Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: HEALTH (10/13/16)
TITLE: Beyond Herself
By Sandra DeHoogh
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Would his life be fully lived as he now struggled to breathe on his own? Monitors taped to his body delivered numbers which gave the young doctor no reason for concern as oxygen tubes kept levels at an acceptable saturation. She smiled in understanding as the medic offered her a thumbs up to put her mind at ease, to reveal stability in her baby’s condition, sign language the only communication possible over the din of the chopper. Grateful, she wondered how these front line medics dealt with such a critical responsibility, of being the hope of so many for their children. Why this young man would even want to labour through situations that possibly produce the absolute worse of any circumstance; lost life. Does he labour because the possibility of being able to interrupt the demise of health is worth the risk of his own distress?
Hovering over Randwick Children’s Hospital, it was impossible to not be in awe of the colossal red sun rising and declaring that a new day had begun. A quick descent, an envelopment of buildings around the craft and a converging of medical staff stole her oasis of quiet and deep sense of perspective. She struggled with the pace to stay close to the medical entourage through the corridors and tunnels of the Intensive Care Unit, then watched as a CPAP machine took the strain from his breathing. In the blur, she stepped back and saw a bigger picture as bed after bed was filled with children whose outcomes were uncertain and whose parents fed on hope and prayer to sustain them for the tough road they would need to walk.
It was now definite that regardless of the outcome, she would fight through her fatigue, emotions and fears, digging into the very depth of who she was, as a child herself yet an over comer, to give every opportunity of life. However this finished, it would be done with grace and gratitude. Life for her was long enough lived to know that life and relationships was God’s opus. There held the greatest depth and satisfaction. The delight to be enjoyed and to enjoy. Deep freedom was found in not placing expectations but in loving with expectancy, in not demanding responsibility but anticipating response from intimacy offered. To stand solidly and humbly offering everything she was even through her weakness and embrace response the way others choose to give.
Resolved to love through the pain, she journeyed the medical protocols. But finally, the day came where monitors were turned off. Beds were stripped and personal effects placed around the unit for emotional support collected. Good byes were said to nurses who were more than staff, but people who were now written in her life’s story. Her journey home wasn’t as dramatic. There was no urgency, no rush. But there was a profound air of fullness as she didn’t travel alone. Her son was also able to return to their corner in the world and discover for himself the richness found in life and unconditional love.
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