Being in the hospital this past Christmas was a complicated experience emotionally speaking. I wasn’t just in the hospital, I was back in a negative pressure locked room alone where my nurses had to wear hazmat suits basically to come and go. Fortunately I had a pretty large window and interesting view. Christmas is my favorite holiday ever. I love decorating, wrapping presents, watching my family open what I had picked out for them, cooking holiday food, driving around looking at Christmas lights, etc. This year I had none of that.
For the first few days I sat and wallowed in it. Like a big puddle of sadness and self pity. However Christmas Day changed my perspective a bit. I realized my hazmat bubble room was on the stroke unit for Methodist and across my window was the landing area for their Life Flight. On Christmas Eve, at midnight, my nurse and I watched two Life Flights leave and return twice. This began to shatter my self pity as I thought to myself that whoever is on those flights is having a much worse Christmas along with their families.
On Christmas Day, my patient care assistant would come in my room exhausted and talk to me for a bit. She kept mentioning that all day she had been going from room to room to elderly stroke patients and was having to explain why they were here in the hospital and that they had to stay here for a while, when all they were was confused and wanted to known where their family was. The PCA shared at the end of the night that most of the patients on the unit had no visitors.
The day after Christmas arrived (Boxing Day!), and over the announcing system throughout the day there was new patient after new patient being admitted. My mind wandered immediately imagining that each of these people being admitted had just spent a great Christmas with their families and then suddenly got sick and needed to be admitted. I started thinking about how worried their families must be. More individuals that are in my immediate area that were having worse Christmas’.
This train of logic of who had worse and worse Christmas’ could be infinite if I sat long enough and thought of everyone and it reminded me that the percentage of people that had wonderful, warm Christmas’ surrounded by their loved ones was probably pretty rare, instead of being this common phenomenon that happens every December 25th that I take for granted.
So I guess the moral of the story is – yea, I spent Christmas alone in a hazmat cell. I received one phone call, 2 texts and 1 FB messenger msg bearing “Good tidings of Great joy”. There are no gifts under our tree at home this year. There are 2 Christmas cards on our hutch. But despite the barriers dividing me from my dad, brother, husband and step daughter this year – I am alive, I am happy, and I have a handful of people that truly love me. So maybe my Christmas really does fit into the small percentage of those that had wonderful and warm Christmas’.