Grumpy, Angry Guy

We were back in the ER a couple of days ago for another overnight. We’ve been to the ER so often, we know a few of the nurses by name. Lola was comfortably sedated when nurse Tosh walked into her room. I remembered him from before.

“You’re Tosh, right? Like the guy on TV?” He remembered me too. “Yes,” he said, “and you are the grumpy, angry guy, right?”All I could do was laugh. “Guilty,” I said.

These days serenity is often hard to come by. My peace of mind is directly proportionate to Lola’s physical and emotional well being. When she suffers, so do I. I guess you could say I am co-dependent.

If her pain meds are working and she’s relaxed, so am I. If she is connected to her HP and accepting whatever God has in store for her, so can I. But when she is in any kind of pain, my stress level peaks, my serenity disappears and my character defects rise to the surface. I become impatient, demanding and intolerant of everyone, especially her care givers.

In the hospital, the clock starts ticking as soon as Lola rings her nurse call button. If no one comes with her pain med in five minutes I push it again. If no one comes in another five minutes, I’m out at the nurse’s station pushing them for some attention. It is not the softer, easier way to go through life. But it's the best I can do right now. Besides, it’s effective. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I simply can’t imagine going through the last ten months without God in my life. I often feel I don’t have the strength to make it through another moment. Yet, somehow, peace of mind magically returns. I know this is God’s peace, not mine. I am just the channel, like St. Francis talks about in his prayer. My channel stays open and flowing as long as I continue to show up and be of service, both in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. These days I don’t have to ask God what I can do for the person who is still sick. I seem to intuitively know what to do. It's pretty amazing.