Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An unspeakably perfect miracle; Of emergencies and hurricanes

"To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle."

The media were warning for several days, to prepare for the onset of Hurricane Sandy

Folks in our geographical area were warned of possible 100 km./hr winds, monsoon rains, and snow within a few days. 

So, we prepared...

 The day the storm finally arrived, winds picked up early in the morning, and the trees were bouncing about more than normal. 

We are lucky ones, not having to worry about power outages with a generator already in place, a really swanky one that came with the purchase of our home which could keep a few electrical plugs in the kitchen working, some outdoor/indoor lighting unaffected, heat and water from our well flowing fine, and the sump pump maintained. Our fridge and freezer units were on this grid, and our gas fireplaces (three of them) were in prime locations to add extra heat should it become necessary. 

Our children/young adults were luckily all home for the night, even our son was local, (the one whose work is basically all outdoors on any given day), our animals were sheltered, so all seemed perfectly well. 

Another storm however, of quite another kind, was brewing alongside this threatened event, one that was a huge emergent threat right in the midst of all else in our very home!

 A lung infection doesn't take long to manifest itself into a major threat for my husband, usually all it takes is a 24 hour period to swell into a medical emergency.

This was day 7 of feeling quite unwell, and it was also day 3 of taking his routinely self prescribed (when viewing sputum changes as threats to lung health) home emergency supply stash (doctor prescribed) of antibiotics, the ones which routinely heal him up to three or four times each year when lung infections hit hard. For some reason, this time, these meds were not offering a decent or slightest reprieve as normally would occur, and a medical danger zone was swiftly building.

All afternoon, growing concern was peaking into taking further medical action steps. I knew  something more had to be done. 

Options were; head to the family doctor, who in turn would point to ER at the local hospital, head to the local Internist, our go between doctor to the Toronto medical care in place, call a paramedic/ambulance who in turn would insist on ER, or just get to our local ER - and NOW. 

I was ready to go. He wasn't. 

In pain from violent coughing, and spiking a fever, we waited for a bit of a reprieve for him, and then he consented to get going before the storm grew worse and driving proved to become a hazard.

A puzzling diagnosis finally arrived after several tests and many hours (the one lamely offered after a third party was called upon when the chest xray left everyone clueless, to it, and to his disease) a disappointing one too after such a long night.

However, the ER doctor didn't feel right about that third party's "guess" of his symptoms only being the result of his lung disease (WRONG!), and he was able to prescribe a somewhat stronger antibiotic before advising us to head home, get out of the "sick area", to keep my husband safe from further exposure to anything else in his already weakened state.

In the middle of the night, the wind seemed to subside for our drive home. The night though soon became a windy, blowy, blustery night with the sounds of tree tops cracking and things blowing around.  I really appreciate the quote I used above, for it offers thoughtful reflection so very important in our lives.

"To me, every hour of the day and 
night is an unspeakably perfect miracle."
Our hearts go out to all those who have had to, and continue to endure, many more complications and difficulties from Hurricane Sandy than we did. 

After a further appointment with the specialist late last week, I'm relieved he gave his prognosis for the state of unwellness - pneumonia. 

My hubby is now finally on the mend, not 100% great, but nevertheless on the mend. And, with the assistance of this local specialist, his own letterhead presentation letter is currently being prepared to have in hand, for any future local ER instances. Surely, this letter will prevent any future mass confusion for those medical folks who try to offer their expertise, but have no clue about such a rare case as my hubby's. 

As a perfectly wonderful aside...

I had forgotten all about a wonderful and exciting gift that I had won previous to this emergent time, and it arrived in the mail this week. Perfect timing if you ask me. And, such a blessing to be sure. 

Thank you to the folks (Mary especially, hugs to you!) at Catholic Embroidery for their very generous gift, a gorgeous and very comfy blanket with the San Damiano cross of St. Francis embroidered onto it. Love it! Thank you again and again....

St. Francis prayer before the San Damiano Cross

~ by St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, glorious God, enlighten the shadows of my heart, and grant unto me a right faith, a certain hope and perfect charity, sense and understanding, Lord, so that I may accomplish Thy holy and true command.

From Wikipedia; The San Damiano Cross was one of a number of crosses painted with similar figures during the 12th century in Umbria The name of the painter is unknown, but it was fashioned around the year 1100. The purpose of an icon cross was to teach the meaning of the event depicted and thereby strengthen the faith of the people. The Byzantine style was common in Italy before Cimabue and Giotto.

When the Poor Clares moved from San Damiano to the Basilica of Santa Chiara in 1257, they took the original San Damiano Cross with them and still guard it with great solicitude. It now hangs in the Basilica over the altar of the Chapel of the Crucifix– a reconstruction of the Church of Saint George, which was torn down to build the Basilica. The crucifix hanging over the altar of the ancient church of San Damiano is a copy. All Francicans cherish this cross as the symbol of their mission from God to commit our lives and resources to renew and rebuild the Church through the power of Christ.

You can read more on wikipedia by linking HERE.