Friday, October 29, 2010

finding rest

(Last December)
The beam of light from the bathroom door stretches across the cold, sterile floor. Angling its way up a dangling blanket, it widens to a dim ray disruptively crossing the foot of my wife's hospital bed before hitting the wall across the room. Just enough light to make the room glow with a sort of half-shut-down-labratory feel.

Little things I don't understand are beeping. The blood pressure cuff is automatically turning on and off every fifteen minutes. Noises from other rooms... The distant sound of urban Minneapolis seeping in through the windows.

It's 1:00 AM. The lab tech is in again to draw blood. It's a new one every night. Some are quiet, but this one throws on the lights and talks far too loud. I put my glasses on in time to see him fill the last vial with my wife's blood. He fixes all the labels, makes her read them to ensure they're correct, then loads up his cart and wheels his strange cargo out of the room.

Still no sleep. I'm twisting and turning in my day clothes underneath a bleached blanket from the nurse. The vinyl pull-out chair/bed is only better than the floor. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for my racing mind. There's no turning it off. Exhaustion has to set in before I will ever fall asleep. What if I wake up and my wife is gone?

6:00 AM. Not much sleep, and very little point in trying to sleep now with the rest of the hospital stirring and the sun pouring in. Another day, another night in the hospital.

Finding rest is still hard. Almost a year later and I feel worn out most of the time by the thinking, the worries, and the constant pondering of what might come next. But I know also that sleeping and resting are so important. So, here's to another week, another night and day of looking for rest.