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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Patience for Survival
By Martha Currington


The major things that Margie had endured to survive cancer, the 8 hrs. of surgery, the water being sprayed into her tracea three times in sequence which almost killed her. She had to endure the process. She wasn’t sure that she could even talk again yet, so she would raise one finger begging for just one spraying. It strangled her almost beyond her being able to breathe.

She had tonsil cancer, and lymph node cancer in her neck so she had a transplant flap made from her right wrist, also one vein. This was placed inside of her mouth.

The area on her wrist was the most dangerous where something could go wrong, plus the skin graft from her leg.

But back at home she had to show extreme patience for the care she was receiving.

It should have been so much easier for her.

The temp outside was in the 20's, and their home was heated in the living room only, with a wood heater.

She sat by the heater daily, uncovering the top half of her body for the feeding tube ,to be turned and cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, also the tracea, because of a problem called “proud flesh".

She had never heard of that except on horses, but it happens when new flesh is forming and there is movement. The new cells just fall apart; it is a long healing process.

Her caretaker would wash his hands in icy cold water instead of using the warm tap water.

She cringed as the cold hands treated her wounds, and he would laugh at her shivering, and at times touched her inapproriately. Margie was too weak and too sick to feel romantic. He was her husband, made an excellent nurse, strickly on schedule putting the Boost Plus, and water, in the feeding tube. He kept her alive.

She just wanted to survive, live and get stronger, so she prayed for patience, until she could recover.

She was fussed on for using too many paper towels needed to cough up the thick mucous, so a sister came, brought paper towels, cut them in strips so that she readily handed them to her like “Johnny on the Spot.”

Her husband didn’t want her to take her pain medication, afraid that she would get addicted. Another sister went to the pharmacy, got the liquid RX refilled, for Margie could not swallow pills since she only had half of the normal swallowing place left.

Margie walked within the house everyday, ever so slowly, but began to get stronger. The feeding tube poked her when she tried to do anything. It hurt.

At night as she lay in her hospital bed, almost in a sitting position so she could breathe, she would silently pray for her 5 month old Chihuahua to call out for her to come get him. He was in bed with her husband.

Just before she would drop off to sleep, the little whimpering sound would awaken her, and there standing with his front feet on the big bed foot board , her puppy was calling her.

“Thank you Lord”, she would silently breathe, and climb out from under all her bed covers(no heat in bedroom).

Margie would get her little companion, manage to get back in bed, put him under the covers, and push him down toward her right knee. There he couldn’t injure any of her surgery places.

She could still pet her puppy there and they helped keep each other warm.

Day after day for 4 months she endured the “heater treatment routine”, but after the 4th month she was able to eat on her own, maintain her weight, her feeding tube was removed. That was worse than childbirth, no deading, or pain medication; the tube was just jerked out of her stomach, in the office chair which resembled a dentist’s chair.... but now she could take care of herself.

God had granted her the necessary patience to survive the ordeal, and live to raise her puppy.

It seems like patience is one of the hardest traits to maintain, but in the end...God makes it worthwhile.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/29/08
What a difficult situation you portrayed in your story. I hope the patient is still improving.
Dee Yoder 08/31/08
Oh my! Just reading about the water being sprayed down the throat made me feel panicky. What an awful ordeal this MC had to endure. Terrible misery to conquer a terrible disease.