A colum­nist re­turns

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

Thanks to the many of you who have en­cour­aged and com­forted our fam­ily while pray­ing for me dur­ing my five week hos­pi­tal stay. This is not to be overly dra­matic, but is shared in re­sponse to the thought­ful en­quir­ers who asked what was the cause of the hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.

I en­tered the hos­pi­tal to have my heart’s aor­tic valve re­placed, TAVR. Af­ter the surgery, I went home for re­cov­ery and was taken back to the hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance one day later with a blood clot suf­fer­ing sep­tic shock. Blood cul­ture also in­dicted sta­phy­lo­coc­cus au­reus. Dou­ble Pneu­mo­nia was like­wise di­ag­nosed in both lungs. Each of these three was life-threat­en­ing and, in suc­ces­sion, came per­ilously close to end­ing my life, giv­ing it their best shot. The only one of these episodes I have even a slight rec­ol­lec­tion of in­volved three doc­tors hov­er­ing over me and as they worked with me kept re­peat­ing,”Stay with us Dr. Price, don’t leave us, stay with us ...”

Com­pound­ing these fac­tors was a dis­fig­ur­ing virus, which cov­ered the bot­tom of my face, pre­sent­ing a most unattrac­tive and un­com­fort­able sight.

Spend­ing ten days in ICU, seven days in teleme­try and the rest in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, I was seen by no less that fif­teen doc­tors dur­ing my hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, each com­pe­tent and com­pas­sion­ate. The high de­gree of spe­cial­iza­tion in the med­i­cal field is re­mark­able. Their ex­per­tise was the hu­man rea­son I sur­vived.

A strate­gic part of re­cov­ery is fam­ily sup­port and I had it to the fullest; It was rally time and the to­tal crew was lov­ingly present. My wife has been ex­tended just in man­ag­ing my 21 medicines.

My ex­pe­ri­ence is very sim­i­lar to many, I ask no sym­pa­thy. I have long been a very sym­pa­thetic per­son. How­ever, I will now be even more sym­pa­thetic.

This pro­longed hos­pi­tal stay has re­sulted in “hos­pi­tal pho­bia,” which is very try­ing. The re­stric­tions and con­straints to which a per­son in my con­di­tion was in has a se­ri­ous in­flu­ence on one’s emo­tions. Along with phys­i­cal ther­apy, emo­tional ther­apy will be re­quired for at least two months.

Since re­turn­ing home Sept. 26, I have been rushed back to the ER with fluid buildup in my chest, in­dict­ing there is more to come. I want to thank all who have shown in­ter­est in my wel­fare; Those who have prayed for me have had a part in my re­cov­ery. Our fam­ily has been greatly blessed by your cards, calls and con­tacts.

I want to thank the staff of the RNT who have kept my col­umn go­ing. I take great pride in this.

Thanks to my home church for their ster­ling sup­port and humb l i n g t r i b u t e w i l l l o n g b e re­mem­bered.

I would be an in­grate if I did not thank and praise the Lord for His sus­tain­ing grace. Death is real and so is He. No an­gels, no bright lights or beau­ti­ful mu­sic, just a peace that passes un­der­stand­ing. I walked through the val­ley of the shadow of death and as promised He was there.

He does not im­mune “ded­i­ca­tion” from oc­ca­sion­ally sit­ting wearily with its head down, and look­ing up to say, “I’ll be back ... to­mor­row.” That is my pos­ture and my pledge.

The Rev. Nel­son Price is pas­tor emer­i­tus of Roswell Street Bap­tist Church in Ma­ri­etta and a for­mer chair­man of the Shorter Univer­sity

board of trus­tees.


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