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Tired of a hospital hallway
Dee McLelland new

I’m tired of standing at the end of a hospital hallway.

That’s probably not the most politically correct thing to say right now given the state of our global health, but, it’s true.

I have spent many hours standing with my back against a window at the end of a hospital hallway several times in the last few months. I leaned there while nurses and doctors took care of my mom and then my wife. I slipped down that particular hall so as to not hear my mom when she groaned or was in pain when the nurses tried to exercises her. I slipped down that hall when nurses worked with my wife and asked me to step out.

I had learned that particular hallway had a picture window at the end of it. You could see pine trees and could lean against it to feel the heat from the sun and watch the wind blow the limbs of the trees. It was warm and battled some of the chill that you experience in a hospital. I learned pretty quickly that chill was why so many nurses and others in the hospital all had undershirts underneath their scrubs. That warmth also seemed to let me know that whatever the outcome was going to be that things would be okay.

I dreaded my latest visit to the hospital more than anyone knows. It was almost 30 days exactly that I had left after my mom passed away. The same waiting rooms, same surgical units, some of the same nurses, and doctors. My wife went in for surgery.

Some described it as minor surgery. Minor surgery is when it’s on someone else. It’s major when it’s on you or someone you love. Only 30 days ago I had gone through it with my mom, now it was my wife. I have to admit my drinks were a little stiffer the night before Deb went in for surgery.

I had the utmost confidence in the doctors and the entire staff. I could not have been more pleased with the nursing staff and how they had treated my mom and my wife during their visits. But, still, it was the same places, faces and feelings that I had recently encountered before mom passed. Now my wife was there and I had an utterly helpless feeling.

That window was warm. It helped fight back against that helpless feeling. It gave me the courage and the resolve I needed to stay strong for Deb. The same way it had for my stay with mom. The doctors knew what they were doing and Deb was strong.

She was fantastic through everything, even with a few of the hiccups along the way. And when there were hiccups and I was asked to step out of the room, I had my warm window at the end of the hall to lean on. I think I brought that warmth back to the room when I was given the okay to come back in. I have to believe I did the same with mom.

Deb’s going to be great. She’s turning the corner and is already up and going. I’ve had to try and tell her to back off with some of her activity. I think she has the same stubbornness that mom did as well.

I got to bring Deb home this past week. I feel blessed and know she is going to be fine. I didn’t get to bring mom home, but it prepared me for last week.

I’m tired of standing at the end of a hospital hallway.

If you see me, say “Hey!”

Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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