It was to be a Thanksgiving trip to visit my daughter and son-in-law in Los Angeles. I arrived on a Friday night a little tired from the flight but not feeling unwell. On the way to their home I had a bad nose bleed but I was used to it and shrugged it off. The weekend went fine with shopping and sightseeing with my family. Then I got up one morning began to feel weak and generally awful. I remember lying on the couch with my teeth chattering as I was so cold. Later in the day I felt better and did some things but that is the last I clearly remember until Thanksgiving evening. My daughter told me that either I got dressed and let them take me to the UCLA hospital emergency room or they were calling 911. Somehow I got dressed with the help of the angels and off we went.
I remember very little of the next few days. There are snippets of memory including a frantic expression on a resident’s face and my daughter asking what was wrong. He told her he did not know as everything was off. It “just happened” that a visiting consultant was there and once called in on my case quickly figured out a kidney stone was blocking the passage out of the kidney and sepsis set in as the poison filled my body. I was rushed to surgery where the kidney stone was popped out of the urethra. I began a recovery period that lasted three weeks in the hospital and three weeks as an outpatient before I returned home.
The first few days in the hospital are mostly a blur. But I am eternally grateful to those in the hospital – doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, food preparers, physical therapists, lab technicians – who took such wonderful care of me. It was a time of turning all control over to others. I could not even think beyond each moment! The recovery was rocky and one of the things I remember is the young doctor coming in every morning to let me know how I was doing. Each time she talked of improvement and then came back to say tests showed something else with wrong and a new protocol was started. And each day my sweet daughter had to call family and friends to talk about something else that was wrong. It must have been a horror for her as she spent her time working and visiting the hospital. But what an advocate she was for me. I recommend her highly for anyone who needs an advocateJ
So there I was with no control over anything as I depended on others to do almost everything for me. My need to have “control” in my life led to a state of no control. I see now that Grace stepped in and saved my life. I did not realize that until I was an outpatient and the residents I saw kept exclaiming over how they did not understand how I was alive. Each one asked me if I understood how sick I was when in the hospital. I also learned later that prayer constantly surrounded me from many family members and friends.
Is control an issue for you? What do you believe you have no control over that you wish you did? What is your experience with control in your life? What do you fear if you lose control?