Hospital Stays and Control

Hospital Stays and Control

June 13-14 I had a scheduled stay at the hospital. They have wanted me to stay for two nights and I went into the “trip” knowing I did not plan to stay two nights if I could help it. They wanted to do a bronchoscopy to see if I still have mycobacterium growing inside of me. I was as okay with the bronchoscopy as I was going to be, but I was not thrilled about staying the night at the hospital for no reason.

Spending the night in the hospital last week was the most stressful experience I’ve had in a long time. I’ve had the procedure done outpatient before so I thought it was silly to have to stay one – let alone two – nights in the hospital. It was explained to me that the reason I was to stay two nights was since I have adrenal insufficiency, they do that as a precautionary measure to make sure I don’t go into adrenal crisis, something they can pay more attention to since they don’t answer to an insurance company.

That made me feel better and I was willing to give it a go, thinking, “Wow, they actually get me.”

…until I got there and they took my medications because (and I quote) “We like to be in control”. Which, I do understand. What I don’t understand is why they couldn’t properly be in control and administer the medications as needed.

Had they not messed up my medications and kept me from going to bed until 11:30 because there’s a difference between Advair and fluticasone, maybe I would have had an easier time trusting them.

Waiting for them to fix my medicine…11:30 pm on June 13.

Or, perhaps if they hadn’t claimed they understand AI, but then drew blood and put in my IV at 5:30 in the morning, one and a half hours before they planned to give me my morning dose of solu-cortef.

My nails matched the wrap they put over my IV…the IV they placed at 5:30am.

By the time I got that, I’d had tears streaming down my face for over an hour and was shaking, dizzy, and in quite the bad mood. My normal morning dose of hydrocort is 10mg, but I had a cold so it was upped to 20mg, and they only gave me 30ml so I wasn’t totally where I should have been when it kicked in, but I was better.

Thankfully, I had a room to myself so Andrew got to stay with me overnight, but when I was taken down to radiology and met up with my mom (who had stayed in a hotel), she could tell I wasn’t doing well.

So many things happened that I could go on about (and had I felt well enough last week to write, you probably would have heard about it) but after some reflection, I came to realize part of what God wanted to show me from this horrible situation. (What made it so horrible? A nurse who did not know Advil and Ibuprofen are there same thing, so it took two hours to get a little relief for my severely swollen throat post-bronchoscopy. A doctor who calls getting stabbed in the artery “mental stress”, so no, I could not have more hydrocort even though it had been several hours since my last dose of hydrocort and normal people would have made cortisol because getting stabbed in the artery is stressful. A nurse who didn’t know how to take blood from an IV and I was pretty sure was going to accidentally kill me by putting oxygen into my veins instead of getting blood out of them. Waiting five hours after being told I could be discharged to actually get to leave…oh look, I’m going on about not what God is teaching me. I feel better though. And perhaps you understand the situation better now, too.)

Band-aid covering where they took blood from my artery for an ABG test.

What I Learned

I learned part of why it’s so hard to give up control to God.

We get so accustomed to watching people fail and mess up that we forget that God does not fail, nor does he mess up.

I don’t think I realized how much I struggle with having control of my life until I was stuck in a place I couldn’t control much of what was going on. I’ve stayed in the hospital more than I would have ever liked to, but the other times were different. I needed to be there because I needed to recover or heal and I couldn’t have done that at home. This time, it just seemed so silly and needless, especially when they ended up causing more harm than good from keeping me there.

Now, I do not want you to think I have anything against doctors or nurses or people in the medical field. My sister is an EMT. I have had great relationships with many doctors and nurses over the years. I do not have anything against anyone who will actually listen and pay attention to me and my years of expertise.

Have I gone to school for years and gotten a medical degree? No. Have I lived in this body for twenty-two years and know my body and how it reacts and responds to things better than anybody? Yes.

I have never fit into a “box”. I had a problem with people who try to place me in one because they know all about my condition because they learned about it in school.

Learning about it and living with it are two totally different things.

Put that and the fact that no one other than God actually knows what’s wrong with me (I have been diagnosed with a couple things, but several of my doctors believe they are somehow related, which means symptoms have been diagnosed and are being treated, but we have yet to find the underlying factor) together and here we are, left with some of the reason why I have a hard time giving up control.

I experience a couple different kinds of headaches. I can’t explain them to someone else, but I know different ones mean or are caused by different things. Same thing with getting dizzy. Sometimes it’s because I need hydrocort, sometimes it’s because I have a silent migraine, sometimes it’s because I need either salt or sugar…but if I told you I was dizzy, you wouldn’t know exactly how to treat me because you would’t know what kind of dizzy I am at the moment.

Humans won’t ever truly understand everything. Human failure causes us to not be able to grasp God’s comprehension. I can’t give up all control to humans because those who don’t understand might accidentally kill me.

But God is a completely different story.

Waiting to be discharged

He knows more about me than I would ever like to know. He knows exactly why I am the way I am and what purpose it serves. He knows me better than I could ever know myself.

“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

Psalm 139:3-4 NIV

God knows even my inner thoughts, and he made my body so he knows why I let fungus grow, but also why I (apparently) have control issues and every other reason I do the things that I do.

“For you created my inmost being;
  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.   I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
  your works are wonderful,
  I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

No matter what happens, I know that God has a reason and purpose for me and my life. I stress about life, but I know I can’t control it. It doesn’t always make it any easier for me to give everything up to God, but it makes it a lot easier to give God control than it is to give up control to humans.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

My prayer for this week is that I can remember to notice the differences between humans and God and more fully appreciate being able to give God control of my life.

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