Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Matters of Life and Death

Two weeks ago, it was a different world than it is today.

My friend Michael at Too Many Mornings knows that all too well. He was working and had all the stresses that ordinary life has to offer. On Friday of last week, his wife Kerry was fighting for her life for the second time in a year.

Michael and Kerry have been together since they were 18 years old. They are 50 now. Kerry has a problem with her heart and underwent heart surgery for the second time on Monday. From what I understand, she came through the surgery and now faces the recovery time after this brutal and invasive surgery.

I know that life can change in a moment, and I'm so sorry that Michael and Kerry and their family are going through this nightmare. Still, I am confident that Kerry will be fine. Why do I say this? I say this because it is unimaginable that she would not be.

When I was very young, 25 years old, my 14 month old daughter got very sick. She was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized. The doctors could not tell me if she would live or not. If she lived, they said she might be severely retarded or handicapped in some other ways. I did not care if she was impaired; I merely cared that she was alive.

All other concerns were a thing of the past. My daughter was my only concern. I sat in the hospital day and night and spent every moment by her crib. I saw her in that horrible "arch" where her back was bowed for days. She had tubes sticking out of her, and an IV. I was terrified.

I was unable to leave her side. The doctor finally gave me some pills and told me to go home and take them. I had not slept or rested in a full week. I went home and took the pills, and then walked back to the hospital to sit with my daughter.

I put on the face mask and the protective gown and went back into her isolation room. A man I didn't know walked in. He looked at her and told me my daughter was going to be fine. A nurse later told me that he was an eye surgeon from Switzerland and the best eye surgeon in the world.

I believed him. And he was right. My daughter was fine.

Kerry will be fine too.

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