Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Hurry Up and Wait
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 . . .
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