I don’t like hospitals, no matter where they are. Of course, I don’t know many people who do, but still… Without question, they are essential and provide vital services in a safe, controlled environment. For me, however, they also symbolize the very thin line between life and death, of how easily things can go wrong and turn out differently than we wish.
I suppose it’s always nerve-wracking to require the services of a hospital, regardless of the reason, be it scheduled in advance or because of an emergency. Recently I’ve been there for both: to the ER with John several weeks ago because of an allergic reaction and infection; this week with my mom at an outpatient surgical center in Columbia, where she underwent a corrective procedure.
I felt equally stressed in both situations. With John, we weren’t exactly sure about what caused his problems or how to resolve them. With Mom, her operation was considered routine, but it required general anesthesia, which had been problematic for her in the past.
I hated being in both hospitals; call it fear of the unknown, being surrounded by illness and injury, or the possibility of an undesirable outcome… Pick any combination of or all of the above… I had to go with them, regardless of my mental state. It’s what I always do as Little Miss Responsibility, all part of taking care of and loving my family. I swallowed my inner turmoil and did what had to be done, putting on a brave face and calling upon the skills I perfected over the last five years.
Like everything else I’ve learned in this new life, the only way to overcome fear is to stare it down and force yourself to confront the source. Fearing a place (or particular property type) doesn’t make sense; to get through it, you have to embrace the experience... Face it and fake it until you no longer have to.
John and Mom are both recovering, for which I’m extremely grateful. Perhaps their positive results can help me retrain my thinking…
“Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing, peace is the measure.” -Phyllis McGinley
Tammy will update her blog twice weekly…