Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Grateful for My Brother

Hospitals are scary places any time of day, but on a holiday weekend Saturday night at 11 p.m., the waiting room outside of the operating area is terrifying.

It's especially so when your husband has been in surgery for one hour, then two, then three, and you're wondering what they've found that requires so much time. In your mind more time can only equal something bad.

After my husband was hurt on July 5 in a farming accident and I'd gotten him in an ambulance at the local urgent care, I called my brother. He answered his cellphone and as soon I told him what had happened, he said he would be at the emergency room as quickly as he could.

He showed up within an hour or so, as did my father and stepmother. They did not stay long, but my brother stayed with me the whole time. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law also came, and they stayed for about five hours.

My brother bought me a drink and crackers from the vending machine. He drove me back home to get my husband some clothes and so I could take my medication, and then drove me back to the hospital in record time so I could kiss my sweetie before they wheeled him back so the surgeons could do their work.

And when my sister-in-law left to take my mother-in-law home, my brother stayed with me so that I did not face the dark and the florescent lighting alone. He stayed and stayed. Together we watched the clock tick. He bought me another bottle of water.

He told me it would be okay.

He put his arm around me and told me to try to take a little nap. We listened with great concern when the only other people in the waiting room were told their loved one had some kind of flesh-eating bacteria invading his foot, and we involuntarily inched a bit further away from them.

We waited hours for someone to come and tell us what had happened, and finally, in the wee hours of the morning, the surgeon appeared and told us what had happened to my husband. He explained how he'd had to cut him open from his palm to his elbow to allow the pressure on the muscles to free up, so that my husband wouldn't lose his arm. He'd had to clean up the wounds, which were contaminated with farm dust and oil and the things you find in farm machinery.

My brother held my hand while I listened to all of this, and then he helped me to the ninth floor where my husband was getting settled into his room. My husband had been asking for me and I was so glad I was there. I could see the relief on my sweetie's face when I walked in, with my brother right behind me carrying my husband's overnight bag.

During the five days my husband was in the hospital, my brother checked on me daily and once drove me home after a friend drove me to the hospital. One day I called him and begged him to bring both my husband and I an Arby burger, to save my husband from yet another day of not eating hospital food, and my brother showed up with Arby burgers in tow, the contraband food a blessing and a relief to both of us.

Finally, I asked him to bring my husband home on the day he was released, because my brother has a nice roomy Cadillac and I thought my husband would be more comfortable in it. I asked him too if he would stay while I helped my husband get a good bath, because he'd been in the hayfield when he was injured and the nursing staff had only given him sponge baths. My husband had said he was dreaming of a decent shower.

My brother brought my husband back to me, and then went to get his medication while my husband rested, and then he said he'd wait in case I needed help while I helped my husband bathe.

When we found out the hot water heater had died, and there was no hot water, my brother went to Lowe's and purchased new heating elements, and he fixed the hot water heater. He continued to hang out until I finally, finally got my husband the bath he so desired, and into bed.

You have to understand that my brother has a family of his own, and he runs a multi-million dollar company. He is responsible for dozens of employees and has thousands of clients who want his attention. His business is international; he deals with classified government contracts. He is a busy guy. 

But he dropped everything and came when I called, even when it was just for a roast beef sandwich. He stood by me when I most needed him, and I will be forever grateful.

Thank you, brother, for being there.


  1. I'm always amazed at how family can come together in times of need. This is so heartening.

  2. God bless your loving brother.

  3. What a portrait you have given us, Anita, of a loving and selfless man who you must be so happy to call your brother. He sounds like not only a caring and selfless individual, but a person who we would all be blessed to have in our own family. And, so glad to read that your husband, James, came home and finally enjoyed the bath he so longed for. Hope you will be able to get some rest as well since you too have been through quite an ordeal.

  4. Oh, my gosh. What a great read, but a horrible thing to have happened. Thankful your hubs is all right!

  5. What a great brother you have.

  6. It's good to know you have family you can depend on at times like this. I'm glad you know how lucky you are! ☺

  7. That's cool! I'm glad to hear that you're getting such support from your closest relatives. The only thing to worry about now is the effectiveness of the surgeries and the expenses, wherein there are ways to minimize. I hope you'll recovery well enough real soon. All the best!

    Steve Fischer @ Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace


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