I’m a worrier. Always have been. I get it from my grandmother. And my mother. I come from a long line of worriers.
Most of the time – actually usually almost all of the time, my worries never amount to anything except for my wasted time and a lot of unnecessary anxiety.
Recently though, I experienced my worst case scenario.
In the midst of this pandemic, my husband got sick. He is sent to the emergency room where they find that his gallbladder is infected and about three times its normal size. They need to operate to remove it, but before that can happen, the gallbladder needs to chill out, so to speak. That will take up to 6 weeks.
Because of the pandemic and safety protocol, I could not go into the hospital with my husband. So I spent many hours in the car in the hospital parking lot. Which was both nerve wracking because I didn’t know what was happening or what kind of care my husband was getting. It also was entertaining: I watched a woman back out of a parking spot, with the hatch on her vehicle open and drive off. I still wonder how far she got. Hopefully she didn’t figure out it was open when she tried parking it in her garage. And yes, I supposed I should have waived her down but I was right in the middle of a rosary for my husband and let’s face it, I was not thinking clearly.
My husband was hospitalized for 3 nights. Thank God for iPhones. That was how we were able to communicate.
My week last week, after he was finally discharged was all about his care. Making sure he took his medication on time. Making sure his appointments were scheduled. Making sure he was eating and drinking properly. (I’m sure he would have loved to be drinking). Making sure that the doctors orders were followed and also driving him to his appointments.
Also last week, we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. This anniversary looked so different from last year. Our 25th was celebrated in Hawaii.
The hospital parking lot was what I saw this year, on our 26th anniversary. I couldn’t help but think, “just one year ago we were in a completely different situation.”
My mind goes to weird places. Especially now during this time. A few weeks ago, before the gallbladder situation gave any indication it might happen, a thought passed through my mind about what if one of us has to go to the hospital? That’s the absolute worst place to be. It would be the end. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.)
The afternoon that my husband and I returned home from a check at the hospital, a nurse at my mom’s retirement home called to let me know that my mom had a little fall.
I haven’t been able to physically spend time with my mom since early March. The last time we were together was March 11th. So when the nurse called to let me know that mom fell, I thought, “this is the worse possible time for this to happen.” And I literally looked at my husband, after I hung up the phone, and said, “what else can possibly happen? I can’t take any more.” Then I got myself up, began calling her doctor and ordering some items for her from Amazon and strategizing with her nurses to make mom as comfortable as possible and to do whatever was needed.
By the way, my mom is doing okay. It was indeed a little fall. Nothing was broken and no concussion. She’s still sore and I’m pretty sure she has reactivated her sciatica but it could have been much worse.
In the middle of all of this I had a very, very minor procedure taken care of at my doctors office. And a mammogram that had to be done at, guess where, the hospital. Worst possible time for all of this, I thought. But then, when I arrived at the hospital, I saw a couple, clearly checking in to give birth to their baby. They were well prepared. A large suitcase, overnight bag, backpack, cooler and the car seat for the baby. The couple was smiling (I can tell when someone is smiling under their face masks – their eyes crinkle) and they radiated so much hope.
Today when I was out driving around, I drove past the hospital and the doctors office. I said a thank you and was grateful that I did not have any appointments or plans at either one of them this week.
The next day, I got this email from the Universe:
I really needed to hear that. So what miracles reached me during this time? First, I was relatively calm during this time. I felt like time had slowed down for me and I could move through these two crises slowly and mindfully.
The couple checking into the hospital to give birth to their baby. Had I not been scheduled for my yearly mammogram at the hospital (which in my mind was one of the worst places I could be during this pandemic) I never would have been able to see or feel their joy and hope. That gave me the shift in perspective that I needed to move ahead myself in hope.
What did I specifically do to make it through this time? I’ll share all of that with you. I’m sure you may be going through a difficult time, have gone through it or will go through it in the future. So take what I did as a template for you to use but remember this – you do you. What works for you. What your soul is yearning for. Do that.
- I got as much rest as I possibly could. When I was tired, I napped. I went to bed earlier. Sometimes it was really difficult to do this but I kept saying to myself – you need to rest.
- Me and God, we talked a lot. I had full on conversations with the guy. That was helpful.
- I got outside. I got to feel the warm sunshine on my skin, breathe the fresh air and watch the animals.
- I surprised myself. With my husband in the hospital, some of his household duties became my household duties. And a few I wasn’t sure I could do by myself. But guess what? I did! That felt powerful.
- Angel cards. One of my Polkadot Powerhouse sisters recommended that I get a deck of cards. These cards allow me to have some fun connecting with God and his incredibly beautiful universe.
- I asked for help. I reached out to family and friends to let them know what was happening. I asked questions that I just didn’t have the answers to.
- I journaled. There were so many thoughts and feelings coming up for me during this time, that getting them out of my head and my heart were so therapeutic. I honestly feel lighter after I journal.
- I kept busy and moved forward. Even if it was just to fold the towels and put them away.
What I learned through this entire upheaval is this: I made it through my worse case scenario. It wasn’t pretty at times. It didn’t go like I had thought it would. But I made it through.
I learned that sometimes throwing a tantrum and asking what the hell could possibly happen next and actually losing my shit is okay.
I learned that I can say when I’m hurting and when I’m upset. That is the way to heal.
What has been your worst case scenario? What did you do to make it through to the other side?
P.S. If you are looking to connect with others who are searching for connection, community and solutions, I invite you to join my Facebook Group – Life on Purpose.