Saturday, July 11, 2009

Not the Miracle I Wanted

This has been a fragile week in general. It's been seven months since Daniel's passing, and the birthweek of one of our beloved parents who've passed. Living has felt a bit like being left back a grade when everyone else has moved on to a new school with a pond and a pool.
Last evening, the local news had a story which reduced me to tears. A man in his forties with a wife and two children 12 and 13, had chest pain. He did the right thing and called 911. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He was in the ER and was answering questions pretty well, when he had a cardiac arrest. The arrest was so rapid that his family was with him. He was shocked numerous times as the code continued, while his wife continued to say things like, "Please don't leave me. We need you" etc. etc. The physician and nurses believed that the man was likely gone, but with the family there, they continued, feeling somehow unfinished. Finally, to their amazement, there was a weak pulse. The man was furthur stabilized, and sent for immediate angioplasty which revealed a 100% occlusion of one of his coronary arteries. This was repaired. The man remained in a coma for five days until he awoke, remembering nothing of the ordeal and feeling pretty alert and aware. Two months later, he has been cleared to return to work.
The news portrayed this as a true miracle. As a former critical care nurse I know that some of the intravenous medications used in a code take time to work, and that this may not be as miraculous as is being touted, although it may be.
I cried when I heard the story. I was not jealous per se, but I wondered why this man was spared and allowed to return to his family, and why we coded Daniel from 8:25 am, first me, then the EMT/sheriffs, then the squad and quickly the helicopter ICU staff, and we never ever detected a faint pulse, a breath or anything.Daniel was pronounced dead in our home, just before 11 am, although I believe that he truly died at 8:25 am that morning. I felt foolish for working diligently to save Daniel, rather than falling to my knees and simply begging for his life. I did not beg for Daniel's life. I prayed as I did CPR asking for the strength to do what I needed to, and for God to take care of Daniel, whatever that meant. I KNEW that Daniel belonged to God, and that he always had and always would. I just would have preferred to have been telling about the miracle which spared Daniel. I wish the man and his family well. I just wish we could have been telling a similar story.

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