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Some thoughts from my time as a PATIENT

Generally, I'm an easy-going person and I don't frustrate easily. Recently, I had the fortune to be a guest at a local hospital for a couple days. Even though I have been a part of health care for over 20 years, I have never actually been a patient before. Following are some of the things I learned.

- Doctors don't tell you half of what they know (or suspect). They instead say things like, "I'm not sure what's wrong, but you need to go to the Emergency Room right now (and don't stop for lunch even though you're starving.)"

- When you need God's touch / comfort the most, you can't pray for yourself.

- Stoned is not the same as painfree.

- Narcotics don't take away extreme discomfort

- Even the most awesome, sweet, caring Nurses and Aides are frustrating.

- Cool looking medical equipment like alternating pressure leg wraps and multifunction IV machines are annoying after 12 hours.

- The world does go on while you're in bed (even things you think can't possibly get done without you)

- When you aren't feeling well it's really hard to work up the energy to show others you care. Even normal conversation is hard.

Whether you are "in healthcare" or just a friend of someone with physical difficulties, be extra patient and understanding. Patients are frustrated and uncomfortable, not usually with you but with their situation. Often, they want something but really have no idea what that something is. If you are a praying person, pray for others, they may not be able to form the thoughts to pray for themselves when they need it the most. Also, don't take it personal if they are grumpy or snippy.

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