Faithfully Thinking: The miracle I needed and others need too

I didn’t want to be moved to a new room in the hospital. I had just got comfortable in my private room in the Covid wing. I had also just fallen asleep for more than a half-hour to an hour at a time which had been plaguing me for two days. People weren’t interrupting me. I just kept jerking out of a Covid-induced-coma-sleep, terrified and feeling completely like I was outside of my body. It was awful.

I had actually been in my first three hour stretch of sleep in days when I was woken up by Phil, my six-foot something Teddy bear of a nurse, and told I had to be moved to another room because they needed my room for a man since he couldn’t be placed with the woman who had just been brought in.

I had to have a roommate. That meant I couldn’t pray or cry out loud to myself anymore.

I was being moved? I had to lose the emotional support of the nurses I had come to love?

Wait. What?

Covid brain fog is no joke but Covid brain fog when you were asleep for the longest stretch in two days and have been woken up is even worse.

“But I don’t want to go,” I told Phil, my bottom lip quivering.

“Aw, hon, it’s okay,” Phil told me, kneeling down to my level. “You’re doing great and you’re going to be in great hands. Mike is going to be your nurse and he’s great.”

I nodded, sniffled like a child and hugged my purse to me.

“O-o-Kay.” sniff.

Before I knew it, I was being pushed down a hall, weepy, looking warily into a room at a woman who didn’t necessarily look friendly from my quick glance.

“She’s sick, Lisa,” I reminded myself. “She’s not going to look friendly right now.”

She was curled on her side, no covers, arm under her head. She’d probably been woken up too and wasn’t real pleased about it. I guessed her age to be somewhere in her 60s.

I was wheeled to my bed and climbed quickly to the safety of it, always afraid I’d get shaky and fall even though I was fine most of thr. The bed was my safety net, as sad as it sounds.

It was a bed that actually hadn’t been ready for me. The nurses had to quickly set it up and move me in. Everything seemed so haphazard and unorganized on this floor. Where had I been brought to?

In the bed I waited to be hooked up to the 24/7 pulse ox I’d had in the previous room. The nurses took my state-of-the-art pulse ox hook up off my finger and let me know that didn’t have a 24/7 setup in this room because the other patient had it. She was hooked up to monitors and IVs and I started to wonder if the hospital was cutting corners because of shortages and what would that mean to me? What if my oxygen dropped but they didn’t have me hooked up where they could see my numbers at the nurse’s station like they had in the previous wing?

I would realize later, when I was less panicked about it all, that I didn’t need to be monitored as well as my roommate because my oxygen numbers were doing well on the very low flow of oxygen I was on. I was monitored every few hours and if I was nervous at all I could call the nurse or an aide to check. My roommate, who I will call Betty for this post, was in much worse shape.  The machine was beeping every half an hour or so, letting the nurses know her oxygen was at dangerous levels, even on the higher flow of oxygen she was on. This was normally when she was trying to get to the bathroom or just rollover.

I spent a lot of time in the hospital praying for myself.

“Lord, save me.”

“Lord, don’t let me die.”

“Lord, don’t leave my kids without a mom.”

When I was put in with Betty, I found myself praying for her too.

I’m not someone special, some amazing Christian. I still prayed for myself. I’m human. I’m selfish. But praying for Betty gave me something else to focus on and, more importantly, someone else to focus on.

On Saturday night, a day after I’d been placed with her, an aide was begging Betty to put on a bipap to force air into her lungs. Her oxygen had dropped to 63 or 68 percent.

This young man, probably about 24 years old, who spent much of his time joking around, kneeled next to her bed and he said, in the sweetest, most pleading voice, “Betty, I need you to do this for me, okay? I need you to fight for me and this is one way to fight. Your family needs you, Betty. Please try this for me. I don’t want to lose you tonight, okay?”

Another nurse came in and together she and this young man convinced Betty to put on this Bipap (similar to a CPAP used for sleep apnea) so she could breathe. Watching that aid and that nurse was like watching a scene from a television show. He especially was like a real-life angel, not to sound too dramatic.

