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Thursday, October 21, 2010


My two nights in the hospital this week have left me completely qualified to write a paper on Hospital Reform. There is only one basic reform I would like to institute in these institutes. The theme is Respect Sleep.

In the story of Lazarus, in John 11:11 Jesus told His followers, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go to awaken him out of sleep."

And the followers answered, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will do well."

"If he sleep, he will do well." That phrase is dancing around in my mind after a largely sleepless night. I think it's true, sleep is healing. Yet where would I expect to spend one of the least restful nights of my life: in the hospital, the place I go to in hopes of healing! It's ironic.

I wonder if hospitals need to put a much higher priority on sleep. To me, the wide awake observer, most of the reforms to accomplish this are pretty common sense, but I'll list a few.

--it's not necessary for nurses to wear stilettos. Quiet, rubbery shoes should be used instead.

--keep rustley plastic clothing to a minimum. (I guess you can tell from that one, I'm a pretty light sleeper, even when I'm drugged!)

--use softer lighting. My room had fluorescent lighting for more then 19 hours a day! It must be important in surgery, but at 5 AM, I just can't think why fluorescent is necessary.

Let the patients sleep! Their blood pressure will wait, their pills won't spoil, and their bedpan will be rousing them soon enough because of the IV drip keeping things humming.

My next reforms I dreamed up were homeschooling reforms. Not one of my precious 3 chidren came to visit me during my 3 days in the hospital! I was astounded. True, I am the one who arranged for them to have extra classes on the only complete day I was in there, and true, their dad had an especially busy week, doing his own thing and mine as well, but still! Their one and only mother went under the knife!

So on morning number 2, I was busy jotting down ideas for how my children can realize how other people need them, when they need them! Not just at scheduled intervals.

Then a thought struck me: what if they didn't visit me because I'm me?!? These 3 have seen me be grumpy once or twice in their lives. They've seen snappy, nasty, weepy, whiney--the works! What if they didn't actually want to come visit me?

Now things were getting serious. I started in on the weepy, whiney, wimpy right there in the hospital as my imaginaton went into overdrive and I saw myself as an ancient widow in a dark room, with no visitors. There was anger and self pity in there--- it must have been the drugs, right? No way I could have given in to the Enemy like this! But I did.

Finally, I turned to God. I read 1 Peter 1:2, where Peter prays for the readers of his letter, "Grace unto you, and peace be mulitiplied." That's me! I'm a reader of his letter, and I needed both grace and peace. I couldn't muster any feelings of forgiveness, grace, or peace--it was all agitation, annoyance, anger. I prayed for grace and peace, and the Lord gave it to me. I'm so thankful!

The Lord gave me sleep, which is always a help to my mood, and I awoke with peace and grace. It was unnatural! I felt full of love for everything and everybody, and I acted right!

What a difference. Instead of coming home wailing, "You neglected me!" I came home with new resolves to be interested in them. Results: the entire family has been in the King sized bed with me! It's been cozy. They told me about their first writing class, and their plans for next week. Evangel had her first babysitting job, and that was a major event! Timothy's mind keep revolving around his birthday party which isn't til December, but he's making plans. Josh wanted me to read him a book, which I did, and that inspired a trip with the cousins to the fish store and now our fish tank is full again after a year or so of rest.

I've got nice kids! Thank you, Lord, for reminding me, for giving me grace and peace toward them. And please help them to visit me when I'm old. :-)

3 Reforms 1)Hospitals 2)Homeschooling priorities 3) ME!

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