Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hurry Up and Wait


Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

This is part four of a series about what happened to my husband, Danny, and me while we were on "vacation."  To read parts 1 - 3, click on the three most recent blogs displayed on the right hand side of this page.

Once at the St. Joseph's campus (Mission, where the actual surgery takes place, is full), the ambulance crew wastes no time getting Danny to a room that's been prepared for his arrival.  We are visited in turn by an array of nurses, who hook him to an IV, a heart monitor, and run various routine checks.  To a person, each one is friendly, welcoming, and most sympathetic when they hear the story of how we ended up in Asheville in the first place.  I imagine they are envisioning how they would feel if faced with the same unexpected predicament.

We are advised by Danny's chief nurse that the general doctor for the floor and the head cardiologist will be paying him a visit, most likely in the afternoon.  It is now lunch time, and Danny and I are both ravenous.  When the nurse announces that his lunch will be delivered shortly, I get directions to the cafeteria, fix a salad to go, and hoof it back up to the room.

As we eat, my eyes keep wandering to the heart monitor display - 40 . . . 41 . . . 39 . . .40 . . . 40.  So flat.  So slow.  So scary!  I put on a brave face for Danny's sake, but on the inside, all I can think about is crying.  How painful it is to see this man I love propped up in a hospital bed with all those tubes and wires!  Yet in spite of all he is and might be facing, Danny maintains his good humor.

And we both hold out hope, huge (my word for the year) hope, as we share the same feeling that what's happening is all in God's plan.  We simply have to be strong, and wait on His timing.

And wait on being seen by the promised doctors.  >Sigh!<  Time may seem to fly in the outside world, but when you're cooped up in a hospital room, it definitely slows to a crawl.  To pass the time, Danny helps me locate a hotel not two miles from the hospital, one with reasonable rates, at least for Asheville, home of Biltmore Estates, a year-round tourist mecca.  I make my reservation reluctantly, not wanting to leave Danny later that day, but knowing if I don't get a square meal and a good night's sleep, I will be worthless the following day.

The next step is loading the Uber app on my phone.  Danny goes through this step by step so I won't be confused when it comes time to actually use it.  That's when we notice that our phones are losing power - fast!  We have to find chargers somewhere in the hospital as the phones, especially mine for securing transportation, are our life lines.

A hasty visit to the nearest nurses' station and, miracle of miracles, the staff scurries around and, in short order, presents us with the very chargers we need to keep our phones alive and kicking!  We are definitely in good and caring hands here.

But still, the afternoon wears on with no sign of either doctor.  Danny shows his first sign of irritation.  "I wonder why they made such a fuss about transporting us up here in a hurry.  The doctors don't seem overly anxious now, do they?"

"They'll be here, honey," I reassure him, though I'm getting impatient myself.  "And I think we should take it as good news that they aren't in a mad rush to get to you.  It must mean they think you are stable for the moment."

"I guess you're right," Danny concedes.  "I sure could use a good cup of coffee; this hospital stuff stinks."

"There's a coffee shop downstairs in the lobby," I tell him.  "I'll go get us both a cup."  (Just know, this establishment's coffee is so good, it puts Starbucks on notice!)

By the time I return, Dr. M., the overseeing physician, is chatting with Danny.  He is a congenial fellow with an easy smile and a relaxed persona.  He places both of us at ease.

He's not gone thirty minutes when the cardiologist, Dr. H., makes his appearance.  He, too, is affable, though more on the serious side.  He is the one who painstakingly explains two facts about Danny's condition of which we were uninformed to that point:  What a third degree block to the heart actually means (see Voice of the Lord for the description), and that his current defibrillator is actually maintaining his pulse, as low as it is.

"I've already spoken with your cardiologist in Atlanta," Dr. H. says, "and he concurred that we should go ahead with surgery to replace your defibrillator with an actual pacemaker.  We are hoping to get you into Mission tomorrow, but that all depends on the anesthesiologist's schedule.  At the latest, we'll do the procedure on Wednesday.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll actually have a chance to spend time at that cabin after all."

Dr. H.'s optimism breathes new life into the hope we already hold.