Betty was unable to keep the mask and device on for more than am hour before she said it was making her feel like she was suffocating. When the nurses were out of the room, I told her she was suffocating without it. I told her I would hold her hand while she fell asleep on it. She shook her head, thanked me, but said she just couldn’t do it.

“Betty, do you have a family at home?”

“Yes. I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

“Fight for them, Betty.”

I walked around the curtain, shaky and tired, and laid my hand on her leg as she tried to rest, still trying her best to wear the Bipap mask. I asked God to help her keep the Bipap on so she could breathe. At that moment her oxygen rose from 85 to 98, well in normal range.

She was not able to keep the Bipap on for very long, but it did help while it was on. A couple of hours later, her oxygen was dropping again, and nurses came in to raise the flow on her oxygen, which can cause damage in the long run. She sat up on the bed while they tried to figure out how to get the oxygen in her without ventilating her and her oxygen dropped into the 70s. I was pacing on the other side of the curtain, praying, in between begging Betty to try the Bipap mask again.

The high flow began to work, and Betty was able to lay down again and I worked on getting some sleep. Somehow both of us slept for four hours or so that night.

Betty and I didn’t have a lot of time to talk, in between her throwing up and trying to breathe well and sleeping, but I did learn she had a husband, grandchildren and also COPD and heart failure. I learned that she was okay with my praying for her, even out loud, and she said she appreciated it. She said she didn’t go to church, but believed in God. She also gave me her jello and some crackers, probably after she heard me telling my mom how I was hungry all the time and felt like the meals weren’t filling me. I didn’t understand why I was so hungry and wondered if it was the steroids I was on, even though they were a low dosage.

Two nights after I thought I was going to listen to Betty die, I was being discharged. I had to have one last dose of the anti-viral medication and I was a nervous wreck, worried that I would be this close to going home to my family and I’d have some weird side effect from the medicine. I hadn’t so far, but I had this fear I would this time and that they would keep me from my children and husband again. (Note: if you are ever in the hospital, don’t read what others have to say about the medication you are being given, especially if the person says it is a conspiracy and now you are going to have kidney failure.)

In the end, all that worrying about what the medicine might do, raised my blood pressure and the nurse hinted I was going to be unable to go home with my family who was downstairs in the parking lot waiting for me. My family had driven 45-minutes, I desperately needed them for my healing, and I couldn’t take the stress of waiting for Betty to die, while praying she wouldn’t.  

“I have to get out of this hospital,” I told the nurse. “I have to go home. You don’t understand.”

I couldn’t calm down. Watching a Christian comedian wasn’t even helping. The nurse said that after talking to the doctor, she was going to give me medication to lower my blood pressure and if it came down, I could go home.

The nurse was at the end of her shift, stressed, wanted to send me home but was worried if she did and something happened to me at home, she would one, feel horrible and two, lose her job. She’d had to report the high blood pressure to the doctor. She had no choice, but she knew I was upset. She started my discharge paperwork, in case my blood pressure came down, rushing in and out of the room to check my blood pressure in between trying to also discharge four other people. I closed my eyes and prayed, terrified I would not get home that night after being told I would.

My eyes popped open.

My dad had been encouraging me to talk to Betty about becoming a Christian, but “Daaaad, hello? Betty is just trying to feel better and breathe normally. I can’t be over there proselytizing.”

 So I had prayed silently for Betty, asking God to touch her and heal her. I’d also already told her she could call on Jesus anytime she needed him, silently or out loud.

Laying there, waiting for my blood pressure to come down, though, a thought popped into my head. “Pray with Betty one more time. Tell her how to ask Jesus into her life.”

I felt a little like maybe God was making me jump through a hoop, or maybe that I was looking too much into this delay, or like I was being a bit dramatic. I mean, come on. Was God really delaying my discharge so I would pray with Betty one more time? This was silly.

Silly or not, I prayed out loud with Betty, who I couldn’t see behind the curtain between our two beds, and who was waiting for a nurse to come help her to the bathroom. I told her that if she ever wanted to ask Jesus into her heart she could do so, and it could be as simple as asking him to come and be a part of her life. Or something like that. I’ll be honest here; I don’t remember exactly what I said. I was nervous, felt like I was being one of those Christians who looks for signs in everything, and wanted to go home. But I also wanted Betty to have some comfort while I was gone and wasn’t there to pray with or over her anymore.

