In the midst of illness, Phyllis, a self-proclaimed recovered hypochondriac, finds unexpected solace in an enlightening hospital stay. Surrounded by love, care, and genuine concern, the experience becomes a journey of healing and appreciation. Join her as she discovers that gratitude can be a great healing balm for sickness.
I can’t say I never imagined getting sick or being in the hospital. As a seasoned hypochondriac, I read about hospital experiences and spend hours with other people getting their arms jabbed while strangers touch and poke them without knowing who they are or the condition of their soul.
When informed that I was to stay in the hospital for a few days for antibiotic treatment, I admit to feeling almost happily prepared, like ready for an exam in my favorite subject. The doctor had to admit I didn’t ‘look’ as sick as the CT scan said I was. Since reading Gladwell’s ‘Talking to Strangers’ at the recommendation of my dear son-in-law, I realize how we mis-read people in many critical situations. If anyone decided my level of illness by my demeanor, I would not have gotten the care that I did.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the unaccustomed attention. Dear friends came to visit, all my kids came, even my ex. Nurses and doctors were particularly attentive, knowing I would never dream of bothering them. Messages of love and concern filled my phone. I had nowhere to go and basked in the freedom. Between IV treatments, I socialized with other patients, and got interviewed extensively by a delightful student nurse, daughter of old friends, doing a paper on diverticulitis. What fun! My story would be included in her studies!Please note, I feel so lucky.
I was rushed off to the hospital by a young doctor friend who considers me an onsite grandmother to his little girl. He checked up on me after his long day, remembering that I had mentioned persistent abdominal pain and when he learned I had taken pain meds without being to a doctor, he insisted on taking me to the ER immediately. He said all the right things to get me through triage efficiently, insisting that my stomach pains be taken seriously. I am forever indebted.
I only got him to leave me after midnight while my dear daughter and my son-in-love were with me. ECG, CT, X-ray, shift changes; typical ER all-nighter, waiting 9 hours to be told I was being admitted. I shooed my kids off to bed at 6 am. They were real troopers. And. after all, I was in my element.
Alone for a bit, I let thoughts surface. I had never gotten around to getting the extended-power-of- attorney documents, I had unfinished business regarding my pensions and taxes, had a million obligations to cover and had left meat defrosting. Unlike myself, I had also left my pajamas on the floor! More immediately, I had to find people to do my Grannies on Demand jobs. Four wonderful helpers were enlisted to cover Sunday. Two more to cover Monday.
On the horizon, it was one month till my big trip with my brothers, involving the stress of travel and the emotional rollercoaster of seeing people I love after many years apart. Rule number one for recovery; no stress. Even happy events are stress filled. And my granddaughter’s wedding was two months off. I had to get well and be in top form quickly.
So many wonderful things ahead and this came as a wake-up call. I realized how many people cared. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the outpouring of love, the messages and visits and continued support. I needed this reminder. I am grateful for the wonderful people whose love gives me strength and who fill my life with joy.
To anyone going through tough times, remember the power of gratitude that helps us heal from the inside out. See the care of nurses, doctors, family, and friends. Notice the woman in the next bed who called the nurse for you because she was concerned. Don’t be afraid to say, “Thank You.”
Gd bless, stay well and please, do not ignore a persistent stomach-ache!
Meet Phyllis Becker...
Phyllis Becker has been accused of being "Hallmarky" or a Pollyanna. It's because she looks for the good in people and situations, encouraging others to see the silver linings.
Phyllis lives in the center of Israel, teaching English. She runs a service providing help to all ages in all situations. Her group is called "Grannies on Demand". Her team does anything needed, from driving kids and feeding the cat to helping the elderly and ill.