Tuesday, April 12, 2011

His Last Day on Earth

It is hard to explain the feeling I felt when I had learned that one of our patients had died that night. I have over the years built a wall around my emotions towards illness and death- I guess as a way to protect my sanity. I'll take you back a few days to explain that this man was different, this would change me.
It was a busy day as usual in the CCU. One of our nurses asked if I would pull a sheath for her. I agreed. I gathered the necessary items needed for this. This procedure usually takes about 20-30 minutes. To avoid an uncomfortable silence, I made small talk. Well that small talk was huge. I started with the usual, " Are you OK?". He begin to tell me that whatever happened, he knew that it was in  God's hands. I agreed that once  he laid his illness/disease at the foot of the cross, it was out of his control. He begin to quote scripture after scripture the whole time. Tears were rolling down my face and his. I told him that I was wiping snot on my sleeves, and that if I moved my hand from his artery, to wipe my nose and eyes, that he would bleed a lot. He didnt even stop talking, just give me more of Jesus. His family walked in during the conversation, and his wife and mom started crying. I had let my guard down. I felt weak. He had told me that before I left his room, that God had sent me to him. That I was an angel. I quickly corrected him, stating that I was often the devil, especially at home. He then corrected me and said that I was wrong. As I promised him that I would be back tomorrow, I felt he starring through me. Almost as if his spirit was looking at mine.  I cant explain it. Almost a feeling that was not from this world. A Peace. A Hope.
The next day was extremely busy, and that peace was not with me. I was surrounded by complaining people. I avoided his room the whole day. But at the end of the day, I saw that he was transferring to another room, a stepdown room. I felt and almost was forced to go into his room. He was up in the chair. I looked at him and his family. He had a silly grin and never said a word. I told him that he would be fine, that God was in control and he would take care of him. His wife said that she would keep  me updated with his condition. But he never said another word to me. I felt like I had let him down. Just the day before we had so much fun talking about Jesus. What had happened? The next morning I was getting report. The night nurse told me of an rapid response, When an ICU nurse assists the floor nurse with an emergency. She went on to explain that the rapid reponse turned into a code and that it was a patient that we had just the day before. When I was told a little bit more, I knew who it was. It was him. His wife had told the doctors that 24 hours before he died, he talked about Jesus non stop. That he just recited scriptures over and over. His wife knew that he was starting his transititon to Holy Ground. I still feel guilty that I didnt go in his room and sit with him. He saw in me something that I dont understand. I think he saw Jesus in me. I want to think that Jesus used me that day. I hope so.
My prayer today is that God uses me to build his kingdom. That I would disappear, so that he would be exhaulted on high.
Make a difference today.