Tired Trumps Everything





Yesterday afternoon Lizi began complaining of intense abdominal pain; she was throwing up and had diarrhea, too. I immediately called the doctor but couldn’t get her in until 1 pm today.

By the time I got off the phone, she was much worse. I had a flashback to (mumble) years ago when I was sixteen and had appendicitis and needed an emergency appendectomy.

Right away I knew she needed to get straight to the ER.

After a four hour wait, (thank you for your blessed inefficiency Beaumont Hospitals) she was finally seen. They did bloodwork, a COVID test, and finally a CT scan.

The nurses were unkind and lacking empathy, which was both sad and frustrating. One came in and said, “OOOOH I’m so surprised. Appendicitis doesn’t usually present this way.”

Well when I had it, nurse Jessica, it presented in EXACTLY the same way, so…. maybe you should have listened when I said that to you four hours ago!

After a night in the hospital with dilaudid, zofran, and antibiotics as her only nutritional supplements, they finally got an operating room open and did surgery at 6 pm—25 hours after she arrived!

Amid this drama and phone calls to the case manager, nurse manager, etc, Evan had his last day of school—I left the hospital to drop him off and pick him up for the half day while Lizi’s dad stayed with her.

After Evan’s celebratory last day of school milkshake, we stopped at Target for a quick pickup of the Little E essentials—diapers, wipes, sippy cup, vanilla almond milk, goldfish—you know, just the essentials. Then we headed home to get the house “Little E proof”.

I’m the middle of all of this, we got the great news that Trace was being released a day early. So I snuck in a “quick” trip to Rochester to bring her home.

Loads of rejoicing here!

After getting her home and settled, Uncle Ev and I had to go get Little E from his caregiver, and then let Lizi’s dog out, feed her, and give her some love.

After we were back home for a short while when we had to go and get all the new medication prescriptions filled. We also needed to pickup a pizza for dinner.

So I loaded up “the boys” and off we went to run those errands.

When we finally got back home, a little JJ Heller I Dream of You Playlist and Little E was O—U—T.

Trace took her night meds and settled into bed for her first night home while Ev and Little E and I camped out in the living room.

Sooo exciting! (Not so much for my back, but my spirit is willing.)

So today’s poem is simply a reflection of my day.

325 miles in less than 36 hours.


Bone weary
Ten times teary
Loud talking leery
Drained and dreary
Good deed bleary
Caregiver cheery

When Worlds Collide

Coffee in a styrofoam cup—not my favorite, but I am happy we are able to enjoy our coffee together.

What a day!

At 7 am the nurse (under doctor orders) ripped Tracy off her pain pump without making sure her pain was managed.

I probably don’t need to tell you how awful the day was. We spent most of it trying to get back on top of the pain. Trace was crying and her pain all day was largely unmanageable. It was dreadful.

Friends, even I had a hard time.

More than once the tears spilled over in my eyes out of sheer helplessness. At one point, I realized I wasn’t helpless; I had power to help her because I still had my voice.

And one voice has power.

I teach my students this at school, and I believe it to be true. You have a voice, use it wisely. So I made a choice to use my voice and made some phone calls to her surgeon; I also reached out to the hospital case manager.

Once I started reaching out, I found many folks with empathy. The pain management doc isn’t usually at this hospital on Wednesdays, but when he heard what was going on, he came all the way from his Novi clinic after a full work day, just to see Tracy. He reordered the pain pump—administered and weaned differently—and she found some relief.

We finally (both of us) (mostly) slept.

She is up, asked for coffee and her phone and is looking at a breakfast menu. First time she’s wanted to do any of that.

Thank you God for answered prayer and (finally) a pain pump returned!

When Worlds Collide

When worlds collide,
life changes in a way
that is never quite
the same again.

Our path lies
where we choose to
walk (or fly)—not
the beaten path

and maybe not
even the road less
travelled, but where we
establish our rest.

We choose life
near the cool waters
feasting on simple rhythms—
sunrise and sunset,

morning and evening.
One giant living hum—
peace amidst the chaos—
in the middle

of every thing.
We sing our stories
rejoicing in each moment
when worlds collide.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Hospital Nights


Well, Trace made it through night one like the champion she is.

And today feels like a new day.


I think I slept about an hour and half total. Worst bed and chair out of all the hospitals I’ve stayed at…and I have stayed just about at every hospital in the tri-county area. This fancy-schmamcy one had a couch and chair in the room that were simply dreadful, and I’m so wishing for a good nights rest tonight.

I will tell you this, every patient needs an advocate because not all nurses are created with the same empathy and ingenuity levels. To be honest, I’m afraid to leave her alone here.

A nurse anesthetist came in and said that her levels of pain are simply not acceptable. I was so relieved to hear someone say out loud exactly what I was thinking. Hopefully, she will make some changes.

On a good note, Trace is off the pain pump, and it’s just as well. She was pretty violently ill this morning from all the narcotics. Now it’s a matter of getting the right “cocktail” of meds to relieve her pain. The pain is still wickedly intense and not managed.

The surgical team came in early this morning and said everything looks great from the outside, but they have to do a standing x-ray today to make sure. That should be interesting with her pain level.

Most importantly, please pray that we can figure out how to get on top and ahead of the pain. (Can you tell that’s the theme of the day?) That is our biggest need right now.

Hospital Nights

It’s 2am
and peace
has settled
in the room.

Her bloodstream—
narcotic drunk,
a slumped
on her mouth.

Getting up
to use
the commode
wasn’t so bad.

Of course,
dilaudid helps—
gotta love
that pain pump.

I’m trying
to close
my eyes
But I’m terrified

she’ll sleep—
sleep through
button pressing
and suddenly wake

screaming again.
I know
she can’t
live on that

high forever—
hooked up,
hooked on
drugs every day.

Eventually she—
she will
need to
feel pain again.

The only road
to recovery
is in her own
clear thinking

and her
sheer determined,
unflappable, unstoppable,
undeniably tough spirit.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan