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Talk about timing!! Guess where I spent much of Monday? In the ER with my husband. As I write this, I still don’t know if he has had another stroke (and will need to be hospitalized) or it was simply a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack).

Well, time has passed and tests are now back. Ron has had another stroke. It is in a new part of his brain. I won’t know more until I talk with the neurologist, Learning to wait patiently is a skill we learn sooner or later in this game, right? It doesn’t always come naturally, but learning it is forced on us.

Some of the things that help me stay calm while I wait?

  • I make sure I have my computer so I can write. Ron often dozes off and TV gets boring after awhile.
  • Computer games help, but only for the short term.
  • If you like to knit or do some types of crafts, this is a great use of your time…and you have something to show for it.
  • Are you in a Bible study group? Sometimes, you can work on your study. It also gets you in the Bible and gives you an opportunity to find encouragement.
  • Texting friends and family regarding what is happening and the need for their prayers can be helpful too.
  • Reading a book or listening to an audiobook.
  • What other things help you as you wait? Share in comments below.

Learning to wait patiently is important for the sake of not only you, but your family member who is a patient. This is doubly and triply true if they have neurological issues or are suffering with pain.

When you are in the hospital, waiting is part of the process. Doctors and staff can’t work around each person’s individual schedule. There are too many people to help. So find a way to keep busy while you wait and find a way to be pleasant. It will make your stay happier for you and for your family member. Try to work with the staff, not against them. If you have major problem with a staff member who seems incompetent, talk with the person who is their direct supervisor. Keep working your way up if you get no satisfaction.

**Speaking as a former staff member, it is not helpful when you name-drop or expect special privileges because of who you know. Our priorities have to be with the sicker patients, not the privileged people. We try to care for everyone as fairly as we can. When you add privilege into the equation, it adds unnecessary pressure. It assumes we won’t give you good care otherwise.

Have a small notebook handy with needed information, questions you have, etc. Everything can go in here and you will know where to find it.

Keep a notebook handy. You can keep all your questions and information available. You may not be able to keep up with all the names of the hospitalists. They often change daily. But you will want to keep track of the names of your specialists because you will need to follow up with them later. Pay attention to the spelling of their names. Sometimes they are unusual.

I also have a place in my phone where I keep that information as well. It is an app called Reminders. I have one that has all my medications listed on it and another with my husband’s medications listed. Another one will have the doctors and their specialties. It is easily accessible whether you are online or not. Whenever you go the E.R. or Doctor’s office, they always want to know all the medications you take. As long as you have your phone, you will have the list with you.

I don’t do that instead of a notebook, but in addition. It’s all a matter of personal preference. For me, the notebook helps keep up with my questions it is easy to forget when the doctor shows up in the room. Make the notebook work for you. Don’t assume you will remember everything they tell you. It is a bit like being hit with a firehose of information. Having the notebook helps a lot when you forget what you were told.

Visitors: Some important considerations

A calm environment, with minimal visitors, helps them rest and recuperate. These days, the hospital days represent days when the patients are sick. Having lots of visitors sitting in the room is not good for the patient or the family…even if it is a kid. Come in groups of no more than one or two at a time and don’t stay more than 15 minutes unless asked to stay longer…and even then, be cautious. Naturally, there are exceptions. Some people hate visitors. Others really want them. But for sure, it does no one good to have a room full. There is a reason why hospital rooms have very few chairs in them! Lots of visitors definitely hamper the ability of the staff to care for their patients. So take that into consideration. Yes, they may be bored. But that isn’t always bad. The resting, dozing and quiet is often better for them than lots of stimulation.

There are some reminders I have for you while I am in the middle of a fresh hospitalization. One thing I had forgotten was how very tired I get. But for our challenge, here is a passage to chew on.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church,
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:13-16 ESV