Tuesday, May 23, 2017
"Only to Find Gideon's Bible . . ."
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
This post continues our recent misadventures in Asheville. If you are new here and want to catch up, look at the Blog Archives to the right of the page and begin with "The Voice of the Lord" published on April 7th.
Not long after Chaplain James departs, the head nurse stops by. "I just want to let you all know that the surgeons are running behind schedule over at Mission. They can't confirm when the ambulance will be coming to take you from St. Joseph's to there, but I'll stay on top of things, and tell you as soon as I'm notified. So sorry for the delay, but these things happen."
This isn't what Danny wants to hear, especially since he has fasted since midnight. I feel so badly for him, but I can't even give him a sip of water; at this point, we want this operation over and done with, and would never dream of doing anything to jeopardize that!
Time drags as we wait for word. And I begin to wonder, too, if James has forgotten all about that Bible he promised to bring me. Does he even know we're still here, way past the scheduled time for Danny's surgery? This train of thought is unexpectedly, but delightfully, interrupted.
"The ambulance is on the way," the head nurse announces as she enters the room, a beaming smile on her face. "All set?"
"I've been all set for over two hours," Danny declares, a bit grouchily, but who can blame him? His stomach has been growling non-stop the entire afternoon. Luckily, the nurse is not one who is easily offended.
When Jenny and Juan, the EMTs, arrive, they waste no time getting Danny transferred to the gurney and hooked up to the monitors so his pulse and blood pressure can be checked along the way. Unlike my first experience (and hopefully my last) in an ambulance, this journey is short, sweet and well within the speed limit. An added bonus? I get to sit in the back with Danny!
We arrive without incident, and Jenny and Juan expertly lower the gurney from the ambulance and have us on our way to the pre-surgery rooms in no time. We have to wait outside the one designated for Danny for a few minutes. That's when I see Juan, who has been eyeing the heart monitor, do something that Jenny finds surprising.
"Why are you printing out the patient's heart information?" she asks her partner.
"I've been in this business for over twenty years," Juan says, "and I've only seen two third degree heart blocks in all of that time. I want some proof this go around."
Danny and I can't blame Juan for wanting a "souvenir," but the revelation doesn't offer us much comfort as surgery looms. Is Danny's condition that rare? Are the doctors going to be able to fix him as promised? Lord, I really need Your Word right about now!
Finally, Danny's room is ready, and he is quickly settled in. Now we wait to be visited by the pacemaker technologist, the anesthesiologist, and the doctor who will perform the procedure. Before any of them make an entrance, and unfamiliar face appears at the doorway.
"Hi," the man says cheerfully. "I'm Mark, the chaplain here at Mission. My friend, James, told me you all requested a Bible?"
"Yes, we did!" I say enthusiastically.
"Well, then, here you go," Mark says as he places the Bible into my hands. "A complimentary gift from the Gideon's!"
I can't help but chuckle. These Bible-delivery fellows may not have made it to Homewood Suites, but they sure did make it to Mission.
And not a moment too soon.
To be continued . . .
at May 23, 2017
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