"The hospital called."
Given recent events this might be bad. "What did they say?"
"Just wanted to know how you were doing. I told them, 'fine.'"
I am a well-traveled veteran of hospitals and hospitalizations. Hospitals do not call to find out how you are doing. They call to find out what you think of how they are doing. I suspect, too, they call to make sure the just released patient is talking to them and not to a lawyer.
The hospital need not have worried, but some background should be here given.
There is a theological hypothesis which I have formulated over the years, more of an observation than a true study. And, no, there is no "scripture and verse" which proves my position. But, my observation has been that God's healing hand does touch people in miraculous, instantaneous ways. The reason for such a touch no preacher can really discern. It may be He only reaches down to those very few whom He knows will give the glory to Him.
But, in the United States of America mostly He uses doctors. And He seems to use them best when the patient does what the doctors suggest. No one has to go to a doctor; but having asked (and paid) for their counsel, an attempt to follow instructions is in order.
This is why up a few days ago I ended at Union Hospital for a MRI.
Having already had what is for me an "active" day, I arrived not 100 percent sure this was going to be a good idea. However, by the time they were ready for me I thought I could do it. For the record, I deliberately made an affirmative decision to not advise the technician of any misgivings I might have had.
The test went very well (to paraphrase an old joke: "X-Rays of Dave's head reveal nothing.") It is just that after she got me up and into a chair the chest pain started -- seven on a scale of 10 if you're keeping score at home.
The young lady who'd conducted the test was concerned, caring, and considerate. This is all I have ever asked of any medico type.
Years ago a doctor told me that if you have a known, properly diagnosed problem for which there is a proven treatment, there is no place on earth you are better off than in an American hospital. I had chest pains, a documented heart problem, and was already at the hospital. When the young lady asked if I'd be willing to let her take me to the ER I said sure.
They kept me overnight, they always do; and by noon the next day we were headed home. The following day we got the phone call.
There exists in our nation today a very unfortunate culture of lawsuits. Certainly an attorney could be found who, for 40 percent of the take, would try to get a settlement for the "pain and suffering" of having to be hospitalized due to some "error". In my opinion there ought to be a protection built into the law that one could not sue a doctor or medical facility "absence of malice" or proven history of incompetence or illegality.
Truth is I'm just glad those concerned, caring, and considerate people were there. If there was any "error" in judgment it was my own decision to not warn the technician of what kind of day I had.
The hospital called. They needn't have bothered -- unless they want to talk about that boring hospital food! Can you sue for dietary distress? Hey, come to think of it, our daughter is a lawyer!
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.