1/4/2012 3:13 PM
By Lorelei Hill
Last month, I went for my first ever day-patient iron transfusion. Yippee, another new hospital experience! Like the old cardiac pro that I am, I arrived on the second floor with minutes to spare. With ID in hand, I approached the reception desk...
”Out this door and down the hall," I was instructed. Apparently this ‘old pro’ was in the wrong place.
OK, OK, my inner dialogue prattled, I'll still be on time.
At the next counter, I curiously ogle the row of patients. A woman reclines under a blanket, freely eating bonbons as her slow drip does its thing. The lady next to her appears frail and tired slumping in her chair. Next to her, another woman hides beneath a bed sheet, quietly reading her newspaper. Beside her, a gentleman snores sporadically in his recliner.
"Take a seat," the nurse instructs, before telling me my health card has expired. "Do you have the ministry letter?" She sounds matter-of-fact.
I hang my head in shame. The letter is safely tucked in my purse, back at the hotel!
It can only get better from here.
Courtney, my IV nurse, is a brown-eyed angel, who quite frankly inserts the best IV ever! Seriously.
My husband Mike is determined to stay by my side. Poor guy has been working nearly all night so as to drive me today. After getting up early with the kids, and driving three hours into the city, he’s dead on his feet. I tell him I’m desperate for my Skittles so he heads back to the hotel.
For water-restricted CHDers who don't know, Skittles are the best! They are tiny bite-sized pieces of sour glory. And they neither dissolve nor taste creamy, two features I can no longer stomach.
While Mike is gone, I sit back and listen to Shakti Gawain on my iPod. Between my own lack of sleep, and Shakti's soft voice piping through my earbuds, I doze off. In my half dream, half meditative state, I see Mike and me out for dinner at my favorite city restaurant. Mike has never been, and I’m excited to take him. There we meet my niece and adopted nephew. The four of us laugh, freely enjoying each other's company. I’m totally relaxed.
Before I know it Mike is back and the procedure is over. Besides having just had 500 ml of tarlike substance injected into me, I feel good.
After a long day, it’s nice to treat myself by sharing my favorite city haunt with my guy. Taking our time, we have a fantastic meal, relax and just enjoy the quiet of each other's company.
This,I tell myself, is what life is all about.
Later that evening we meet up with Karlee, my niece, and Devon, her boyfriend, and I realize that my Creative Visualization (the name of Shakti's first book) has come to fruition.
Taking the time to rest from my transfusion, and let the muck inside of my body do its thing, Mike and I spend Saturday with the kids. For the first time in a long time, we just laugh and play. Then on Sunday, we put up our Christmas tree! In my mind I have already planned how easy the job is, and in no time, our house has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
Life really is about enjoying one another. Sometimes, we get too caught up in our own rat race to remember what’s really important. I thank God for the treasured memories of the weekend—and the jewels that go unseen throughout my weeks.
Hello from Ontario, Canada! Lorelei Hill is a mother of two CHD babies, wife, writer/teacher, and a survivor of tricuspid atresia. After graduating with honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Lorelei went on to teach and travel the world. Now settled into small town life, she is working with other CHD patients and her own cardiac specialists to complete a self-help book for young CHD families, entitled From the Heart. Click here to visit her website.