A Day I Will Never Forget
“You should let your wife pass away, she will never have a good quality of life and neither will you.” Talk about life and death decisions! Have you ever heard those words from your doctor? I’ll never forget the day two of my wife’s doctors said those words to me. It brings back a memory of “where were you when John Kennedy was shot?” Some of you may be too young to remember that. But that moment remains as clear in my mind as any memory could possibly be.
My wife became seriously ill on August 4th, 2014 and was in various hospitals and medical facilities. At times it seems as though anything that could go wrong did go wrong. But we had faith in the Lord and believed that, with His guidance, she would survive. I can’t tell you why but I just always had this feeling in my heart that she would recover. To me, it is just the first in a long list of God’s Miracles, what I call God Things. It just didn’t seem like it was the right time for her to be with the Lord.
The day after she was admitted to the hospital I gathered our three adult children and went into the visitors waiting room and closed the door. I was concerned that the doctors were already making comments like:
- “We will make her comfortable”
- “Your wife is seriously ill and less than 35% of the people with this problem live.”
- “We’re doing all we can, but…..”
In that visitor’s room, we made a pact to make sure anyone who needed to know, knew that we were not interested in “making her comfortable”, we expected that they treat her aggressively and take the necessary actions to make her well. Then, on the third day, things got worse. She developed acute respiratory distress syndrome. Another malady with only about a 60% survival rate for an otherwise healthy person. She had to be placed in a medically induced coma for 30 days and put on a rotating bed.
As terrible as this situation was (and getting worse by the day) there were always God Things along the way. I will tell you about all of them in the posts to come, but, for now, let’s get back to the one that inspired this site.
A Life and Death Decision
During her illness, one doctor, in particular, pressured us to complete a DNR form. Neither of us has done this and probably never will. When the doctor asked me why not, I explained that I thought it is a license to kill. If something happened to my wife or me we will make that decision with God, not put it in the hands of someone who may be pressed for time, have another patient in need or be late for dinner. I know, it’s a harsh way of looking at things but If I had signed one my wife would be dead today. Please, let me be clear that there are times when these decisions need to be made and through prayer and talking with family and your doctors, you will know when that time is right.
Now, go ahead a few more months and my wife is still in critical condition but improving. This particular doctor came into my wife’s room with another doctor and their conversation seemed to me as though we were talking about someone else. I told both to stop and let’s find a private area to talk. This was not the type of conversation my wife should have been listening to. Basically, they were saying that she is still critical may not recover fully. Once in a private area, I asked what they suggested. The advice I was given was to stop my wife’s medications, take her off the ventilator and just make her comfortable (there’s that comfortable word again) with drugs. She would pass away in about 3 days. Imagine that, only 3 more days and I would have a better quality of life.
My reaction was to throw both doctors out of the room and tell them to never approach me or my children about that topic again. Also, I expected them to do everything in their power to save her and if a different decision needed to be made we would make that with the Lord, not them.
After they left I stayed in the room for a few minutes, cried, prayed, cried and prayed again. Then went back to my wife’s room.
Let The Lord In
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Having been in that hospital environment for 20 months there were numerous times that I witnessed doctors telling a family their loved ones would not survive or had very little chance. That they would “make them comfortable”. I know that is the case in the vast majority of those conversations. I know that those decisions are necessary and pray for anyone in that position. My message here is that this is a time to challenge your medical professional about all of the options. I have great respect for the doctors and nurses who give so much of their lives to save our loved ones. But, they are people just like you and me. They can make mistakes and they can rise to the challenge when you challenge them. If they don’t, fire them.
It is also the time to talk to the Lord to see if He has a message for you. Believe me, when I say, my wife had a lot of adversity, and it was God’s presence that gave us the strength to get up every morning and face another day. It was God’s guidance that gave the doctors and nurses the wisdom and knowledge to see it through. And it’s God’s strength that is with us every day.
On April 11th, 2016 my wife came home and I wouldn’t trade our “quality of life” for anything!
That’s her in the picture above, taking a walk at the reservoir in our area.
Have you ever been in this circumstance? How did you handle it? Did you feel God’s presence? Did you experience the same type of God Things that we did?
Please leave a comment and share your experience with God’s Miracles.
God’s Miracles are your God Things