When Times Get Tough

On April 12, 2013 a close relative of ours took ill and was rushed to the hospital. Within two days he was moved into the ICU, place in an induced, artificial coma, and hooked onto a ventilator. What started out as influenza, turned into pneumonia and eventually SARS. Further complications required repeated kidney dialysis, gall bladder drainage, and insulin shots. To drain the fluid out of his lungs, for nearly three weeks this relative had to be strapped into a rotating bed; the same kind that is used for bird flu.

While still in the ICU and on life support, our relative is now back in a regular hospital bed and no longer artificially paralyzed, though still sedated. He has a lot of inflammation in the lungs, his breathing is insufficient, and he is not ‘out of the woods’. However, should he recover, it will take a long, long time for his lungs to heal. It will take faith, hope, strength, endurance, and a lot of support.

When a life or death situation as this occurs, life as one knows it will cave in for the person that is ill as well as for his family. All regular activities, which usually seem so urgent or important, abruptly take on a lesser role. A large portion of every day needs to be set aside for the support and care of the ill loved one. Inevitably, one is confronted with questions about the purpose of life and of death, and one finds the validity and foundations of one’s beliefs challenged.

It is interesting to see the reaction of the community of more distant relatives and friends to a situation such as this one. Some jump in and offer to help every day, others stop by and visit occasionally as times permits it, and yet others stay away and say, “let us know when things are better”.

These are only some observation I have made thus far.  There are many more that I am still sorting through.

Today I pray for our relative and all of those with severe illness that they may recover and fully regain their health. I pray that they will get another chance at life so that they can see the azure, expansive skies, feel the warmth of our radiant sun and the silvery glow of our moon, hear the bubbling water in a creek or the rushing waves in the ocean, listen to the wind whistle through gaps in doors or rustle leaves of trees or tall grasses in the field, watch butterflies and bees collect nectar and pollen from colorful flowers and birds soar high in the sky. I pray that they may be able to complete all that they were meant to in this life.

14 thoughts on “When Times Get Tough

  1. So sorry to hear about your relative. I hope that he continues to improve. Life stops when something like this happens and everything else seems so insignificant. Keep strong and don’t give up hope.

  2. It can be a lonely time caring for someone in a crisis and shouldering the day to day anxieties about their illness, which in some cases turns out to be very serious as you have experienced here . I do hope things will carry on on improving for your relative andelieya, and that others will rally round with support and love for you and the yours .

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your relative. It’s true that during times of crisis, we find that family and friends can respond so differently. Yet it is also during this time that we realise who are the people we can count on, and stronger bonds are forged. Take care and I pray that your relative continues to get better.

  4. People do respond so differently to crises, especially ones where the outcome is uncertain. I wish you and your family humor in a time of anxiety, hope when all is uncertain and the surety to know that everything is being done that can be done. Take care of yourself as well – sleep, good meals, time away to breathe.

  5. May your relative recover.

    We all sympathize with you as you grapple with this serious and terrible episode. The love of others is irreplaceable in comforting, sustaining, and healing others. May you and your family be sustained through this profound effort.

andelieya values and appreciates all of your comments, critiques, thoughts, and ideas!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s