Hospital Fatigue Syndrome

I'll tell you exactly how I feel about making hospital calls.

Weary.

I might even call it "weary in well-doing" if it weren't for my sneaky suspicion that I am not doing well at it.

The patients, actually, are the easy part. They seem happy to see me. We pray while I touch whatever part of their body is hurting, with some exceptions, of course, in which case I hold their hand. They seem to like the prayer, "Bless O Lord this child of thine, Bring him (or her) safely home, Heal him body, soul, and mind, And bring him back to us rejoicing." They like when I ask them what they think the prayer meant. Most people want to know about the rejoicing part. As do I.

Mortal assault



Hospital calling is an assault on my mortality. Before age 40, I was a whiz at the hospital. I could cheer up entire floors of the dying. Their fate had nothing to do with mine.

But then I had a bout with a virus for a couple of years. I learned to mistrust doctors, to fear tests, to despise the hurry-up-and-wait ...

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