Betty said she understood what I was saying, thanked me for praying for her and said she appreciated everything I had done. She wished me luck going home. She was exhausted but still wanted to thank me.

Fifteen minutes later my blood pressure had dropped a small amount, not really enough for the nurse’s liking, but enough that she worked out a deal with the doctor to send me home if I agreed to monitor my blood pressure with my cuff at home, to increase my blood pressure medication (which I hadn’t yet started at that point), and see my doctor in six days.

I was going home, and I was so excited and nervous all at the same time. I was worried about me because I wouldn’t have 24/7 monitoring any longer.

I was also worried about Betty. I didn’t want to leave her alone in the hospital. Her doctor had said her family could visit her as long as they were masked and covered, and I hoped they would the next day. Still, who would be there to pray with her if her oxygen dropped again? Yes, of course I knew I could pray for her at home too.

I was also worried about Betty. I didn’t want to leave her alone in the hospital. Her doctor had said her family could visit her as long as they were masked and covered, and I hoped they would the next day. Still, who would be there to pray with her if her oxygen dropped again? Yes, of course I knew I could pray for her at home too.

After I was home, Betty was still on my mind even as I dealt with exhaustion and other symptoms. I knew the hospital couldn’t tell me how she was, since I wasn’t family. I called, though, and asked a nurse to tell Betty I was still praying. The nurse said she wasn’t supposed to tell me Betty was still there but that she was and that she would tell Betty I was praying.

Then I went to Facebook, did some sleuthing and found Betty’s account. From there I found a family member, or so I thought anyhow, and messaged them out of the blue, asking if they could give me an update on Betty.

To shorten the story, not only did this family member give me an update, but she also gave me Betty’s cellphone number at Betty’s request.

I texted her and she responded that she couldn’t talk right then.

I knew she was probably still fighting for her life so I texted back I understood and told her I would be praying.

Two days later Betty called me on my cellphone.

Her voice was clear, she wasn’t gasping for air, and she told me they had lowered her oxygen from 30 or 40 Liters to eight a couple of days earlier and that that day they had lowered it to 6 liters. At home she is on 4 liters at all times because of her COPD.

“My lung collapsed two days ago,” she said. “But I’m feeling better. I can eat, I’m coughing up a bunch of junk they wanted me to cough up and they say I might go home in two days.”

To say I was shocked by this exchange is an understatement.

This woman who was one step from being ventilated (something doctors try their hardest not to do anymore because of the damage it does, they told me) had just called me to tell me she was going home in two days.

Going home.

Not to ICU.

Home.

Wow.

Here I had been worried I would be reading her obituary and instead I was hearing the woman say to me, “I credit the good Lord above for this and I’m going to take better care of myself when I get out of here. Yes, I am.”

We agreed we would keep in touch, even after she left the hospital and I told her we will stop in and visit sometime when we are up in her area.

The next day she texted me and told me she was home.

The situation with Betty taught me a couple of things. It didn’t teach me that I’m some great Christian. Not at all. I prayed with Betty, but I wasn’t bold or confident about it. I was hopeful God would heal her, but I worried He wouldn’t.

However, meeting Betty taught me to be a little bolder in my faith at least. I think the fact I had brain fog from Covid probably made me a little braver too. I didn’t have the brain capacity to overthink like I usually do, which was a gift from God, even though I prayed for the brain fog to be taken away. He knew if I could think something like, “I look like some weird fanatical religious person doing this,” I wouldn’t actually pray out loud over Mary, asking Jesus for her healing. I couldn’t think that because my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Not even close.

The time in the hospital showed me that I need to hold on to Christ when I feel like I can’t hold on to anything or anyone else. I had faith that the nurses and doctors would try to help me, but I knew only God could really heal me and protect me and I had to keep reminding myself of that. I wasn’t some super, confident Christian in that area. I had to listen to my mom, a pastor’s wife, and friends tell me that. Over and over.

