Here's what I've learned in the past three weeks.
To be prepared for a sudden illness that takes a turn toward the chronic, it's very helpful to have:
- lots and lots of books you want to read. Otherwise, you'll be surprised at how soon you're satisfied to pull just about anything off the shelf;
- lots of friends who stop by just to keep company and who will run little errands such as picking up something like a bed wedge. It is good if at least one of these friends is an R.N.
- a priest who will come cheerfully, which is to say not in a way that you really wish you hadn't asked, to minister the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick;
- two close family members who, with the support of their partners, will drop everything and travel many miles to watch over you. This is especially important if your husband has to be six time zones and more away on a 17 day trip during the three weeks.
So with these things in place, I think a person is well prepared for this kind of experience.
Without these things in place, you might just be lucky enough that somehow they happen, blessings completely undeserved. And then, even when you feel cranky, you'll take as your dictum: More gratitude, less attitude. Because you will be so very, very grateful. A little cranky, but so grateful that you'll try to keep the crankiness to yourself.
You'll be so grateful.