My darling dad had a heart attack. I know—JUST in time for Valentine's. I think he takes his holidays too seriously.
While spending some time in the E.R. and waiting rooms, I've learned a few things I'd like to now share with you:
1) There are about fifteen bajillion things missing in hospitals that might make the patients and families more comfortable or even save lives, but those all pale in comparison to the one thing they DID do right, which was a Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper machine with very special rabbit poop ice. You can't stand there and tell me that a loving Heavenly Father doesn't exist when the proof is right there in front of you.
2) While chillaxin' in the waiting room, you may be blessed enough to sit next to a family without any working filters—thought filters...mouth filters...TMI filters...volume filters...all faulty. My mother and I were pleased to be regaled with shouted stories that consisted of these delightful tidbits, and I AM NOT MAKING THESE UP:
"So I threw her out. Ain't nobody comin' at me with a gun, threatening to kill me and staying in my house!"
"Bubba's in the middle of his sex change operation. He's not real comfortable just being gay. He wants to be a lesbian in the gay, um, community. It's not goin' like he hoped. Gonna take more time to get everything worked out down there. Hopefully it don't take too long for 'im to get happy."
"They was all gathered together with their bee-uuuu-tiful family for pictures. Ever'body looked so niiiiiiice. There was so much love in the room, you could just fill it! So much love. And ever'body was there. Ever'body. Course, not them kids who got adopted out through social services cuz of the abuse and stuff, but ever'body else was there."
Did I mention I'm not making any of that up? Let me reiterate. Not making any of that up. And there was more...so much more...but I accidentally looked up and caught one of them watching my face, so I had to excuse myself and let Mom soak it in all alone. Her head exploded.
3) It takes several people who are on their toes to keep a patient from dying. On account of there seems to be a missing link in every chain of command. So like, when you go from the first floor to the second, everything they just put into the computer evaporates. And they'll need to take your blood 17 times, because, oh, did somebody already take it? And the boy bringing in your breakfast didn't get word that you'll die if you eat, so when he enters the room somebody in the family needs to scream at him, "WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY? THIS MAN CAN'T EAT! HE'S GOING IN FOR SURGERY!" and when he leaves, somebody at the nurse's station needs to scream at him, "OH MY HELL, DID YOU JUST FEED THAT PATIENT? TELL ME YOU DID NOT JUST FEED THAT PATIENT!" So yeah, it takes a village.
4) My dad likes jello.
5) There is no amount of gratitude too expansive to express, in prayer and word, that there are people on this earth willing to take on the physical and emotional burdens of people in crisis. From the men in EMT uniforms who wheeled gurneys past us several times at 2:00 a.m., to the janitorial staff wiping up toxic spills in vacated rooms. From nurses who had to find and stab veins that were too modest to show themselves, to doctors who have spent the best years and dollars of their lives educating themselves on the myriad of ways a human body can experience epic failure, and then sit down in front of a worried wife and daughter to dumb it all down for their limited understanding made worse by the anxiety party in their brains.
So those are the things I learned. It seems this life is made up of a lot of reasons, my friends, to clutch our chest and exclaim, "Oh, no!" Fortunately, we live in a world of pop machines and miracle drugs and ER staff and little baby cameras that can be threaded up your arm into your heart to take pictures of an artery that is 90% blocked before it takes your life.
May I gently suggest we remember to say, "Oh, yes!" as morning follows night, and our world is made right again.
My world was made right when Heavenly Father gave them to me. For which I say, "Oh, yes!"