I worried after my diagnosis that I or my husband would be a statistic. Or the rest of my family. Then I worried Betty would. Or members of other families who had it at the same time would. There were many times that Christ’s peace settled over me and a few moments later I would worry again and wipe it all away. I’d have to pause, pray and ask again for Christ’s peace.

In addition to strengthening my reliance on God, meeting Betty also taught me that God is still in the business of miracles.

There is so much sadness in the world. There is heartache, bitterness, hatred, hurt, and there has been deep, deep loss because of this virus. But there are also miracles like mine and Betty’s happening.

When I looked at my oxygen levels on Thanksgiving Day and saw it was lower than I’d read it should be during COVID, I panicked. When my husband went to get the car and it dropped even lower while I walked, yet I still felt pretty good, I completely panicked. While we waited for the ambulance, I pondered why I felt okay, why I wasn’t gasping for air. On the way to the ER, I wondered if the trip was wasted. In the ER when they finally said my blood oxygen was showing lower in the blood gasses than on the pulse ox and hooked me up to oxygen, I still wondered if my being admitted was necessary. I still wonder if the oxygen would have come back up on its own or not. I know some others have while others have not.

Maybe I overreacted or maybe it was all divine.

Maybe the ER doctor was over cautious and if he was then I am still thankful because he very well may have saved my life.

I am also thankful for his actions, not because his decision meant I spent five days away from my family, but because his decision led me to meet Betty and through Betty see a miracle.

It was a miracle that I, and many others, needed right now in our lives.

22 thoughts on “Faithfully Thinking: The miracle I needed and others need too

  1. So thankful you are feeling better. What a blessing to read although I know the situation was difficult but the way you prayed over Betty and have shown so much care is really heartwarming.❤️What a crazy, unique way God had you cross paths. Love your obedience to Him!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful and numbing! Praise the Lord for His hands of grace. In my own family, both in Ohio and Montana, the miracle of God’s presence has blessed two who were hospitalized with Covid. Lisa, God continues to restore your health, while at the same time, He nourishes your faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this is so beautiful and a very powerful message. God works in amazing ways. Jesus is so busy right now, so many people out there suffering and need his love and peace. His beautiful light that fills their hearts the moment they call out his name…He is there. Jesus is always here. What a beautiful message for Christmas. All that you went through, all the fears and discomfort…it was all meant to be there by a stranger’s side, to show and to speak to her about Jesus. Jesus knows there are so many people out there that just don’t know him well and all they need is another hand to hold their hand as they bring Jesus’s hand from theirs to the strangers. Then everyone becomes united in love. While Jesus was holding your hand through this ordeal the whole time, you reach for Betty’s and laid Jesus’s hand into hers. You were able to leave, able to be in the comfort of your family when you left Betty alone. But you know, Betty was never alone after that…No, because you introduced her to Jesus. He was holding her hand as you walked to the love of your family. You gave Betty one very special Christmas gift there. Jesus now has another hand to reach and connect to other. Have a beautiful Christmas Lisa, as I know you all will.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome Lisa, so sorry taken so long for me to get back with this. I am terrible with the comment sections. God works in beautiful ways. If everyone could understand and see that, then this world would be a different place. Every day, and every moment there is a miracle out there to witness, a gift that God he gives out every moment. Some of us out there, get to see these gifts and when they realize what they have witnessed and been a part of…well, the tears start happening and your heart starts smiling…that’s his love shining through us, happy that we can see it. that we still have Him in our hearts. It’s like a quote my daughter told me the other day. something about trying to understand why God takes us through rough waters, because our enemies can’t swim. I know I am getting something wrong, but I know you know what I am talking about. No need to be afraid while swimming too, we aren’t along. Jesus really walks with us, he is in us all.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa, this made me tear up! We always seem to hear the stories of those who have died, so it’s so wonderful to hear stories of people who pulled through and made it home. I’m so glad both of you are recovering, even if it is a long road to it.

