A three year “anniversary” in Bumrungrad

We are still in Bangkok in Bumrungrad hospital. Mike is still in those sexy green PJ’s with an IV line sticking out of the back of his hand and plastic bags full of Dalacin and Ceftriaxone hanging off a metal stand above his head. Periodically air bubbles get in the line and the machine emits a loud and obnoxious beeping that doesn’t stop until a nurse comes and sorts it out. Yesterday’s last course finished dripping into his veins at 11:20pm, and nurses came in this morning to take his blood pressure at 5:15am – which I think is a ridiculous practice. Why would you wake someone out of a restorative sleep every morning in the five’s just to take their blood pressure when they’re clearly in no imminent danger?

Yes, three days into this and our serene gratitude has started to disappear at odd moments. It’s like my good mood just takes off and wanders downstairs to the Starbucks to get a cup of coffee, then saunters back in some time later and acts all surprised to find that pissiness has taken up residence in its absence.

“What’s your problem?” my sensible and cheerful self asks in these moments, genuinely bewildered. “You’ve really got it very good. Mike’s getting much better, there’s a McDonalds downstairs, they sell Haagen Dazs in the gift shop, and the shower here is awesome.”

“Just shut up,” my pissy self answers. “You’re annoying.”

Sometimes my sensible and cheerful self gives pissiness the middle finger and reclaims the throne. Sometimes my sensible and cheerful self goes and sulks in the corner.

So here’s the update: Mike is getting much better – the infection seems to be disappearing rapidly, though we both had an expectations readjustment yesterday when the smiling doctor suggested we may not get discharged until Monday.

“We trust your judgment,” we told him yesterday. “If that’s what it takes we’ll stay until Monday.”

(Of course, we’ve spent much of the last day speculating as to whether we could possibly get released on Sunday, or maybe even Saturday.)

In the meantime we’re both trying to stay focused and working off our laptops (Mike is typing one-handed as I write this while the other is soaking up all those antibiotics). I’m really enjoying the French fries down in the food court. I had a crème brule latte this morning and wasn’t that impressed. I ventured out of the hospital last night for the first time to find a local spa – where I decided to get the traditional Thai massage because it was significantly cheaper than the Swedish oil massage. I won’t make that mistake again. She twisted my body into positions I hadn’t known I could achieve, and she yanked me into some of these positions while standing on me. It was like being mugged by yoga.

Today is an anniversary of sorts for us – three years ago today Mike emailed me for the third time. It was a lovely long letter that basically inquired as to whether I might like to embark upon a long distance relationship with a virtual stranger. We all know how that story ended. Or, rather, how it started.

So, tonight, if they let Mike off his plastic tubes at some stage, I’m going to take him on a surprise field trip date to the rooftop garden on the sixth floor to mark our “anniversary”. Then we might stop at the nursery and look at the babies. I spied a dozen babies yesterday through a giant glass window – all these impossibly tiny bundles neatly lined up, fast asleep. I stood for a couple of seconds and watched them. It was like visiting a pet store and watching the puppies, only much less entertaining. But, hey, good entertainment is a bit in short supply around here at the moment so wandering past the nursery will just have to do. That and Haagen Dazs ice cream bars.

Thank you all for your messages of support and apologies that I haven’t been able to get back to you all yet. We’ve been really touched by all the blog comments and facebook comments and emails that have flooded in. When you’re clothed in green PJs and far from home it’s really nice to know people are thinking of you. I sure hope you’re all having a good week and that your sensible and cheerful selves are reigning supreme in your own internal kingdom.

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10 responses to “A three year “anniversary” in Bumrungrad

  1. I’d be cranky, too, Lis 🙂

    Hang in there, Monday will come soon enough for the rest of us, hope it does for you as well!

    Hugs xo

  2. So glad things are progressing well for you two. 🙂 Hang in there!

  3. “It’s like being mugged by yoga.” Genius.

  4. Just so glad he’s getting better and you are even able to sleep from 11-5!!! hoping it’s early than Monday if it can be, but if not, glad there’s Haagen Daz! and you’re amazing to ask how WE are when you’re in the middle of all this! 🙂
    xoxo….. oh, and yes, “mugged by yoga”, genius for sure!

    • I think of you guys often. We, for example, may have been woken up by nurses this week. I’m well aware that you have a new bub in the house! Hope all’s going well.

  5. Once again I am in awe of what you guys are doing! Infections and chronic health issues are difficult even in the best of climates and living situations. Here you two are, plodding steadily through another round of character building that many would turn tail and run away from. I will throw up some extra prayers for you!

    Also, if you don’t mind me saying, I’m quite relieved to know that I’m not the only one who has inner battles with the exasperating pissy-self VS cheerful self. It’s like the colorful fights I had with my brother growing up. Some days I wanna kick them both in the shins and shove ’em off a cliff. Permanently. :o)

    Cheers!
    Hannah
    “Battling the gates of heaven with the storms of prayers.”
    Lord Alfred Tennyson

    • Only some days??? The dialogue in my head between my “stretching towards admirable” self and “much less admirable” self is pretty constant and sometimes awfully loud. If you have any secret tricks for making “much less admirable” shut up, do share.

      Thanks for the encouraging note! Cheers, lisa

  6. Dear Lisa and Mike,
    Aunt Kathy has been keeping me up to date on your health issues and asked me to join others in prayer. After reading your blog today, Lisa, I decided to write. I found a little book written by Jill Briscoe entitled “Running on Empty – Refilling your Spirit at the Low Points of Life”. It is out of print now (1988) which is such a shame because it is somewhat timeless. I was drawn to the last chapter where she focuses on Habakkuk 3:17-19 The entire book in the Bible is very short and a unique dialogue between him and God – could be titled “Why do bad things happen to good people.” Anyway getting back to those verses made me think of you both – in the midst of all the suffering his people the Jews are facing and feeling like God is silent on the matter he determines he will still praise God. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Jill shares in her book that this is were we need to dwell when nothing makes sense – climb to the High Places and look at life from God’s perspective – so we can get out of our self-focus. I have been self-focused a lot lately – not a place I like to be in and have been trying to spend more time in the High Places. I’ve found that it does work when nothing else makes sense and I want life ‘my way’. So this is meant to be an encouragement for the both of you to just “Be Still and know that HE is God” – it’s a good place to rest when confined to a hospital in Bangkok. Happy Anniversary!

    • Thank you Kathy for taking the time to type out those beautiful verses. Yeah, perspective is key in so many situations! We’ve done a fair bit of being still physically this week, and not done TOO badly at being still mentally either if you take the perspective of the whole week :). Glad to be home though, for sure. Thanks again for writing and sharing. Cheers, lisa

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