Wednesday, 23 June 2010
2009 was a memorable year! My mother -- alert and oriented and very, very active person -- fell down her basement stairs striking her head in January, 2008. She never re-gained consciousness and died that same day, while on a ventilator.
Then, on June 24, my 80 year-old father -- who has pulmonary fibrosis, progressive scarring of his lungs until he cannot breathe any longer -- headed for town to get groceries. By that time his health had deteriorated, and he needed 24/7 oxygen. He took a portable oxygen tank with him to get groceries. He thought it was full of oxygen, but it was empty. Three miles from his home he became unconscious. We have a police video of the policeman running beside my dad's slow-moving car on a four lane highway and the police officer using his billy club to smash out the left rear window so Dad could be rescued. Dad had extremely low oxygen -- 50, and normal is a 95-100 oxygen level -- when they pulled him from his car. He was taken to a hospital emergency room, where he was loopy from brain damage for about 3 weeks. So hard to watch my dad's confusion from the accident!
As far as a defining moment , yes, there was one. I knew God was with me because of this: My dad was brain-injured and confused for the first couple of weeks after his incident. He was repeating names of colors or letters and spitting on Satan -- strange behavior that I had never seen before. In his confusion, he kept taking off his oxygen so he had to be closely watched; we already knew what a lack of supplemental oxygen could do to him!
Four days after the incident on June 24th, dad was transferred to a Rehab Facility. When I left the Rehab Facility Saturday night, I was exhausted from lack of sleep and deep worry. I had had very little sleep. The rehab staff assured me that they would not leave him alone and told me not to worry about him. I had not planned to return to see Dad again until after church the following day. I went home and fell into bed.
At 4am Sunday morning, I was awakened from a sound sleep -- awakened so immediately that I felt I was wide awake. I had an overpowering urge and overwhelming feeling that I needed to go back to the rehab facility right away. I felt compelled to go, so, I got up and got dressed and got to the rehab facility at 430am. I let myself into the facility with the door code I had been given. I went to my father's bedside and found that he was buck naked and had removed his oxygen and was very confused. There was not a nursing aide or nurse in sight. I hollered for help and no one came, at first. I attempted to put the oxygen back on dad. Though he grabbed my wrists, eventually he just gave up and let me put the oxygen back on him. When finally someone came, they checked his oxygen and it was 70. (Remember, 89 is a critical level for oxygen and his was much below that.)
That is when I was sure that God was walking beside me through this awful experience. I feel that I woke up because God wanted me to go to my father. You can think that's nuts, but that is how I see it. This knowledge of His presence gave me the confidence to face the rest of this horrific true life story!
What a gift! I knew that I was not alone!
Do you think God looks after us in ways like this? Have you ever heard God call you to do something? What was your experience?