Friday, September 27, 2013

The Amazing Donut Ruckus!

We drove the hubby to Urgent Care with stomach pain. Dr Robyn had already correctly diagnosed gallstones, thanks to Google and WebMD. He was in a lot of pain, and since Urgent Care was closed, someone recommended we drive 30 miles west to a new hospital, because, apparently, they don’t have emergencies on the west side of town. They thought he would be able to get right in without having to wait forever at the emergency room downtown.
They were right. We walked in, and my very yellow, bent over husband attempted to answer all the standard pain level questions. No sitting and waiting for us. They triaged him and guessed gallstones as well. Within 10 minutes of entering the hospital, he was floating on morphine and hooked up to an IV. They were quick at this hospital! They took him back for an ultrasound, confirmed stones blocking a duct and a gallbladder they described, I’m not making this up, as looking like a gumball machine.
That was the good news. The bad news was that this beautiful, amazing, and speedy hospital was not fully equipped with all the needed medical staff. Specifically, there was nobody there who could operate on him. This meant I would need to drive him to the big downtown hospital. He was not in too much pain now, having been sufficiently drugged.
It was 1:00a.m and unfortunately the downtown hospital did not have any open beds. We would have to wait at hospital number one, until a bed opened up at hospital number two.
I don’t think a room actually ever opened up at hospital two. I think they crammed us in to some sort of storage or cleaning closet. The room they gave us was at the far end of the hospital, the very last room. Having been in a lot of hospitals, I knew this was not a normal room. For one, it was unusually small. There was already an occupant in the first bed, and the curtain between the two beds, literally, was ripped on one side and was only half the size it should have been. This meant that the other occupant, who I mistakenly thought was homeless, was totally exposed. And by exposed, I really mean exposed. The actual temperature in the room read 85 degrees. The other occupant, who was from England, told his doctor that he had come here to mine gold. Seriously, he was a gold miner! Mr. Yellow and I have lived here since high school and have never, ever heard anyone talk about mining gold here. The gold miner complained about the heat. Yellow complained about the heat. I complained about the heat. Two nurses said, “Wow, it is really hot in here!”
Mr. Goldmine felt justified then, in completely throwing off all his covers, revealing more than anyone would want to see. I made a mental note to make sure my boys always wore clean socks, as well as clean underwear, in case they ever had to go to the hospital, because looking at the bottom of his socks was just gross.
Mr. Yellow got poked, prodded, x-rayed, and scanned. It was confirmed that he would need two separate surgical procedures, on two separate days. I was hoping they would wheel him back right then and get the first one over with. It was an emergency after all. But, I guess surgeons don’t prefer to do surgery at 3am, if they can pump the patient with pain meds and have him wait until 8:00am or some other reasonable hour. Little did we know at the time, that no surgeons prefer to operate at all on Father’s Day, which was the next day.
We ended up staying half a night and all the next day in the sauna storage room. This floor was so busy and had a lot of crazy people on it. Kids were running up and down the hallway. We could hear the lady across the hall yelling that she had come in as an emergency and now nobody cared about her, so she was leaving. Late in the afternoon, Mr. Goldmine had either sobered up or had sweated enough and was ready to leave. When his ride came to get him, he pulled the IV right out of his arm. An alarm sounded and a nurse came running. Through the half curtain, we could see blood flying all over the bed and the floor. Then, Mr. Yellow’s IV bag was empty and his alarm starting going off too. Two more nurses came in. The room was so small the many nurses could barely fit in. As Mr. Goldmine was getting dressed, they explained to him that he should not leave the hospital since he hadn’t seen a doctor yet. My heart sank. We had been there 13 hours and had not seen a doctor yet, either. I knew Mr. Yellow would never yank his own IV out, but I also knew patience was not one of his spiritual gifts.
As a nurse and a doctor tried to talk to Goldmine, a physician’s assistant came in to talk to us. It was really loud and chaotic at this point. After she told us we would have to stay for at least another four days, I asked, “Since we are going to be here that long, is there any way he can get a private room?” I shot a quick arrow pray up, ”Please Lord.” She looked over at Goldmine and said, “I will try to get you moved up to my floor.”
I am not exaggerating when I say that moving to the surgery floor, and leaving the chaotic floor, was like landing in the wonderful world of OZ, after being in the hurricane of Kansas.  This floor was amazing. Everyone was calm, or possibly sedated. There were no kids running in the hallways. Everyone had their own private room. If we had to stay in a hospital for four more days, we  hit the jackpot of floors.
 That night I left the hospital leaving Yellow to the nurse’s care. We had seen a doctor. Yellow was the first one on the surgery docket in the morning, and we were finally seeing some progress, and a release plan in sight.
The next morning, Yellow called me. He was not a happy camper. He needed more pain meds. He had not had anything to eat or drink in two days. Worst of all, a doctor told him they had a lot of emergency surgeries and now he was LAST on the surgery docket. The doctor told him not to count on having surgery today. It would probably be tomorrow before surgery was done. All hope of leaving the hospital anytime soon was dashed and extreme frustration was about to set in.
Then, Yellow said something, and I quote, “I need you to come down here and raise a ruckus.”
Yes, he actually used the word ruckus. I tried not to die laughing as I was genuinely sorry for this disappointing turn of events. However, I also knew that I was having a conversation with a heavily drugged, exhausted, starving man, who was not thinking clearly. You see, he knows I am not really a ruckus girl. In our 20 year marriage, if a ruckus needed to be raised, our whole family knew Yellow was the guy for the job.
He had a moment of clarity when I think he vaguely remembered this, and he said, “Or, do you want me to do something?”
“No. No, I will come down and take care of it,” I said, pretending to have that super calm, everything-is-going-to-be-alright voice.  
I had no clue what I was going to do. Even if I could muster up a good ruckus, I knew that would not change anything with the surgery schedule or win any points with the hospital staff.
I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. Then, I sent Yellow a text telling him he was in God’s hands and He had a plan for him.
I think he got new pain meds about that time, because I never received another text. I stood in my kitchen trying to think up a nice, loving way to ruckus, when I remembered the verse from 1 Peter 4:8, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” I kept thinking, “Love covers. Love covers.”
Then, I did something I had never done before. I found some pink and red construction paper and some sharpies. I drew and cut out two large, fancy hearts. On the first one, I wrote the names of the two nurses from the crazy floor. I thanked them for the amazing work they did, in the midst of all that chaos. I told them how much I admired them and how grateful I was they had taken such great care of my hubby.
Even though I had not met any nurses or staff on the new floor, I imagined they would be equally as hard working and caring as the previous floor. So, I wrote them a pre-thank you card. I thanked them in advance for their dedication and care they provided to their patients and to my hubby. I knew if I was a nurse at a busy downtown hospital, and had to be at work at 6:30 in the morning, I would love it if someone brought in Krispy Kreme donuts.
I headed to Krispy Kreme, with my pink and red homemade hearts, hoping this might be a blessing to them, and also to ‘cover’ any rukuses that Yellow may have caused. I went to the crazy floor first, found the two nurses and told them I brought the donuts to thank them for how amazing they had been. You would have thought I had given them a million dollars! The first nurse started crying and threw her arms around me giving me a big hug. I walked away smiling. It had not been that big of a deal. I guess people don’t regularly cause donut ruckuses at this hospital.

