This touches a spot in me because I have chronic health issues, so supporting me in some capacity is part of the package deal when getting involved with me. I have amazing friends who help me in various ways, so I always have support around me. I've learned not to place a lot of demand on any one person (like a partner) and to spread out my requests for help among several friends because it can be too much for one person.
I've experienced different kinds of people since dating with a chronic illness. One extreme of a guy saying, "I'm not a nurse" and leaving me when I hit a rough patch and needed help. To another extreme of a guy who was playing out issues from his past and felt he needed to "save" me. And many, many wonderful people who have enjoyed helping me out, knowing I'm there for them when I'm able to be.
So, all that to say that I have a fair bit of experience with how others respond to me when I'm down and out.
I hear what you're saying dragonflysky, about being single and able to care for yourself and not expecting your guy to cancel plans. I also agree that this wasn't a typical scenario and if ever there was a time you needed support/cancelled plans, this was it.
I hear what others are saying about asking for what you need and I typically agree. But, isn't it more applicable to more subtle needs that may not be obvious? Things that need negotiating, etc? In my opinion, if you are in the hospital in pain and feeling vulnerable, there's a pretty obvious need for support and I think it's understandable that you didn't come straight out and ask for him to cancel his plans.
That being said, it really depends. How concerned was he on the phone? What did he express to you? How connected and cared for did you feel? He may know you as someone who takes care of herself and assumed that you would not want the company. He may have thought you were in good hands and not felt he could offer anything. Sometimes, just knowing a person wishes they could be there for me is enough. Knowing they're thinking of me, even if they aren't changing plans to be there. And people know this of me, so they send lots of caring words and thoughts. And I feel loved.
From my experience, a person's mettle shows through during tough situations. That's not to say anything about your specific situation, but I would want to know what you can come to expect in terms of support in the future. This is a new relationship, right? I seem to remember that from reading your other posts. I would want to know what you can expect, what you can ask for, how much your well-being matters, etc. He does have other commitments, so it is more complicated and there are more people to consider, but I would want to know how much of a possibility there is in the future that your needs, in a situation like this, would be considered important enough to change plans. How much of the whole package are you a part of?
Hope this helps.