I stood frozen in my husband’s hospital room. He just had surgery on his shattered feet. My dog, Max had surgery only two weeks before to have a lump removed. It was benign and healed over … or so we thought. My pet sitter called to tell me Max’s wound had split open.
“Is it bleeding?” I asked.
“No, but it doesn’t look right. I’ll send you a picture from my phone.”
I checked out the photo when it arrived, and I couldn’t really make it out clearly, but it didn’t look too significant.
I decided to leave the hospital a little earlier than planned in order to check on Max for myself. I sat on the floor with him and got my daily snuggle, then I inspected his wound area. Yep, it had broken open. I could see quite a ways under his skin, and it was gross.
The world spun around me.
My mind and body, my energy … my spirit were all being stretched as if on a torture rack … in one thousand different directions. How could I get Max to the vet for re-stitching, when my husband needed me at the hospital 20 miles away? We weren’t close enough for me to make in-and-out runs.
I thought my head would explode with worry. I flew into panic mode. I wailed and whined, shook and hyperventilated. This is not to feel sorry for myself, it’s just the raw truth and emotions of the moment. A better woman than I would’ve handled it with grace, but I didn’t know what to do next. I freaked out.
The following morning, I called my vet’s office and told them my dilemma. They said to bring Max in, and they’d take care of him asap. I was in and out of there in thirty minutes. Staples held Max’s wound tightly shut this time (instead of stitches). I put the t-shirt back over him and left for the hospital, praying the wound wouldn’t break open again.
Within 48 hours of the surgery, my husband was transferred to a rehab facility (TGH).
I arrived at TGH at 5pm on his first day there. I found him sharing a room with 3 other patients where only curtains separated them. Each had their own television, and one of them blared throughout the room. His bedside intercom was broken. The lack of privacy forced me and other visitors to know more about strangers than we ever wanted to know.
For the next week, I didn’t see my husband much. The rehab facility kept him busy with occupational therapy. I was kept busy with deliveries of handicapped equipment to the house. A ramp for the door, a hospital bed, cleaning supplies for his foot-fixater device, a transfer wheelchair, seats for the shower and toilet, and more.
On a Sunday, I took a ride to see him. My usual upbeat, easygoing husband withdrew into himself, his body slumped and sullen. The pain and long road ahead must’ve seemed never-ending to him. My poor guy wanted to come home, and I wanted him there, so I could take care of him myself. The rehab facility, quite frankly, sucked. The only good thing about the experience was the view from his muli-patient room.
I drove home from that visit at dusk and decided to stop at Chick-fil-A to pick up some dinner for myself. As I climbed out of the car to go inside and order, a stranger in the parking lot called out to me, “Ma’am, you have a flat tire.”
Have you ever felt so much pressure that you flew into a panic? If so, how did you calm down?