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Citizens of hospital culture

by davesandel on July 7th, 2021

Wednesday, July 7, 2021                                (today’s lectionary)

Citizens of hospital culture

Who could explain the benefit that lies in throwing ourselves into the arms of this Lord of ours and making an agreement with His Majesty that I look at my Beloved and my Beloved at me … Let Him kiss me with the kiss of His mouth, for without You, what am I, Lord? If I am not close to You, what am I worth? If I stray a little from Your Majesty, where will I end up? Oh, my Lord, my Mercy, and my Good! And what greater good could I want in this life than to be so close to You, that there be no division between You and me? With this companionship, what can be difficult? What can one not undertake for You, being so closely joined? – Teresa of Avila

How sweet it is to be loved by You. Margaret’s smile is a mile wide when I come in the morning. How cool is that for both of us? Sometimes at 3 am she texts me, “I miss you.” I’m asleep, but she isn’t. I hope that soon will change.

Around 12:30 yesterday twin ambulance sisters came up to Room 372 with their souped up wheelchair and swept Margaret away. I loaded up a cart with all our Stuff and then actually beat them to Round Rock. They brought Margaret down from the ambulance right behind me in the main entrance and took her just around the corner to Encompass Rehab Room 103. No stairs, no elevator, no security guard, just a wide open, friendly place beside the urban Texas pasture. Craig was her nurse – a tall blond Scandinavian Michigander named Craig. And he’ll be there today.

Sing to the Lord a new song. Lord, let your mercy fall upon us as we place our trust in you.

Andi came to visit, and she put up the pictures and Praise Lists on Margaret’s healing wall. Craig showed us the outdoor sitting area, and we also saw the exercise machines, the learn-to-cook-with-a-walker area, a full-size play car to practice getting into and driving, and lots of open space. Margaret said she feels like she’s in a spa. Well, maybe she is. Today will be her baseline setting day. She’ll be kept quite busy. But what else is new?

Hunger came, and the people cried out to Pharoah for bread. He directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them. And all the world came to Joseph for grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.

When we left Ascension, cardiac rehab Casey thanked Margaret for her “infectious positive spirit. It was a real pleasure to work with you.” We gave the charge nurse money to buy candy or pizza for the floor nurses. Margaret has appreciated them more than she can say. One day we may see them again.

You must come back to me with your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die. And as Josseph turned his face away from his brothers, they did not see him weep.

Room 103 at Encompass follows Ascension 372, Ascension ICU, Ascension 350 and her fourth floor room at Ascension NW. We are becoming citizens of hospital culture. Like prison inmates, we no longer expect to see much of the rest of the world beyond the hospital walls. And also like prison inmates, we compare where we are to where we’ve been. Since there isn’t much difference, what differences there are loom large.

At Encompass the halls are wider, there are fewer rooms, and the rooms are spacious and bright. Every room is private. There is no security guard or threefold announcements of Code Gray, Code Pink or Code Red crises. The parking is free! There is purple broccoli mixed in with the green, and the shower is warm within seconds. Craig showed me a comfortable place where I could do my video counseling in virtual privacy. Margaret was able to actually take a short nap yesterday afternoon after she got settled.

The plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.

Little miracles in Margaret’s life continue to erupt like fireworks: simpler movements on her own to get up and down, walking with relative ease up and down the halls, and using the bathroom almost like a normal person, that is to say she begins to get a little privacy. Today or sometime soon she’ll learn how to cook with a walker. Not a wok, but a walker. Hard to know whether they’ll use it to stir or serve the food.

Get it?

Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and as you go, shout out, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

(Genesis 41, Psalm 33, Mark 1, Matthew 10)

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