God is real, good, alive, and healing: My dad's weekend.
Anytime people walk into a clinic or are admitted to a hospital, they’re cared for by hard-working and seemingly healthy medical professionals. Patients rarely ever think that those people may themselves need to take medicine or go under the knife.
But alas, healthcare providers need healthcare, too. I’ve been as guilty as anyone of thinking that providers are seemingly immortal.
Part of the reason is because my dad is a physician’s assistant, and I never want to think about him or anyone I love getting sick.
But we’re all humans. This truth was put back in focus this weekend, when my dad was on the opposite side of healthcare.
This time, he was the patient. For several days, Dad had been in non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, where the lower part of the heart beats at a different rate than the top half, causing the body to have lower rates of oxygenated blood. He was admitted to the Kansas Medical Center on Sunday.
There, he and the medical staff concluded that a blood clot was causing his trouble.
Although Dad is a physician’s assistant, it didn’t take him too long to go stir-crazy in the hospital room. He’s been in many hospital rooms in his life, but he was always in scrubs, not a gown.
He was finally getting a taste of his own medicine. As much as he hates to admit it, he needed some time to relax, which he fortunately got. In all my 22 years, I can’t recall ever seeing him have a do-nothing day.
That hasn’t been Dad. Even on days off, he’s out at the farm or working on something around the house. Always busy, always moving. That’s true for many healthcare workers. Hospitals and clinics are all short-staffed, meaning many healthcare workers are taking on longer shifts – and more of them.
Despite their critical roles, they battle the same tiredness and fatigue that all people do. With all those long hours come great sacrifices, and the biggest sacrifices healthcare workers make are of their own time and well-being.
They lose countless hours of sleep, taking tremendous tolls on their physical and mental health. They’re not home with their families as often as they’d like to be, nor do they have as much time to spend with friends or go on vacations.
Yes, many healthcare workers are paid a respectable salary, yet they still pay the greatest costs. In spite of it all, they soldier on and put their hearts fully into providing compassionate, quality care for others.
The staff at Kansas Medical Center in Andover are prime examples of what excellence in healthcare looks like. The physicians devised and acted on a solid treatment plan, and the nursing staff ensured that Dad had everything he needed. The housekeeping staff kept the room in tiptop shape, and the kitchen staff delivered tasty food.
All around, the Kansas Medical Center is a five-star operation thanks to the people who work there, and we are so grateful for them. Of course, there’s another group of people for whom we are eternally grateful: all of the many, many family members, friends and brothers and sisters in the faith who interceded with fervent prayers on Dad’s behalf. We know they made a difference.
When he was admitted to the hospital Sunday morning, churches had special prayer sessions for him, and hundreds of people reached out on social media to tell us that they’re keeping Dad lifted up.
That, Folks, is what true belief and Christ’s love really are. The power of prayer was put on full display for us Monday morning. That morning, Dad’s heart was still not beating normally. Our church secretary at the First United Methodist Church in Blackwell, Linda Miller, sent us a beautiful and anointed prayer.
Mom, Dad and I prayed it right before Mom and I left the room to eat lunch. As soon as we left the room, Dad checked his heart rate, and it was normal for the first time in a week. The clot dissolved, and Dad immediately felt normal again. Hardly a coincidence.
Yes, God is real, good, alive, and healing, and like the guitar picker at the front of a stage, he’ll be here to take requests all week – and for all of eternity, thankfully.
Being on the other side of healthcare has been an adventure, one that’s put back into focus what matters most: Rest, family, friends and faith.
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