Last night was a long night. We received word from Doctor Wu in the afternoon that we will not see a significant improvement with his lungs clearing out. The Doctor was short on smiles and long on facts.
I wanted to spend the night at home so I left around 7:30 pm and while driving home a sick feeling came over me. It’s the first time I’ve been home since the cardiac arrest and I honestly didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did.
“Let me go.” I heard in my mind. The thought was trying to suggest that I haven’t let my dad go which is silly. My dad died on Friday night. When I came back from getting dinner he was laying on the tv room’s floor and looked like a blue wax museum character. Trust me, when you see your dad like that you definitely have let him go.
This has nothing to do letting go and everything to do with the enemy trying to introduce doubt. Last night I had a sick sick feeling in my stomach that he was going to pass away in mere hours. I fought this thought with prayer. I set my alarm and woke up every bottom of the hour until 6:30 am to pray for my dad’s lungs to be clear.
I arrived at the hospital this morning at 8:30 am and was given the update. The lungs did improve a bit but his kidney’s were now infected so the news was sobering at best. Today I wanted to work from the hospital but before I got started I put my work down and went in to visit my dad in his bed. As I turned the corner I paused because he was up, eyes wide open, with a bunch of nurses working on him. “He looks great” I thought but please understand that’s comparing him to a blue wax museum character. We made eye contact but I don’t know if it really registered that his favorite son was there.
Back in the waiting room I got some work done before coming back to stay in my dad’s room. This time he was sleeping peacefully and again the thought came to my mind, all the fighting for this? He could be in Heaven right now but he’s fighting to stay and finish the work that God has started. Amazing.
Let me describe the situation my dad is in. The amount of tubes coming out of his mouth, ribs, neck would make even the strongest queasy. While I was there the nurse woke him up to suck out some of the fluid in his lungs. He didn’t like it, his eyes burst open as if someone startled him and he began to squirm. It was uncomfortable for me to watch but man, only days ago he was dead. “You go dad, you do what you need to do.” I thought.
Later that afternoon the third cardiologist came in to introduce himself and began to share his thoughts. He was passive aggressive (what is it about these doctors and never smiling with a passive aggressive communication style?) The doctor hinted that we shouldn’t quiz the nurses about every little detail but that was it, just a hint, so we’ll still quiz away. Like the other cardiologists, he gave his stats with a depressing tone of don’t get your hopes up.
OK, we understand, don’t get our hopes up, can we please move on? I checked out quickly because I was hearing the same old story and then the doctor said this:
Doc speak: We have a lot of work to do now that he’s made it this far, the amount of time without oxygen is the cause.
Doc vibe: They should never have worked as long as they did to revive him
Doc speak: Most cardiac arrest victims that are out that long don’t ever wake up after they’ve been revived.
Doc vibe: How this dude made it is in incredible.
Doc speak: Most cardiac arrest victims that wake up don’t make it to the Critical Care Unit and he’s here.
Doc vibe: Be encouraged but wait don’t be for this is extremely rare but…welll…be encourage, hmmmm, maybe not, oh I don’t know.
He ended with this:
- I would feel a lot better if he started trending upward, this can happen instantly. (In other words he just called us out prayer warriors)
- If I’m a betting man I’m not betting against this man
- He is a miracle so far
- We are going to do everything we can to bring him out of this, we have the tools and the people. He’s made it this far, now it’s up to him to finish this marathon. He has to have a reason to live.
WOW. We have to give him a reason to live. The doctor wants us to talk to him, encourage him, love on him even though he lays there looking like something out of a Frankenstein novel. My dad’s recovery has less to do with him and more to do with his testimony.
I believe it was Jesus’ ministry that sparked the concept of a hospital. The idea that the sick could come to one location to be served and healed is straight up Jesus. Yet the lack of faith in the medical profession is startling to me. They need Jesus sure but they also need to see confident, bold, and brash Christians that believe with their whole heart when a man isn’t ready to enter into Heaven, his faith, will to live, and the prayer of saints will grant him longer life here on earth.
If you know my dad, Wayne Ritchie, please visit his page on Facebook (click here) and write him a short note of encouragement. We will read it aloud to him while he’s recovering.