Reflecting On Time Spent In The Hospital

Exploring Straub Hospital and getting in a nice walk after watching some baseball.

Midway through my fall semester, I found myself out of school and on bed rest at Straub Hospital, connected to more IVs than I could count. My resting heart rate was at 129 BPM, my body was aching, and my family was more than 4,000 miles away back home wondering what was going on. Most families far away would be overly anxious, however, between the trust in doctors and trust in Chaminade’s faculty, staff, and students to keep an eye on me, there was little worry.

What luckily turned out to be an easily treated infection, opposed to something much more serious, ended up being an experience in which I saw the good come out of a lot of strangers and was also reminded of why I chose to go to Chaminade in the first place.

When I was a senior in high school looking at colleges far away from home, my mom being a typical nervous parent would email various colleges with questions regarding emergency situations and student safety. Most schools would send a generic FAQ link back. However, Chaminade sent back a long, detailed, personalized note answering each and every one of her questions that instantly made her feel like I’d be in good hands if anything unfortunate were to happen. When I got sick this year, Chaminade was there for me just like the note years ago had promised.

By my luck, I fell ill right as the New York Yankees were making a playoff run for the World Series. Being a huge New York sports fan, being on hospital bed rest for eight days forced me to do nothing but watch baseball. However, being confined in a room alone when you are typically an outgoing 21-year-old can take a serious toll on your mental well-being, but luckily I had my Chaminade family.

About a year and a half ago, I joined Chaminade’s Hogan Program and met one of my mentors at school, Dr. John Webster. On top of being one of my entrepreneurial mentors, he is a huge baseball fan and went out of his way to leave his busy work day to join me at the hospital to watch a game. Unfortunately, when he stopped by, I was knocked out cold on pain medication, but I woke up to doctors telling me he had BEEN THERe? VISITED?, which meant a lot to me.

While at the hospital, the nurses and staff were some of the best people I’ve met. Hospital food stops being served at 7 p.m. and often times, the drugs would knock me out and I’d wake up past dinner. I had one nurse in particular who knew a college guy needed more than jello to keep him going. He had asked me what type of food I liked, and all I really wanted was some homemade mac and cheese. Later that night around 2 a.m., the same nurse came in with pasta that his friend had made for me to eat. With his small but meaningful gesture, he went from the guy who would ask me my pain level on the sad face scale to someone who felt like family for the remainder of my stay.

About a week later, I was out of the hospital but had a recovery process ahead getting my strength back, not to mention the school work I missed. The day I got out of the hospital, Ann Kishi and El Roising, who both work at Chaminade through the Hogan Program, came to my house and brought me food to eat, books to read, and a hand-written note from students wishing me well.

At the beginning of each semester many of our classes go over the Marianist values, and there is a section on aloha that says to “think and emote good feelings to others.” Chaminade, along with Straub Hospital, did just that. As I write this at the end of the fall semester healthy and caught up on schoolwork, people keep asking me what my plans for the future are. With only one semester left I am not entirely sure, however, I am sure that regardless of where I go, I will make sure to share the aloha spirit that was shared and taught to me at Chaminade and in Hawaii through experiences like this one with others wherever I end up.