I write tonight between the walls of a little hospital room in Greenville, SC. I write only at the urging of my wife and prayerfully the prompting of God’s spirit.
We arrived in Greenville 24 hours ago. The plan was to stay with some friends before Kitty’s biopsy starting at 6:30am this morn, which we did. Shortly after arriving at Greenville Memorial this morn, we found out that Kitty would not be under full anesthesia during the procedure. In fact other than a topical numbing cream and a few sedatives, she would be awake for every portion of the mallet and chisel procedure. This did not bode well for a girl who is self described: “allergic to pain”. We would not know how true that statement was until later…
The procedure went relatively smooth, and Kitty did amazing! Many of you might have even received a text from me reflecting that very thing. Over the next few hours doctors wanted to observe her and make sure they had not broken the bone in her arm. Everytime Kitty would sit up she would begin to feel woozy and her heart rate would drop. The combination of pain and medications were likely to blame.
After a few doses of morphine the pain was not subsiding. Finally the operating doctor returned and utter a few key words containing two drugs that we all could pick out of a line up. I thought something odd about his words, but couldn’t put my finger on it… It wasn’t anything in the way he said them or even the drugs themselves, but something in my heart hung up in that moment.
Around 30 mins later, we were packing to leave with Kitty still feeling woozy. The nurse finally came back with the dosage the doctor had ordered. The next 15 mins will forever be the longest of my life.
As the fluids flowed into the IV I could quickly tell Kitty was uncomfortable. 15 seconds later, she was asking the nurse about a burning sensation in her throat. As I glanced at the monitor (I had been watching so closely all morning as my wifes heartbeat had been so slow she at times nearly passed out) it went from around 50 beats per minute to over 150 in less than 10 seconds! The next thing I knew I was in the hall screaming for a doctor, my heart rate nearly matching Kitty’s. (I’ve purposely omitted many things that happened in effort to ease your minds.) Only a minute had transpired from the first drip of the IV, but in those precious seconds my mind went from taking my bride to get some lunch to this could very well be the last moments I have with her. Nurses feverishly working over her, I hit my knees crying out to God to spare my wife. I cried the words of the psalmist for her “For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve [her] life; in your righteousness, bring [her] out of trouble.” Psalm 143:11. Overtop my prayers the chilling words uttered out of my wife that no husband wants to hear. We both knew her life, now just a few minutes into this reaction, hung in the balance.
A very godly nurse was on duty managing our section… Just earlier that morning she had held our hands and prayed for Kitty’s biopsy with us. God choose to use her to demonstrate his mercy to us. During what seemed like days of my wife struggling for her next breathe, this godly nurse administered a combination of epinephrine, Zantac, benedryl, and an inhaler which saved Kitty’s life.
Kitty’s body had an extreme allergic reaction to the pain medicines given to her. She easily could have died, yet her life was spared. I hope you know that I’m not one for dramatics. These words don’t come lightly across my mind. Kitty and I have said at various times in the last few years “God, we want to know you better, reveal your character to us.” Surely God, in his infinite unfailing love wanted to demonstrate his mercy today. Dear friends, we are convinced of this: “that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) I pray that we spend the rest of our lives (however brief or extended they may be) trying to know better the character of this God who did not even spare his own son but for our sake nailed him to a cross, that we may know our creator for eternity.
Pray for us, as early next week we find out the results of today’s biopsy. Pray for my wife that she may fully recover from the intense trauma. We have felt loved and lifted up to our God over this demanding time, thank you!