A Hospital Visit (Originally Written 8/97)

(Originally written, August 1997)

It’s a place where we experience the joy of a birth and on the next floor the sorrow of a death.  To some it is a constant menu of pain and suffering while many receive relief and healing.  There are multiple machines and a multitude of medicines, but the greatest help may come from the smile of a nurse, the encouragement of a family member, or the prayers of a friend.  Here you should be able to get a wonderful night’s rest, but somehow that’s difficult to do as you are hooked up to machines and aware of every sound down the hallway.  Your peaceful sleep is disturbed every few hours as they wake you to take your “vital signs” and make sure that you are still alive.  Yes, a hospital is an ironic place.

I arrived at about mid-night after being in constant pain for forty-eight hours.  I thought that I had the flu, but my wife and doctors were worried that it was something more.  I waited for thirty to forty-five minutes completing the paper work in the lobby thinking I would never make it inside.  Finally, I was allowed to lay down on the hard emergency room table.  However, the shot for pain made it all worthwhile.  But those good times didn’t last long as I had two different trips to x-ray.  Each time I laid down it was a colder table than the first time, and then I was placed against the wall x-ray like a large slab of beef.  Back in my cubicle, the needles were everywhere taking blood and giving fluids.  I was able to endure the testing and questions for about three hours.  My daughter said that I must have gotten some sleep, because my snoring could be heard down the hall.

I was assigned to my room at 3:00 a.m. and got three hours of beautiful sleep.  Over the next couple of days I endured more testing, monitoring, and questions.  I really enjoyed the diet of “crushed ice” and had a few moments of quiet rest.  I had brought a sack of books and was able to do some limited reading of my Bible and a current novel.  Although, we had a TV, I thankfully had little time to view it.  Most of my time was spent in great conversations with my family members and friends.  I was in no pain and felt great even without a shot, but I was getting massive antibiotics.  I really appreciated all that the I.V. was feeding into my body, but it was difficult to try to sleep with a needle in your arm, the machine periodically beeping, and trying to bring the stand along on every trip to the bathroom.  Taking a shower became a real challenge.

Of course, I’ll never forget the wonderful hospital gowns that specialize in the bare backs which teach humility daily.  I was sure glad I had brought along my shorts for those long stays parked in the hallway waiting for x-ray.  The hospital workers walked by and smiled, and there I was in my little gown looking like I couldn’t afford any pajamas or robe.  The hospital staff really has a thankless job, but when you are hurting, you are glad somebody cares enough to reach out and help, even if the payment meter is running.

My doctors were super.  They were very helpful, communicated clearly, and were very honest with their analysis.  On the third day they admitted that they didn’t know for sure whether I had an infection, inflammation, twisting of the intestine, or what.  It really is the “practice” of medicine.  Fortunately, they ruled out appendix, gallbladder, and the other major surgeries.  And so I was allowed to go home, but if any problems returned, then I was told that I would be going “under the knife” at once.  You can bet that I didn’t want to report any pain, and fortunately I returned home and progressed quickly to excellent health.

This was a unique experience for a guy who is seldom sick and hasn’t been in a hospital in over thirty-five years.  I came to appreciate the availability of good doctors, nurses, medicine, equipment, facilities, and health insurance.  I am thankful to now be able to eat a meal and take a walk around the block.  I am so appreciative of a loving family and a group of concerned friends.  I have also come to appreciate the importance of rest and the daily joys of living a varied and busy schedule.  Most of all I am thankful for a loving God that allowed me to be healed.  Sometimes, we just need to get refocused on the “important” while there is still time to experience it.  For me, it was a worthwhile visit.

Thankfully Healthy,

Proverbs  3:5-8 (NASU)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

One Response to A Hospital Visit (Originally Written 8/97)

  1. cathy westm says:

    Thankfully healthy indeed! Thanks Kent.

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