|As it turned out, my life wasn't the only thing "Out of Order!"|
Having to be in the hospital is obviously not a whole lot of fun, but I have to say being in the hospital while the ONE and ONLY bathroom is "Out of Order" just adds a whole new and very intense level of stress to the situation. Not only was Christopher critically ill and in need of surgery, but the bathroom on the pediatric floor was broken and in need of repair. You just can't make this stuff up!
You might be wondering...why not use the other bathrooms on the pediatric floor, or use the men's bathroom if you have to? Well, the problem was that there were no other bathrooms. If there had been a men's bathroom, I think I would have used it. No, there was just ONE bathroom for both men and women to use with only ONE toilet and ONE sink. That's right, and it was "Out of Order!"
|"The Amazing LeAnne"|
Now you're thinking...so did you just "hold it" the whole time or what? Well, that would make me "The Amazing LeAnne," but I don't have those kind of super powers. They did have an alternative for us though, use the elevator and go to a different floor.
This option is not too appealing when you are right in the middle of trying to care for a sick child. You don't even want to take the time to go get a cup of coffee at the nurse's station, much less get on the elevator to search for a bathroom somewhere else on another floor of the hospital. I know it wasn't anybody's fault. It wasn't like anyone was just looking to make life harder for me, but I tell ya, it sure felt like it. It made me miss home even more!
Then there's that moment. You know, the one where you wake up in the middle of the night and stumble to the bathroom with your eyes half open. Now picture that happening in this situation. You wake up, and sure enough you need to use the bathroom. The problem is the bathroom isn't within shuffling distance. This is where you have to ask yourself...how bad do I really have to go? Can it wait? Maybe I could just try to go back to sleep real quick, and it will pass. This really isn't a conversation that you want to be having with yourself at 4:00 am, but now you've talked too long and you're awake. Might as well push that elevator button. The decision now is...up or down? The bathrooms on the ninth floor are the best, so you push #9.
That's right. I knew them all. I knew where all the best bathrooms were. Some had the luxury of more stalls, while others had more privacy. I even got a "hot tip" about a little known bathroom that was private and had no line to get in. I was told to keep that secret to myself. The lesson to learn here is to be NICE to the nurses. They are the backbone of the hospital, and they can make your life easier.
It was no secret to the nursing staff, however, that I was less than pleased with the current status of the pediatric floor's ONLY bathroom. There was a staff bathroom on the floor that was absolutely off limits to patients and parents. On the night that Christopher almost died and had to have emergency surgery at midnight, they felt sorry for me. I was allowed to use the staff bathroom, so that I didn't have to leave Christopher for too long. After all, I was afraid to leave him. I was afraid of what might happen while I was gone. If he was going to die, I did NOT want him to die alone. The nurses let me use their bathroom, and I was VERY grateful.
I know all of this sounds kind of silly, and you might be wondering...why is she telling me all of this? My purpose is simple. Most people at one time or another in their lives will have a loved one in the hospital. If you have to live there for a period of time like I did, you have to learn to expect the unexpected. Sometimes the bathrooms are "Out of Order". Sometimes you have to learn to sleep in a chair, and sometimes the food is, well..."marginal." I'm being kind. That's a subject for another blog.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: