where we cut keys, sold a lot of dollar items, and did engraving on jewelry and giftware. It was Christmastime. The mall where the shop was located had begun longer holiday hours. It was closing time at the end of a long busy day. I was exhausted. My husband-to-be was there waiting for his sister to get off work to give her a ride home. She and I had become friends, which was why I allowed him to wait inside the store.

 I was counting the cash for the bank deposit. There was literally well over a hundred dollars in one-dollar bills to be counted. As I was counting them the man kept making me get mixed up by saying random numbers, “thirty-six; seventy-eight; ninety-two” etc. etc. Each time he did it I would have to start over again. The first time I let it slide. The second time I glared at him – this was getting old really quick. By the third time I was really angry and told him off (I swore at him and called him a name – you can guess at the profanity). I couldn’t believe it! I was so angry with him and he knew it. But his laughter was contagious and after a few moments I couldn’t help but smile.

And so it began.

He’s still in hospital. It’s been a grueling few weeks, but I am hopeful that he will be able to come home soon. At least he has a good roommate – the two of them trade bad jokes and terrorize the nurses a little bit. Actually, the nurses seem to enjoy caring for them as they tend to take themselves and their situations lightly. Both men are very ill, but it is the blessings of a good sense of humor that seems to be helping them, and we, their loved ones as well. Laughter really is good for the soul, and for your health as well. I am grateful for that.

Hoping and Dreaming

My husband is still in hospital. His blood pressure drops every time he stands up. He has a plethora of health issues: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and more recently we learned, lung disease as well. Through all the challenges he has kept his sense of humor.

 In hospital he has fallen twice and is now confined to bed. After one such fall, after the nurse had made sure he hadn’t done any harm to himself, she jokingly asked him what he was doing on the floor he responded, “looking for dust bunnies”.

The doctors are trying to figure out what is causing the drop in blood pressure and until that is sorted out he cannot come home, for obvious reasons.

I just finished reading a couple of blog posts – one about patience and training a new puppy; the other about “date nights” while raising a family and the power of love.

Love, whether for a significant other, a family member, child, or a fur baby, blesses us, gives us hope, and allows us to dream.

Needless to say, I am hoping for a solution for my husband’s health issues. And I am dreaming of better days to come when he is home with me once more.

More birds, more blessings

It is a cold, frosty morning here. It is nice to think of spring, which, really, is only a few weeks away. I will be glad to bid goodbye to winter, especially this year. Here are a few reminders of what’s in store for us in the months ahead – perhaps not these exact birds – these were taken in Newfoundland by a friend who has graciously agreed to allowing me to use them here. There will be more birds, and more blessings as the days roll by into spring. For today, I will do my best to count the blessings this day brings and look forward to the arrival of our feathered friends. I hope these photographs cheer you, as they do me.

Pine Grosbeak (Male) – Photo by Kathy Marche
Red-breasted nuthatch – Kathy Marche photo
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 – Kathy Marche photo
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Savannah Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Swamp Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow Throat – Kathy Marche photo

To walk in the woods and see such beauty and hear such song is a blessing. If you like bird watching and happen to travel to Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada I hope you chance to see some of these little beauties. My sincere thanks once again to Kathy Marche for her generosity in sharing these lovely photographs.