Friday, March 02, 2012

A Tap on the Shoulder From Above

Maybe I'm feeling especially vulnerable after weeks of feebly managing the affairs of a stricken family member, but the tingle I felt roll down my spine earlier today was very real.
I grew up in the Church and I remain active. I might even be a little unconventional because of frequent visits to a nearby place of worship while I'm actually a member of another congregation. While my religion, and maybe even my faith, are simply part of me...apparently the "gee whiz" God moments have gone largely unacknowledged. There have been one or two "God is real" affirming occurrences when I became convinced I was getting a message. Today's got my attention.

For several weeks before The Sick Person was struck down and sent to long-term care, he had been struggling significantly with a chronic illness. The specialists have been at a loss to help him. We tried many times without success to get him involved in a program at a Nearby Healthcare Facility dedicated to studying his particular ailment. That failure has been a source of frustration and discouragement.

For a couple of weeks now, I've felt like a dog barking into the wind. I was making a lot of noise, maybe even annoying some people; but I wasn't really accomplishing a damn thing. The place where we landed is fine, but to be honest it felt like the least objectionable of the absurd options placed before us.
That might be my outlook, though. I'm certain The Sick Person is despondent and I know I'm just damn depressed. To borrow lyrics from a 70''s song: I set my sights on Monday and got myself undressed. But that was after the little pat on the back from The Almighty, which certainly improved my frame of mind if not my outlook.

As moving day loomed, I made one move that was either desperate or inspired. I know and like a highly respected physician who is kind of a medical rock star at Nearby Healthcare Facility. We aren't friends, per se. He's way above me on the food chain; but he seems like a compassionate man and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is brilliant. We don't have the kind of relationship (I don't think) that would lend itself to this...but I dropped him an e-mail asking him for recommendations. He wrote back and said he would do what he can. He said he'd call. I wrote him back to thank him and left it there.

First full day in the new facility...Okay, I'm going to stop dancing around it. it's a damn nursing home. That's what it is and there's no denying it.
God, please, let it be temporary. Anyway, The Sick Person had a pretty good day. He was as alert as he has been in weeks. We were able to carry on a regular conversation and discuss what lies ahead. He's been away from home for so long, we have the postal service holding his mail. On a whim, I stopped by to pick up the big bundle of letters and bills early in the day.

When I discovered that he was encouragingly alert, I asked The Sick Person if he would like to look through his mail. He said okay. So, I starting thumbing through it...bill, bill, bank statement, AARP magazine, then BOOM! An envelope from Nearby Healthcare Facility. I opened it and saw a letter. He has an appointment with the program he's been trying to get into for almost a year! To be clear, the letter was postmarked BEFORE my e-mail to Medical Rock Star. Sick Person was elated. Hope. He smiled, the first time that's happened in weeks. Thirty seconds after I opened that letter, which was still in my hand, my phone rang. It was Rock Star returning the call as promised. He said he would look at Sick Person's images and records, do an evaluation and see if there's anything he can do to help.

These were two potentially enormous developments in the care of a person suffering from a significant debility and they happened simultaneously. Given everything we've been through over the past several months, it seemed like a little miracle to me. Here's what I heard: "Darrell, it's me, God. You know how you've been asking me to reveal myself to you? Well, Hi. I know this is hard, but I'm here. I'm helping. I have a plan. You might not understand it, but trust Me."

Okay. You have my attention.

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Anonymous said...

Darrell, this was beautiful! He ALWAYSchascacplan...even especially when we can't figure it out! I hope Sick Peerson has a successful appointment and Rock Star stays steady! ,my prayers are with you and your family!

Sarah Flowers Price said...

I find I can hear God when I am still. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

MBS said...

See, you knew to contact Medical Rock Star. It's obvious you are the right one to advocate for Sick Person. And you're not doing it alone - you just needed a reminder from above about that! Thanks for sharing your story with us.