Be not afraid

Last Friday (July 17, 2020) I walked into my local hospital emergency and said: ‘I need help, my chest hurts’.

For sometime I knew that it would happen, but I had been unaware in my mind that things were on such a fast downward slide. Being 3 score and almost 19 is already aged beyond the wisdom of Scripture where 3 score and 10 is for the strong. Psalm 90 verse 10.

Once inside Emerge (after giving my personal details – twice and given my admission bracelet) I was subjected to a battery of tests, prodded with a few pricks and provided with a ‘port’ for future internal injection events and waited.

Now it was my time to reason: is it bad news, what will they tell me, probably heart-burn and write a prescription? And send me home. How silly of me to come and waste these people’s time. Will I die?

There was a lot of activity, someone had a sore shoulder, another had a heart attack (60 years of age) there were police and paramedics bringing in more patients with doctors and nurses going here and there. A nurse inserted a needle to draw blood, another had a machine to measure my blood pressure and temperature, other machines were used to measure heart rate and internal heart movement with stickers pasted on the chest with wires (5) hooked up to a monitor which would send a remote signal to a central station. There came a rolling X-ray machine operated by a nurse, there were cell phone conversations in the various patient examination stalls and cleaning staff moved continually up and down the halls (cleaning and wiping equipment, chairs, door posts, beds etc …….. it was Covid 19 time….but did not pickup an item that had popped out of a supply cart) there were calls over the communication system, code ‘white’, main entrance 100; code ‘yellow’ south tower floor 7, 200, it all was very busy and in a crazy but organized way.

The cardiac surgeon came and talked with me. Because everyone was wearing masks I understood only half of the conversation but got enough to indicate I’m staying and will have more tests.

After some hours I was transferred to another part of the emergency department and received a bed to lie in. ( I had been sitting in a chair for hours) A nurse gave me a shot in the stomach to prevent blood clots. An older lady across from my stall was brought in and kept shouting: ‘I need help’, ‘I need help…’ and proceeded to climb out of her bed. The nurse came in, put her back in bed and said; ‘I will help you…..’ she shouted: ‘I need help….’ ‘I need help’. The nurse said; ‘what can I help you with…’ but the conversation never developed any further beyond this. After an hour or so she was transferred somewhere else. There are people here with physical ailments and with emotional and diminished cognizance dementia ailments. I was told very clearly now: you have suffered a heart attack.

Promises of getting a bed upstairs were many but after a night in Emerge, I was finally late the next day, moved upstairs to a private room with a great view.

As the sun set later that evening, I was still hopeful it was not serious. It was, and I prayed and hoped, I will be OK. My 79th birthday was in 5 days.

Psalm 27 verse 13 – stuck in my thoughts, ‘Where would I be, if I did not believe I would experience the LORD’s favour in the land of the living.’

JS SONG: Be not afraid