This is a bit of a follow-up to the Faithfully Thinking post I shared on Friday. I shared these couple of paragraphs on my Instagram account last week. I wrote a little more about this incident here on the blog last year.
Last year I was in a hospital room with a woman I didn’t think was going to make it through the night. Her oxygen kept dropping but despite what we were seeing in the news, every effort was being made to keep patients off ventilators. Her supplemental oxygen was increased but the numbers still kept dropping into the high 60s, low 70s and sometimes in the mid-80s. I knew all these numbers were bad. She and I had been able to talk some in between her throwing up and falling into deep sleep from the effects of the illness. A few times she even apologized to me for falling asleep, which was of course silly. The poor woman was fighting off a nasty illness and trying to breathe.
One night the nurses begged the woman to use a BiPAP. She tried but her breathing became even worse. The nurses left the room discouraged but not yet ready to rush her to ICU. Instead, they increased the supplemental oxygen to high flow and hoped it would work. They monitored her stats from the nurses’ station.
I stood and walked to her side of the room. Laying my hand on her shoulder I began to do something I very rarely do – pray out loud for her lungs and for her oxygen to come back up.
I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe it would just be comforting to my roommate if nothing else. In minutes, though, the numbers rose dramatically until her oxygen was at 98. I was floored and delighted. I broke down and went back to my bed to try to rest.
I left her there a couple days later, still worried I would later find out she died. When I called and asked to talk to her a week or so later, I was shocked to hear her voice, free of the oxygen mask, talking clearly and happy that she was going to be released the next day. Her lung did collapse after I left and before she was discharged and she still has COPD, which she had before, but I texted her to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday. She texted back. Like me, she’s grateful to have spent her Thanksgiving at home. I am planning to stop in for a visit to her sometime in the next month so we can remember that miracles do happen.