It was a huge revelation of expectation versus reality.
Can you believe that Emma packed art supplies and a ukulele, thinking that she would pass the time on those pursuits? None of us had any concept of the amount of pain she would be in. Basically she was either sleeping, in terrible pain, or doing her required physical therapy. There was no “free time.”
For my part, I packed lots of books and my laptop. I planned on writing, blogging, and reading. I knew that Emma would often be asleep and I would have time to work. I did some email and Internet browsing during our week in the hospital, but to be honest, I was so exhausted that I had no mental power for any serious work.
I am a person who requires more than average sleep (10 hours a night minimum). Any of you who have slept in a hospital know that it is not conducive for sleeping:
- the bright lights
- the constant interruptions by nurses and doctors
- the beeping machines
- the uncomfortable bed
I spent many hours poised over Emma’s bed, trying to soothe her. The longest I got to sleep at a stretch would be four to five hours. Needless to say, I was very, very tired. The lack of quality sleep combined with the emotional turmoil zapped any possibility of mental function.
And so a few days into my stay, I asked my husband to take my books and papers home. It was unrealistic to think that I could write an eBook in the hospital. (Go ahead and laugh at me. It is ridiculous. Now I realize that.)
Instead, I gave myself permission to completely focus on the task at hand — getting Emma well enough to go home.