Of hospitals, holiday dinners, and evil

I’m sitting in a room in Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. How did I end up here?

I received a call shortly after lunch break at work today that my mom took my father to the hospital. He was having shortness of breath or something and so went to his doctor who then sent him to Union Hospital. Union Hospital was shut down except for the ER earlier this year, and so it was just a stop for some testing to see if he would need to go to a bigger medical center. My mother told me just to wait around for more information.

Well, more information came about an hour before quitting time. They were going to admit him to Overlook Hospital for observation. They just had to wait for a room to open up as Overlook is quite a busy location. Well I left work and went over there. Nothing much was happening. They were waiting for some tests to return. They suspected congestive heart failure. Something about him retaining water and it suffocating his blood flow. I’m not sure what it all means. I’m a tech geek, not a doctor.

Anyway, as there was no information coming any time soon I left because I was supposed to be somewhere shortly thereafter. My small group at church was having a holiday dinner at a local establishment. And so I went.

Just as we were finishing I received another call that the transport was going to happen within an hour and that my presence was requested. So I went back to Union Hospital. The EMT’s arrived shortly after I did, loaded him up, and we were on our way.

On the way to Summit, as we were following two ambulances that breezed through a yellow light that soon became red as I passed, I was pulled over by a Summit police officer. “License, registration, and insurance” he said. I handed the documentation over and my mother told him that we were following the ambulances to the hospital as my father was being moved there. He, realizing the situation, allowed us unticketed passage to the hospital and we arrived at our destination.

Much has happened today. They do know that my father does have congestive heart failure. They are going to hold him here for a few days to drain the excess water and hopefully it will not result in full-on cardiac arrest. We shall see. I think we’re only going to be here a little bit longer as we are already way past visiting hours. I’m debating whether or not to call out of work in the morning. I know my other brother is going to call out of his job and stop by. We shall see. Beyond the reason that I should come see my father in the afternoon since he is in the hospital, I also see, and maybe this is wrong thinking it as a message to my job, which I will keep nameless, that they are not the most important thing in life. They have a way of putting more and more and more work on the employee and requiring more and more time so that the job consumes life itself. I saw this horror lived out today as my father, who also works for the same organization, laid in the ER. He was asking for his laptop so that he can get some work done and prepared for tomorrow. I fully realized the evils of that overwork and the dehumanization of an individual as they become nothing more than a company’s resource… an identification number rather than a person. Where programming overtakes reason. I honestly see the importance of Sabbath and rest and stillness. I realize I cannot much longer exist in this type of environment. I’m probably going to get in trouble (again) for talking about such things. I don’t care anymore.

See you tomorrow.

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