A few days before Christmas, my older brother and I placed bets on who’d be the source of the traditional family holiday health crisis. I joked that there was a four-to-one chance that it’d be me.
Sure enough, on Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas, Americans), I had a seizure that led to my parents and Andrew calling 911. I was in the hospital for a few nights, went home, had another series of seizures that evening, and was admitted again. It’s been four days, and I’ll finally be discharged tomorrow morning.
It’s weird, being in a facility that’s not Toronto Western Hospital. The nurses and doctors have been great, the food is a huge improvement (menus! choices!) over TWH cuisine, and though the timing was bad, it’s been nice both for Andrew and for me to have my family around.
That said, the whole experience has by and large sucked, as is the case with the vast majority of hospitalizations. The waiting game is the worst; lying in bed wondering how much longer I’ll be confined to a ward is crazy making, as is the knowledge that I have little control over the situation. IVs rank pretty high on my list of least-favourite things, and I was hooked up to a drip for the majority of my stay. I haven’t been allowed to walk further than the bathroom since I arrived.
Indeed, it’s hard not to be bitter, to avoid thinking about the things I’ve missed—spending Christmas time with friends and family, for example—and how unfair it all is, even if I’m aware that all in all I lead a pretty privileged life. We were supposed to fly back to Toronto tonight, and changing our tickets was expensive. Though the idea of spending all day watching TV and reading is in theory kind of appealing, medication changes and huge doses of Ativan have made me too groggy to concentrate on anything but trashy magazines. I have a weird and aversion to hospital visitors (besides my husband), probably because I find it hard to handle the pressure of being “on” when I’m drifting in and out of consciousness, so the only real diversion’s been forcing Andrew to wheel me down to the gift shop to buy over-priced gnome socks.
Besides the gift shop purchases, there’ve been a few positives that I’ve been trying my best to acknowledge. Ice cream with lunch and dinner, flowers, thoughtful gifts, a steady stream of messages. Eavesdropping on the crazily entertaining conversations of three elderly roommates (lots of material for a future blog post). And most of all, an all-important reminder—one that I seem to receive a lot—that I have countless people in my life who genuinely care.