Living Into Loneliness: Update
Thinking about the feelings of sadness and melancholy I experienced last Tuesday, I realize that I have already learned a few things.
My neighbor had been taken to the hospital by paramedics, and on that day, I had wondered:
1) Are we prepared for emergencies?, and
2) Are we really “connected” to others in a manner that is meaningful?
One of my concerns last Tuesday had been that I did not have my neighbor’s daughter’s phone number in my planner. Well, I snapped into action and contacted neighbors who then snapped into action themselves. One neighbor had a key to my friend’s home and retrieved the daughter’s phone number from a paper posted on the refrigerator. (My neighbor HAD been prepared for emergencies by posting this info on her fridge.) While this was going on, another neighbor told me of a friend who would have the much-needed phone number. She didn’t have it, but contacted her sister who did.
The first neighbor showed up at my door with the number written on her hand. Meanwhile, the second friend called with the phone number that had been retrieved from her sister. I was delighted that we had the phone number so quickly, yet realize we were fortunate. With other needs, we might not be so blessed to have quick access to vital info or people who could help. I still know that I need to be mindful and proactive in pre-preparing for emergency situations. I’m grateful that we were able to contact her daughter.
Several of us learned who knew where a key to the house was, who had phone numbers and who needed updates. In this way, we all became more prepared. More than one person had had thoughts of updating my friend’s daughter’s phone number, but had not yet acted upon that thought.
Second, I’m deeply moved by the heartwarming “connections” that made themselves manifest through this experience. Everyone who knew my friend moved quickly into action on her behalf. The second source of the phone number is a young woman who took the day off work to go sit in the hospital with our friend. Prayers are being offered in her behalf. I knew she read the Bible each morning, so I offered to bring her a Bible, and I spent a little time listening to her feelings yesterday. She smokes and is going through some withdrawal symptoms while in the hospital—on top of everything else. She’s determined to not find herself in this situation with smoking and withdrawal again, so she asked me to get the remaining cigarettes in her home and throw them in the trash, and I did.
Thinking that my friend was depressed, people put their heads together and offered ideas about having their children visit her more often to cheer her up. They had ideas for pets that might be manageable at her age and give her companionship, etc. The list of ways to “connect” and help went on and on. This very week, I’ve seen that when others find out that someone they love is in need, the compassion they feel still moves them into action—even in this busy world.
Another thing I learned was totally unexpected. I did not expect to receive so many compassionate responses to my postings about my own sadness and melancholy. I was trying to stay focused on my neighbor, yet I was deeply touched and moved by the many responses to the pain of MY sorrow. People I know as well as strangers shared their feelings and hopes. Connections were formed and/or strengthened as compassion and love reached over the miles and settled into my heart to create both gratitude and appreciation for the many people who commented and reinforced the knowledge that we are not alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who took the time to share your feelings and post something or send a comment. I can’t thank you enough.
The goals on my Family Tree Quest website are to:
Glean wisdom from the Past
Live Mindfully in the Present, and
Prepare Confidently for the Future
I’m learning again and again, that we simply do the best we can without beating ourselves up for mistakes or, in my case, for not writing down certain phone numbers. Then we evaluate and learn and set new goals. I’m grateful that so much compassion and love still exists in our world, and that my friend is doing a bit better each day.
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NOTE: Many of you have asked how she’s doing.
My friend was diagnosed as having dangerously low sodium levels due to a blood pressure medicine’s side effects. This created great fatigue and weakness and perhaps feelings of depression from the imbalance. She was told that such low sodium levels could lead to convulsions or heart attack, so she’s in the cardiac unit.
As of today, she’s still in the hospital until her sodium levels are normalized and her blood pressure is regulated properly with a new medication. She will, most likely, need assistance when she gets home. I hope her daughter will help her get that taken care of.
Another NOTE: I’ve also learned from this experience, how important it is to know what the side effects of our medications might be. Doctor’s are not perfect and sometimes miss things. If we are prepared to ask specific questions regarding medications, that may save us a trip to the hospital. Many people are shocked to hear the implications of low sodium in our bodies and don’t know it could be associated with a medication. I know that I had no idea how serious low sodium could be. This is another good way to Prepare Confidently for the Future.
Link to Tuesday’s post (that I referred to):