“So make the best of it…

I am going to do a series of blogs about my recent hospitalization in Austria, ehere I had a second heart attack after a rare stent failure.image

From the journal I wrote during my trip:

“I only cried once during my six days in the hospital. Yes I got tears eyed at times but only really cried once. It was a big cry that lasted at least 30 minutes.

It happened right after the doctor told me I had to stay for at least 5 days so I “Should make the best of it.”

I knew that meant, cut off from communication with the outside world, my friends, my kids, and my support system because I had no internet or phone. It meant not being able to communicate in this new world I found myself in, where I was having a medical emergency, because I didn’t know the language and most people I was interacting with including my two roommates didn’t know mine. And all I had to do for the next five days was stare at the clock on the wall at the foot of my bed. All I had was the clothes I wore to the hospital and my IPad. I wasn’t planning on staying.

I cried in disappointment , sadness and fear.

No one could understand why I was crying because we could not communicate so I was alone with my sadness, when instead I could have been painting. The tears flowed.

While I was crying the doctor and three nurses came in because the site where I had the procedure had broken open during the night and my leg was covered in blood. The doctor brought an epically large needle with him and shot 6 shots of adrenaline into my bleeding leg while I continued to cry with all four of them watching, not understanding why I cried and tears welled up in the nurses eyes.

But “Make the best of it ” stuck in my head.

I had my iPad, so I started taking photos.

When my friend Kate brought my journal and a German dictionary from 1959 that she bought for a nickel in a thrift store before she came to Austria. I was grateful to the thrift store, to the nickel and to Kate for buying it. That 5 cent dictionary became a Godsend!

Now I was documenting my story and “making the best of it” and magic, humor and transformation were about to unfold.

(By the way, I took a new blank journal on my trip like I do each time I travel and remember wondering would I would write that could possibly fill the pages. My first entries were just a few sentences. I ended up filling the would journal and it was a life savor)



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