I had a blog post written and almost ready to go last week. But before I could polish and post it, I had to take a slight detour, via ambulance, ending up in the hospital with internal bleeding caused by several small ulcers I didn’t know I had.

After a few scary and painful days in the hospital, I’m home now, recovering and starting to feel like myself again. As always, after something bad happens in my life, I try to look for the good that can come out of it. I usually don’t have to look too hard.

For one thing, even though my husband and I don’t have any family members living nearby, I am blessed with an amazing community of friends and neighbors who feel and act like family to me. A number of friends—who have busy lives of their own—offered to drop everything and come to the hospital if I needed them, or to take care of things at home or run errands and do shopping while I was recovering. I was surrounded by care, concern, and prayers by people for whom “I’m praying for you” is not just something they say, it’s something they really mean.

With a history of medical issues that goes back more than 30 years, and with a daughter-in-law who’s a nurse, I’m never unaware of how dedicated and hard-working medical professionals are, and how much they do to take care of their patients. But seeing it first-hand, up close and personal, reminds me to be grateful for them all, and to keep them in my prayers—from the EMTs and Emergency Room staff, to the nurses, doctors, and techs who treated me, to the woman who came in to wipe down and mop my hospital room every day, smiling and humming and wishing me blessings as she did.

I sometimes joke about never missing a medical question on “Jeopardy,” and at one point during my hospital stay, I mentioned to my husband that I was gaining a whole new category of medical knowledge I might be able to use someday. “Someday” happened sooner than I expected, as “Esophagus” was the correct response to one of the Jeopardy clues on the show the day I came home from the hospital. I answered it faster than the contestants did.

I try never to take my health for granted, but I have to admit I’ve never before made a conscious and special point of being grateful for my gastrointestinal tract. I have now, though, and will continue to do so, especially during the month or so it will take my ulcers to heal.

In the past, once I recovered from whatever challenges I was facing at the time—medical or otherwise—I ended up better, stronger, and healthier once I got through them. I have a gut feeling this will be the same.

April 22, 2023
©Betty Liedtke, 2023

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