A columnist returns
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.