Friday, November 11, 2011

A Normal Day

It was a normal day, as normal as my day gets. I was in my office on Thursday working on my day and week, moving toward Sunday with sermon on my mind. The phone rang. Again, that’s perfectly normal, but it was my wife. She was at the doctor’s office. She said: “They think I’ve had a heart attack.” Of course, I hung up the phone and went immediately.

I rushed to the doctor’s where I found my wife who looked pale and scared. Now, my own heart is thumping. I gathered her in my arms and put her in my car and we went to the emergency where they took off her clothes and put her in own of those gowns. They hooked up monitors to keep a check on her heart, blood pressure, etc. We were there about an hour, maybe, when she sat up on the gurney saying that she was going to throw up.

She sat up and passed out cold. She stopped breathing and laid back as if asleep. Her heart had stopped. I stepped out of the room and looked back to see them working on her doing CPR, getting ready to do the paddles on her when she came to.

Everyone in the room applauded. We were then rushed to the heart center nearby where they prepped her for a catherization. When that was over the doctor said that they found nothing wrong, no blockages, or problems that he could see.

I said to him that she had flat-lined in the emergency room. He said that they had overreacted. OK. Her heart stops. How can you overreact to that? They kept her in the hospital for the night and her heart dropped to 30 beats per minute. Again, rushing around, phone calls, then her heart beat returned to normal.

After wearing a heart monitor for three weeks, they put in a pacemaker for arrhythmia problems. After several weeks of that, she is returning to normal. And, I think I am, too.

I am writing about this experience to process it for myself. This is what they usually call journaling. It’s a way of working through the stuff that happens to you or what’s going on inside you.

My wife is only in her mid-fifties, not old by any measure today. But, let us say, we feel blessed that she is still around.

Several things struck me during this. One, it happened so fast. Looking back over the last six months or so, I would say that she has not felt good for a while. They said that her heart was stopping for 10 seconds at a time. 10 seconds is a long time.

It seemed to happen so fast. From my office to the doctor’s and then to the emergency room, and seeing her lying on the table completely out. It reminded me that in a moment, in the “twinkling of an eye” life can be over. I thought it was over for her.

As a pastor, I have seen a lot of people die. And, I have seen many ways to come to the end of life. But, this…was different. I was sort of numb going through it all. Sure, I was there but it didn’t seem real. It seemed like I was watching a movie of something happening to someone else. I remember thinking: “Wow. If Mary’s dead, that’s the easiest death I’ve ever seen.”

Thankfully, she is alive and well.

The other thing that occurred to me was what people my age go through all the time when something like this happens. Mortality looks you square in the face. I go on but it’s too morbid too think about. Ha. Ha.

I am grateful for a faith that gives us strength when we run up against the edge of it all. I am a praying man, but that day I prayed with more intensity. I have prayed that way ever since.

I am so grateful to God for the great gift of life and life eternal. I am grateful for my wife. I am grateful for a faith “that will not shrink”, no matter what.

Dave Nichols

1 comment:

  1. Hi buddy! I'm very happy your wife is well. This type of incidents happens with everyone and I'm glad you and your wife made it through. God bless you guys. Thanks
    urgent care



Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

Blog Archive

About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee