Perspective. Once in a while it hits you over the head like a ton of bricks, and that is exactly what just happened to me. Without going into too much detail, our daughter recently had a pretty major operation at Rady Children’s Hospital. I’m not a big fan of hospitals or surgery. And while I’m not exactly a germaphobe, something about being in a hospital, around all those sick kids hacking up a lung, makes me want to run for the hills.
I had to write this because of the outstanding experience that we had from the minute we booked the surgery, to when we walked out the door and came home. Before we even set foot in the hospital, the staff was calling and sending emails about any little thing that might pop up. In fact, they answered questions before I could even ask them. The pre-op visit with the nurse took us through every detail about what was going to happen... laying out the day of the surgery and what we could expect from where to fill out the paperwork to where we grab a cup of coffee while we wait. We were even given a tour of the room our daughter would be staying in post surgery so that I knew exactly what to pack. By the time we checked into the hospital two days later, we were as comfortable as we could be, under the circumstances. It’s an overwhelming day with an epic range of emotions yet somehow the staff made it OK.
Post surgery is when my awe really set in. Speaking with the doctor and seeing X-rays of what they had just performed in the operating room is a miracle. It’s impossible to describe the relief and gratitude you feel when you are talking with the doctor who just changed your daughter’s life forever. I remember seeing the doctor walk into the room with a huge smile and we knew it went well.
If you’ve never stayed with a loved one during their hospital stay, let me tell you, it’s surreal. I felt like I was in Las Vegas, without the fun. I could walk out into the hallway at 3 a.m. and the lights would all be on, nurses are roaming through the halls and it’s totally alive. Nurses. They are amazing women and men, who are there to help you with anything you need. Watching them in action is like peering into another world that you knew existed, but never paid attention to. They genuinely love what they do and I love them for it.
While we were in the hospital, I had a lot of time to go on social media. And when I was scrolling through Facebook one day, I saw a post that really irked me. It was a friend who was asking for prayers for her son to go out of state and play football. Something about sitting in a hospital, with kids who are stuck there during the holidays, made me think that they may need the prayers a little bit more than a perfectly healthy kid going to play youth sports.
Flu season hit extra early this year, so no visitors under the age of 18 could come to the hospital. Imagine these kids on Christmas day without members of their family? It’s heart- breaking – but at the same time it’s wonderful that they get to be at Rady’s, where everyone treats the patients like they are family. I just can’t imagine having a better experience than we did and we are forever grateful to all of the doctors and nurses who took care of us.
I’m not saying that we should clean our plates because there are starving kids in Africa. I’m just saying that it’s not always about you, especially during the holiday season. God bless the doctors and nurses who make our lives better, every single day.
What say you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.