02 January, 2008

Tales From The E.D.

We spent two nights during this past holiday weekend in the Emergency Department at our local hospital. My MIL, who's been recovering since November from the effects of a congestive heart had recently come down with a persistent, bothersome cough which only became progressively worse. On the advice of a home-health nurse we took her to the E.D. for breathing-mist therapy on Saturday night. My husband accompanied his mother back into the treatment area, which left me to experience all the sights and commotion that only an E.D. waiting room can provide. In a few short hours I witnessed a woman come in suffering from what appeared to be the worst migraine headache imaginable, a child with pink eye, an elderly lady with high blood pressure, a woman who needed plastic surgery after a dog had bitten the end of her nose, a frightened couple about to become first time parents, two men who were either drunk or high on drugs and were brought there in handcuffs by police officers and a young woman who committed herself for psychiatric care. Those are the highlights. All the while an old and frail, seemingly homeless woman, wandered about the captive audience asking for either money or food; she was escorted out several times but kept reappearing through a back entrance. I couldn't work in an environment such as that day in and day out; I know that much about myself. I am so thankful that there are those who can! The endless parade of pain and desperate helplessness walking through those sliding doors is overwhelming. It was a happy moment when Mom was released back home at 2 AM. Our happiness was short-lived. New Year's Eve found us back in the E.D. once again, Mom hadn't improved as hoped; and was now retaining fluid, her latest nemesis. Luckily, I was allowed to escape the waiting room this time and followed her back. I couldn't have endured another evening of such high-level drama. New Year's Eve was spent (watching Auburn beat Clemson in the Peach Bowl~ War Eagle!!) beside her bed in a tiny, curtained room with the only midnight 'cocktails' being delivered by I.V. She was admitted this time, in the wee morning hours of New Years Day, for what the doctors termed a "tune up". She seems to be doing well, although she's unhappy to be where she is. The cough was better yesterday and she was free from all IV's. Progress by inches. I hope that wherever you spent New Year's Eve you were surrounded with loved ones, or beloved memories. I wish you a sense of peace, purpose and happiness for this year and only as much drama as you're able to handle.
Life is Good!
...prayers are welcomed...

15 comments:

anne bebbington said...

You certainly do see all walks of life along with the great unwashed in those places - I hope your MIL recovers swiftly and thoroughly - all the best for 2008

quiltteacher said...

Oh, New Years Eve in the ED, been there, done that with my Mother! It is not fun. I hope unlike me that year, the new year brings & fine MIL in better health. Prayers are with you, Mark & MIL.

Nancy said...

Prayers in abundance being provided, dear friend.

Ancestor Collector said...

More prayers for your MIL. She has actually not left my prayer list since November, but I'll escalate my petitions now. I hope she's home soon. Please tell her I'm praying for her.

Hugs!

Quilt Memories said...

Prayers for all of you, The E.D. is no fun any time, been there, done that many times. Twice have been escorted to other areas of
hospital due to violence, SCAREY!
Hope your MIL is doing much better, see you soon I'm sure. J

Laurie Ann said...

Ugh. I've spent some time in the Emergency Room, and you are right, it's not pleasant!! Sending prayers your way that she's back home (for good) soon!

Quiltdivajulie said...

It really doesn't matter which night of the year you're in the ED... it's awful no matter which city or time zone you're in. We are each so blessed, despite our daily travails, and yet it is so easy to overlook the simple goodness of our lives.

My prayers are added for each of you as you support your MIL through this most recent crisis and beyond.

Salem Stitcher said...

It's never a good time to be in the emergency, much less cooped up in a hospital room. Many prayers coming to your MIL and to you all.

Libby said...

Yes, it is surely a slice of humanity to observe the comings and goings of an emergency room. Glad to hear your MIL is improving *s*

Nane said...

Your MIL is lucky to have you all so close by. May she continue to improve.

Shelina said...

What a horrible way to have to spend you time! My prayers go out to your MIL, you and your entire family. I wish her a quick recovery.

Cheryl said...

Definitely prayers your way. Sorry to here about your MIL but sounds like her being admitted was the right course of action and she will be back home soon. Thank goodness for all the good people that work in hospitals and deal with things the rest of us would find hard to handle.

Tanya said...

Please, dear Lord, be with the Goodneedle's dear mother-in-law. You hold her in Your hand. Comfort her and heal her and bring her safely home.

Marcie said...

I am having a hard time watching my father age. he has always been such a ball of energy and a font of happiness! He is here in AZ and such a joy to be around, but when I go home on Monday I will be too far away to be of any help. I hope your MIL is doing better! I am sure she is grateful for all you do and for the love you show.

leigh anna said...

apparently sunday and monday are their busy days....
so if there is any reason to go back....try for tuesday through saturday! :)