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    • I was praying for seven different people while I was in the hospital and they all diff well. Felt like garbage but are doing well. One of them was 78 and his oxygen was super low and he refused to be hospitalized. He’s tired but alive. The nurse discharged five other people the day she discharged me. People are dying but the media doesn’t focus as much on the people who are living.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In regards to mentioning those who make it – another issue for me is that I have full immunity. And it was high. I have a certificate. I do not want a vaccination for something I have had – variants or not. Once was enough. When the doctor knelt next to me so I could hear well over the O2 and the ventilation for the room, he told me I was hours away from a ventilator and that my future was mine. I fought hard to get out of there. I was on O2 at home for over 2 weeks, 24/7. I finally breathe well, but am still tired easily, and occasionally do stupid stuff like run my dryer with no clothing in it! The road out of Covid is rough. And the costly nature of this is no joke either. Hubby and I were in there at the same time, so we have double everything. It’s overwhelming some days, not gonna lie. But I know God saved me for a reason and I am up to the challenge!! God bless you…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m glad that you are slowly recovering and I have to agree on the vaccination. If COVID affected me the way it did with the internal tremors, etc. then I just don’t know what a vaccine would do! I don’t want to catch this again. I pray that my antibodies are high right now (there is a place around us that will test them but I have to wait at least a month). But I just can’t take that risk of the vaccine after what the virus already did to me.

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      • It wouldn’t fit their message that everyone’s going to die from COVID, but stories like this offer so much hope, especially to those who are hoping for a loved one to pull through, or maybe they’re the one who needs the hope. It’s so good to know so many people you’ve known have survived. And I hope you’re continuing to recover and are doing better!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am not saying I don’t know of people who passed. I don’t know anyone personally who died. I know OF a couple people (didn’t know them personally) but most of those I know who had it in the last two years survived.

          I had no idea how scary it is and how loooong of an illness it is though. I think the problem with the media is there is one side for them:. Everyone dies. Bam. Done.

          And on social media you have a side that is like “it’s nothing! It was like a cold to me! I was back to work in three days.” There doesn’t seem to be this middle ground that is like “yeah — it can suck for a lot of people. Some will die but most of you? You might feel like crap or have lingering issues but you’re going to make it through.”

          800,000 is a really big and really awful number of people but we have to remember we are in a country of 350-380 million people. This sounds sooooo crass but that number over two years is a drop in the bucket to the amount of people we have living here. It is NOT a drop in the bucket to their families so please don’t get me wrong! I am not minimizing it or dismissing all those losses. I am only talking statistical which I Hate doing here.

          Millions combined die every year from a variety of issues we just never think about it and the media doesn’t put a spotlight on it. But Covid is awful and the fact that many have died is scary and I am glad we are now finding ways to bring that number down. I think the media needs to focus on it and they need to warn us it can be bad and tell us about all the options to fight it but I also wish they would give us just a glimmer of hope.

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    • I hope so. I really didn’t know if I should share this because I didn’t want it to seem like I was boasting. I wanted it to be clear that I was not bold, I was timid, but I did it anyway – for whatever it is worth. 😉 We shall see what the future holds for Betty and me

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know this Covid walk well. I was in for 6 days. I was alone in a room and I prayed like crazy. No fog but no breath, either. I was on O2 at home for 2 weeks. It’s hard to describe to people. I keep a journal/calendar and I lost 1/2 of September and all of October. I’m just now getting back to myself. Still wary of crowds but I push myself. Be kind to yourself – it takes awhile to recover. God bless you… and think-maybe you where you were supposed to be for God’s work and His glory! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • You really can’t describe the terror and loneliness and need to rely just completely on God to someone who hasn’t been there. Not adequately anyhow. You have no one else to cling to but God and when you feel like you can’t hold on, you beg him to hold on to you. Everything is stripped away but you and him. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

      I lost most of November. Just gone. Poof.

      So glad you survived and are recovering.

      I’ve had this worry I should check my pulse ox but it was wonderful and perfect for ten days – I can’t go through life always looking at it. It’s so weird now that I can’t even put the thing on my finger because I’m terrified it would be low again which is silly because I should know if it is so I can get help again. I feel like God is trying to say to me “you have me – put it down. It’s okay. I had you before. I’ll have you again.”

      Stepping out in trust like that is so hard!

      Liked by 1 person

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment! I love to meet new people and chat with ones I already know!

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