Today I spent six hours in the Acute Coronary Ward at Tauranga Hospital. Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m not trying to get sympathy. The nurses were extremely good to me and kept me informed all the way about what was happening. They made sure I was left with a shred of dignity even though my sexy, well-fitting hospital nightgown was flopping open everywhere due to monitors and cords. One nurse got me a sandwich and the perfect cup of tea. They chatted with me about my business and my friend Lisa, responsible for overseeing emergencies within the hospital, took the time to come and talk with me and ask me what was going on.
Although the problem was ongoing and unresolved, I am home now with my husband and puppy and praying that everything will right itself soon enough.
Having been ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome among other things for 13 years I have well and truly had enough of illness. I have had to turn down two university scholarships – one in France, one in Spain. I have missed out on becoming Head of Department when I took over, but couldn’t continue with, my Dad’s old job at a local high school. We have been unable to have children and feel like this sickness it has been a ball and chain to us.
I tell you this, not to curry empathy, but to say to you: if you have your health PLEASE, please value every single minute of it. Make the most of your life. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. Having said that LOOK AFTER yourself – eat well, exercise, socialise and take down-time.
If, like myself and many others, you are unwell I know what you’re going through. If at all possible, cry all the tears you have to cry then lift your chin up and smile. You are still here and you still have many wonderful things in your life. You have the time (I hope) to listen, to think, to pray, to read, to watch films, to see the world through eyes that are completely different to that of a well person – and that need not be a bad thing.
Sometimes when I was in bed I would just watch nature in the backyard and get to know the sparrows on my block and watch many of nature’s stories unfold before my eyes.
Long-term illness is draining and the attention it can bring quickly fades even though you may be left with terrible symptoms. Some friends don’t understand, others become gems. If you are unwell, thank those people who have stuck by you, tell them how much your support means to them. If you are well but have a friend who isn’t, your patience and your kindness is worth more than a million bucks…trust me.