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Quality time with Margaret

by davesandel on June 22nd, 2021

Tuesday, June 22, 2021                      (today’s lectionary)

Quality time with Margaret

The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention. (The Message)

Dr. Neely talking to Margaret on Monday morning: “Your heart function is totally normal. The vegetation was pretty nasty in there, and we cleaned all that out. You have a regular rhythm. We’re going to get rid of some these IV drips today, hopefully. (The nurse listed five) We’re gonna make you a little more human, OK? Bit by bit.”

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.”

You can tell how proud the heart surgeon was of Margaret. “We’ve been through quite a bit of quality time together, you and I.” Later Dr. Jack Bissett came in. “I read the blood work coming from your heart, and there is NOTHING growing in there. White blood cells are doing their work.” He’s the infectious disease doc, and we talked about how Margaret’s six weeks of antibiotics following surgery would go.

Medicare won’t pay for the easier, more efficient way of doing it. “The folks in the Big D.C. Offices aren’t so sure the regular people can do this on their own. So you’ll probably have to come into my office three times a week. It will cost Medicare a lot more, we try to tell them, but … no.”

Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

We got off the political talk quickly and he left, saying, “Margaret, you are doing GREAT.”

Margaret hasn’t slept much. She describes, often hilariously, what she calls her “Sim REM” stories, her substitute for REM and deep sleep. When she closes her eyes she sees all kinds of things through what she calls her “cataracts.”

She asked for her sleep mask at 9:30 am. But half an hour later Dr. Neely’s nurse practitioner Tracy, said she should try to keep her eyes open, the lights on, and the bank of five sunny windows open during the day. “Your circadian rhythms are already out of whack, and they’re going to get worse.”

Margaret agreed (“I want my gold star!”) so her mask came off until last night. Several of her “drips” came off too, and midafternoon her nurse Larissa removed the two drains catching blood from her heart, since there hasn’t been any. To clot the holes, Larissa had to stanch them with her fingers for 30 minutes. What a hard worker she was for Margaret, all day.

God spoke to Abram after Lot left. Open your eyes, Abram. Look around you, gaze north and south, gaze east and west: all the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.

Now that the drains are out, after six hours of bedrest (what else is new?) Margaret can sit on the edge of the bed, then sit in a chair and eat, even begin a little walking. Her first meal after five days should have been more gentle: she ate broccoli, a hamburger patty, some berries and whole milk. It didn’t feel good going down, and she felt bloated for a few hours. But she’ll eat some more this morning, and feel a whole better, we hope. The feeding tube which was threaded through her nose into her stomach is out!

I’ll make your descendants like dust – counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. So – on your feet, get moving! Walk through the country, its length and breadth, I’m giving it all to you.

Dylan, the cardio physical therapist, has been hanging around Margaret’s room for the last several days. He wants to do something. At last tomorrow, they will get to spend some quality time together, walking through the country, all its length and breadth.

Oh, and the reservoir for her pee was three quarters full when I left. Give it up for all those prayers you have been praying! Maybe add a prayer against bloating for today.

(Genesis 13, Psalm 15, John 8, Matthew 7)


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  1. Donna Skaggs permalink

    What hope and inspiration being shared by a group of faith-filled warriors and a determined medical team.

  2. Bridget Miller permalink

    Eugene and I are praying for you, Margaret! We’re praying for God’s mercy in healing. We’re asking for a quick recovery.
    God is good. So glad you’re in good hands!
    Love from the Miller’s!!

    • davesandel permalink

      Love back to you, Eugene and Bridget. Thanks for your friendship and your prayers.

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