I rode the elevator up to the beautiful Oz floor. This would be a little more awkward, since I did not know who our nurses were, nor had I met anyone on this floor. I walked to the closest nurses station and said, “It looks like my husband will be staying here for a while. So, I wanted to give you all these to thank you in advance for all you do for the patients.”  The girl looked at me bewildered. She didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t even sure she was a nurse. I didn’t know if Yellow’s nurse would know I  brought donuts, or even get a donut. That was ok. I prayed the Lord would calm the stormy waters before I stepped in.
When I got to Yellow’s room, a friend was visiting him. Yellow was not looking well. I was there less than five minutes, when Yellow’s low-talking male nurse walked in. No smile. Expressionless. I thought he was bringing more bad news. Before talking to Yellow, he turned to me and said,
“Thank you for the donuts.” I smiled.
Then he turned to Yellow. “They are ready for you in surgery now. They are on their way up to get you.”
I was shocked! The donut ruckus had worked! No, I knew it wasn’t the donuts. It was the Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, working out His schedule for my hubby. Yellow was happy. We found out later, someone grew tired of waiting for their surgery and left the hospital early. Who does that? I thought it was probably another gold miner.
I learned a lot during our five days at the hospital. The main thing was God is always in control. Also, it is better to show love than to raise a ruckus any day.
What about you? Have you ever trusted God during a difficult situation, and seen that His ways are better than our ways?


  1. I love your posts, Robyn! Keep them coming!

  2. I normally turn away from lonnng posts but this one I read to the end and LOVED it. Humor, wisdom and poor Mr. Yellow - hope he's never had to go back into that hospital and force you to cause such a ruckus!!! LOL

    1. Thanks for sticking with it Susan! I'm not sure why some of my older posts are so long. LOL! I'm learning to keep them shorter now.

  3. Well I love this and it makes me want to remember to bring donuts next time we have to go to the ER... you know, just in case! ;)

    1. LOL! We pray we don't have to go to the hospital again. Although it is better to be the one buying the donuts than the one in the hospital bed. ;)

  4. And here is a life lesson for sure: It is better to show love than raise a ruckus. Please remind me of that tomorrow and the next day and the next!
    Great post!

    1. Thanks! And I agree, I need to remind myself as well.

  5. Oh, my! One of these days, I'll tell you about Area 51 at UCSF ;). But yes, I've lived in a lot of hospitals. I've never thought of bringing doughnuts, but I've always tried to be kind and gracious and thank the nursing staff for all of the amazing things that they do. I think a doughnut ruckus is the kind of quiet revolution Jesus had in mind when he came here :).

    1. I think you are right about Jesus. I'd love to hear your Area 51 story.