And we are thankful once again that God has brought us to this place.

To be continued . . .

20 comments:

  1. Oh wow! You are keeping us on tenderhooks here...waiting for the final outcome...but like you, waiting patiently for the Doctors to arrive, we will wait and see what God had in store for you and Danny on your wonderful "vacation"...I love to see how God had everything already planned ahead for you...even provided phone chargers! Our God IS an awesome God, and He always covers all the details! Thank you for sharing your story with us. I will be watching for the next episode.

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    1. I know I'm keeping everyone hanging, Pamela, but there is just so much to tell about the marvelous ways God worked throughout this entire ordeal. I'm so glad you are following the story and enjoying it.
      And isn't it awesome how God is not just in the big things, but in the details? Wow! I think that's a lesson you've learned in the times you've spent in your secret garden. :)
      Love and blessings!

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    2. God is sooooo good--even down to details that include awesome coffee... How can you not love a God like that?

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  2. He is good, indeed, Ed! And yes, how can we not love Him?
    Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, Nothing like hurrying up and waiting to add to the stress of the situation. I'm so thankful you and Danny were in capable hands. God was clearly there guiding this journey and providing: cell phone chargers, coffee, and more.

    You're doing an amazing job with this series; I'm looking forward to the next installment!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, we were in the best of hands, with God there to guide us all the way. And thanks so much for the compliments on how I'm doing with the series. That means so much, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Whew! This is sounding better. But it's still scary, Martha. Looking forward to the next post. Way to keep me on pins and needles, lady!
    Love, Beckie

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    1. Yes, Beckie, this is a much calmer post, that's for sure. But there is, as you picked up on, an underlying anxiety for the both of us at this point in time. Glad to know I'm keeping you in suspense!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I can really see God watching over you both, Martha. You really have me wondering. The pacemaker surgery was being planned, but what about that heart blockage? Weren't they concerned about that? I will just have to wait and see, right? Love and hugs!

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    1. God, indeed, was watching over us during these days of duress, Trudy. To clarify, the third degree heart block has nothing to do with clogged arteries (Danny has been on anti-cholesterol meds for years), and everything to do with electrical impulses from the top half of the heart not signaling correctly to the bottom half. That certainly messes up the message, doesn't it?
      Yes, wait and see how God powerfully works in the midst of all our trials and tribulations.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. What a story!! and so much kindness too.

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    1. Endless kindness, Jean, simply endless. I will be elaborating more upon that in my next post. I know I don't deserve God's grace and mercy, but oh, how grateful I was for that during this stressful time!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, I am not good at waiting. You are keeping us in such wondering suspense, I can't wait until the next episode. Don't be too long, pleeeaaassseee. 😊

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    1. It will be here on Friday, Nells, I promise! So happy that you are along for the long haul. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Hi Martha! I'd be pretty antsy myself waiting for the doctor. I"m so glad you did get a room at a hotel, you needed your rest, and to decompress a little.
    Your doctors sound just wonderful! Something as little as a smile and a professional demeanor can make it all so much better.
    Hanging in there to find out what happens!
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, Ceil, waiting for the doctor can be so tiresome, especially when we were so anxious to know something. The hotel was such a blessing - more on that in the next installment!
      So glad you are staying tuned in, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Like noted by others, this one seems like a bit of a breather in your saga. Waiting, even impatiently, is a bit calmer than a wild ambulance ride! My word of the year one year was "wait." I love all the Bible verses about waiting, including the one you quoted. Another favorite is Psalm 62:5. "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him."

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    1. Oh, yes, Galen, there are so many verses that call upon us to wait, aren't there? And they really are comforting when it seems nothing is or is going to happen. Thank you for including Psalm 62:5 here; our hope is from Him and in Him.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Waiting is so hard! So thankful for modern technology and all that can be done with situations such as your sweet husband has! I'm hoping that you do get to spend some time resting at your retreat in spite of all the excitement!

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn! Yes, we did get one more night at the cabin - there's a sneak peek for you. :)
      And modern technology is fantastic, I agree!
      Love and blessings!

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