When I go into the hospital for a procedure, I compare it to a day when I fly cross-country. I go with the mindset that it will be a long day, where I must be relaxed and know that a lot of it is out of my control. I sit back knowing that the odds of things being on time is slim and to just try and make the best of the day. For each day is a gift and it’s all what you make of it.
Last week Noah took me to Sutter Surgery Center to get a bilateral cortisone epidural in my lower back. We sat in a jam-packed waiting room. It had been two hours since we arrived and my name had yet to be called. Each time the nurse opened the door, we all perked up in our seats hoping we would hear our name. We could overhear several individuals who were grumbling about the wait time. There was an elderly woman and her husband sitting directly across from us. She was livid that her name was not called at her exact appointment time. She was loudly vocal in the quiet waiting room about how upset she was that her name was not called at her designated time and how she wanted to leave. She expressed how she was going to voice her opinion so this would never happen again. I was disappointed that this disgruntled elderly woman was making an unnecessary scene. Noah and I were sitting quietly watching a nature show that was on the television and making the most of our time together, because it’s all what you make of it.
My name was eventually called and I reviewed my extensive medical history with the nurse. I got undressed, put on my hospital gown and cap. The nurse administered an IV and I was all set for my procedure. They then called Noah to wait with me, as there was one person ahead of me. Although I was nervous at the thought of needles in my back, Noah and I made the best of the time prior to my procedure. I was fasting all day and we were joking about how hungry I was. So we were taking silly pictures and one of me biting his arm because my belly was growling so loud. The lyrics of a burger commercial were in my head and we were singing it out loud. We were giggling so much that I was wiping tears away. A nurse peeked her head in and said teasingly, “You two are having way too much fun.” Then we showed her some of our photos and she took Noah’s phone out of the room to share with all of the nurses and we could hear them laughing. It was great to have Noah there with me to distract me from my procedure. Noah teaches me that you can make the best of unpleasant times because it’s all what you make of it.
My doctor said the procedure went great and that I did great. The past four months have been challenging. I have been in daily pain because of my herniated and bulging disks. This “hiccup” has taken me out of my normal routine of working and it has been a very low-activity couple of months. The doctors say that only the body and rest can heal my back issues and that it is a very slow process. If I were to focus on all that is going on, it would be very overwhelming and upsetting. I try to just take it a day at a time and not dwell on the big picture of what is happening and the ‘what ifs’ of the future with this issue. Noah has been incredibly supportive. We make the best of each day and still treasure our time together, act silly and make each other laugh. Even if that day consists of me lying on the floor because of the pain. He has provided me amazing support and brightened every day for me. Over the many years of enduring health issues, I have learned that when you are a patient, you must learn patience. And this bears repeating: It’s all what you make of it.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell
What is your joy?