Back in the swing of things

I’m getting back in the swing of things after a 10 day stay in the hospital for an obstructed intestine, apparently caused by scar tissue in my abdomen from the previous cancer surgery. Lent is often a time of fasting, and I had to go the first 7 days with no solid foods at all to help the system relax and clear itself out.

When I finally got to eat some chicken broth, it tasted finer and richer than Thanksgiving dinner! I had good care in our local hospital and thank all the nurses and doctors who looked after me.

Being close by also had the advantage of a steady stream of visitors. Staff dropped by to inquire, pray and support. One of our 2nd graders, Kyla, had to come up to the clinic for tests, and she stopped by the room with a homemade card and hug that brightened my day considerably. LaToya, one of our high school juniors who works an after school job at the hospital brought me my tray of food and greetings from the Crane Home. As I roamed the hallways, pushing IV pole ahead of me to get some exercise, I ran into a whole variety of folks from the community with health concerns of their own, and tried to be a caring listener to them.

Hospital stays trigger so many different moods and emotions. At times during the week I felt anxious. Once they determined I wouldn’t need to have surgery, but just wait it out, boredom became a struggle. A few times the hospitalization had a retreat-like quality, as I had plenty of time for prayer and spiritual reading. With no meals to break up the day, the Divine Office, with its various prayers at each time of the day, took on greater significance to mark and celebrate the passage of time. I tried to listen carefully to what God might be saying in the midst of sickness and struggle.

Being active, it’s hard to slow down and my mind raced with the many things I could be doing. Now that I’m home and have both the freedom and opportunity, I don’t have the energy I’d like. It’s important to pace yourself and not overdo it.