Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Better is Better

She’s better, she’s pretty much back to normal, for her, I would say we are back to baseline.  Better is indeed better.

It took a few days, it took some angst on my part, it took first rate care on the part of all who care for Marty, it took a lot of gator aid, Diet Coke, soup, Ginger Ale, cranberry juice and Imodium, but we got there last Saturday night, about three days post hospital.  That’s when Marty got back to her normal hypertensive self.

The week of the relatively simple illness was so reminiscent of the bad old days when I was constantly aware of Marty’s mortality and how close we walked to that line and how easy it was to cross that line.  The feelings of anxiety, fear, uncertainty came rushing back quicker than I thought they would.  The thoughts of how do we survive this quickly took over the living of our life from the moment she vomited.

It has made me realize and appreciate how smooth our life has been over the last months.  Certainly life has not been without trial and fear, but it’s been supremely manageable, it’s been almost normal, in our own perverted way.  The low blood pressure, the low oxygen, the illness itself brought back the fretting, the fear and the insecurity of the past medical crises. 

It’s funny, when we are in the hospital, even for a few hours, I generally don’t feel the anxiety I do at our home.  A very surreal sense of calm and confidence suppresses the fear and anxiety churning in my chest and head.  I sit there and provide data to the doctors and nurses, I repeat myself over and over again, I tell our story, I tell Marty’s story, I give her a face, I’m doing something, it calms me.
I know the security the hospital provides is mostly an allusion.  Bad things do and will happen in hospitals.  I’m not sure why I feel more secure there.

I suspect the ability to run blood tests, check urine and perform x-rays and other diagnostics often provide me with some clarity and maybe a false sense of security.  The tests are positive actions that provide concrete data; I like concrete data, even if the data turns out to be…. I don’t know what’s wrong.  Ultimately, the diagnostics help provide more transparency to what is going on with Marty.  I like knowing.

I also suspect that in some small way being in the hospital alleviates part of the burden of making decisions regarding the criticality of issues.  While you can’t leave all of the decisions to the nurses, they help a lot with perspective, like “I’ve seen this a lot, not to worry” or “It’s a good thing you’re here”.

I get that the hospital signifies, for most people, for Marty who hates being hospitalized, a level of illness, a degree of sickness, a level of criticality that is beyond the ordinary fever, cough or puking.  I get that the hospital is populated with sick people and all kinds of nasty viruses, bacteria and medical mishaps and mistakes.  I get all of that.

It’s just that sometimes being in the care of attentive professionals, having technology at hand offers a level of reassurance we (I) simply can’t find at home.  As much as I hate it, as odd as it is, the hospital offers a perverted level of emotional and mental level of comfort.

Marty is better, she is back to where we were, she is feeling well, eating, drinking and a little hypertensive.  Better is better and as the days of better mount we once again move away from medical crisis mode and the bad old days kind of recede into the back of my mind, still there, not forgotten, but repressed enough to sit comfortably in the living room with my Marty and laugh at high brow television like Duck Dynasty.

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