Our Most Unique Christmas

This year we spent all of Christmas Eve and half of Christmas Day in the Hospital.

J.R. started throwing up black blood around 1:30am on Christmas Eve. (Which is nicknamed coffee ground vomitus in the medical field just-so-ya-know)  When I told him that he needed to go to the hospital he very seriously said, "No I can't. I have to go to work."

I laugh about it now, because I think he was just in denial about how sick he was.

The ER admitted him into the Progressive Care Unit until they could schedule him for a stomach scope. The doctor who performed the scope was not able to pinpoint exactly where the bleeding was coming from, but he told us that J.R. has a medium sized hiatal hernia which may have caused the bleeding. It was frustrating not having definite answers but also a relief knowing that he didn't have severe ulcers or anything that was going to need immediate surgery that day.

The doctor who performed the scope does not perform surgery on hiatal hernias, but he was able to suggest another doctor at the hospital to call and schedule an appointment with.

After the scope, we went back to our room in the PCU. J.R. had really high hopes that he would be released since they were unable to locate the source of his bleeding - but that wasn't the case. We would be spending the night here.

J.R. was crushed. Christmas is his favorite holiday and now we were going to miss his family's Christmas Eve dinner and celebration. I tried my best to cheer him up. We listed to Christmas music on his cell phone while we played Yahtzee and then we watched The Christmas Story on TV. A group of carolers came and sang Christmas songs to every room in the unit, and our nurses were very kind. I felt like they went out of their way to interact and talk with us.

I was very impressed that people, especially the carolers, would spend their Christmas Eve trying to care for and cheer up strangers. Many of the patient in the PCU were very elderly and by themselves.  My heart broke that most of them would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone. At least J.R. and I were together.

The night seemed to last forever. (Which I think is very common for most people on Christmas Eve)  Until finally it was Christmas morning. J.R. hoped that he would be released first thing, but we had to wait for the doctor to arrive and review his case. There was a snow storm that morning and I was worried that the doctor would not be arriving for quite sometime. With each passing hour J.R. became more and more frustrated and depressed. His family kept calling, asking us for updates and when it became apparent that he wasn't going to be released anytime soon his dad said, "If you can't come to Christmas, we will bring Christmas to you." So they did. They packed up all the gifts, into two separate cars, and drove to the hospital.

Everyone crammed into J.R.'s tiny hospital room and opened gifts.  Towards the end, the doctor opened the door and with a bewildered looked on her face asked, "Where is my patient?" There wasn't any room for her to walk up to his bedside, so from the hall she said, "Well, would you like to go home? Let's get you out of here."

A couple hours later we left that room behind with a garbage full of Christmas wrapping paper and big smiles on our faces. We walked out into the frigid afternoon air that day with a greater appreciation for good health, family, and the blessing of being able to spend time together.

On the way home, J.R. said multiple times how concerned he was about getting our driveway shoveled. (I'm more laid back about it, but he hates having an icy driveway.) I figured I would probably have to shovel it tomorrow, but as we pulled up to our house I practically yelled, "Someone shoveled our driveway!" J.R. was seriously stunned.


We aren't sure who took the time during their Christmas day to come to shovel our long drive way, but we will always be grateful to them. It was one of the best gifts of the day and made coming home that much better.

This wasn't our favorite Christmas, but it was definitely our most unique. Do you have a unique Christmas story? I'd love to hear about it.

1 comment

  1. first of all - that picture is stunning, did you take it? i love it!

    second, i'm sorry to hear about your christmas - that's such a bummer! (but you will for sure laugh about it someday, maaaaybe in a few years though ;) haha) i'm glad that someone shoveled your driveway! even though it's small, that's the sweetest christmas miracle for you two. hope husband is feeling better!!!