Monday morning, I stood by the front door and watched four paramedics load my husband into an ambulance. It was one of the scariest days of my life.
Kedron’s had trouble with his lower back for years. He herniated a couple disks about five years ago and they occasionally give him trouble. But Monday morning I found him on the floor, immobilized and in excruciating pain. I’d never felt so helpless. I sat next to him on the floor, tears streaming down my face. There was nothing I could do to help. After a half hour, he begged me to call an ambulance. He couldn’t sit in a car, and I couldn’t have even helped him down the stairs.
I arrived at the hospital and found him laying face down on a bed in the hallway. I sat in a plastic chair in that hallway for eight hours watching him moan and writhe in pain. Apparently, keeping people in the hallway is standard protocol, and we were one of half a dozen beds in that hall. There was even a plate above our spot to mark that this was Hallway I slot 2. So much for patient privacy. We saw and heard everything that happened in that hallway.
I watched as patients came and went. An elderly woman having difficulty breathing. A middle-age woman who had misused substances. A younger man suffering from a panic attack. Another woman suffering extreme nausea. The brokenness surrounded me like a dark cloud. These people, Kedron included, were broken, suffering, in pain.
Mid-afternoon I made a trip to the bathroom and succumbed to silent tears in the privacy of the stall. So much pain. So much hurt. Watching my husband suffer so intensely was enough to make me crumble, but watching so many others was more than I could bear. The reality that this happens every single day in hospitals and huts in every city and every town across the globe nearly crushed me.
I took a deep breath, dabbed my eyes with a cold, wet paper towel and walked back down the hallway to be brave for Kedron once again. He needed an advocate who had her head on her shoulders and could think clearly.
As I walked back down the hallway, I saw the beauty in the midst of all this brokenness. Not one patient was alone.
Each bed was surrounded by people who loved them and cared for them. As the hospital staff talked to each patient I heard their support team share their concerns, filling in history that the patient in pain couldn’t recall. Spouses. Sons. Daughters. Friends. Girlfriends. They were there when their loved one needed them most.
They left work early. Skipped lunch. Maybe dinner too. Missed meetings. Left their kids in the care of someone else. They dropped everything to just be in that emergency room with someone they loved.
The reality that this happens every single day in hospitals and huts in every city and every town across the globe filled me with great hope and joy.
[tweetherder]We are broken, but together we are beautiful.[/tweetherder]
As we hold each other up during our weaknesses and pain, I think we see a glimpse of God Himself. The God who loved us so much that He suffered for us.
Kedron stayed overnight and is home recuperating. An MRI showed a bulged disk in his lower lumbar. He has a long road ahead of him for recovery. We’ll walk it together. I’m sure he would appreciate your prayers, and thank you to those who knew and were praying us through the midst of it.
Who has walked through pain and suffering with you? How have you seen God’s blessings through the actions of others?
Congratulations to Brenda Y who won the give away for Inciting Incidents!
Julie Ackerman Link says
Amelia, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Kedron. My mom has had chronic back pain for as long as I can remember, so I know how helpless you feel. Thankfully, God has allowed scientific advancements that have led to improved treatments. May God bless Kedron as he is confined to “quiet” time. And may God bless you as you carry the extra burden of family responsibilities. —Julie
Julie, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. Monday, I feared he might not ever be able to sit up again. It was terrifying to watch. I’m so thankful for the care he received from the doctors and nurses and for the help his brothers and sisters gave us those two days.
Lisa Littlewood says
Praying for you all Amelia! It’s beautiful that you were able to find a blessing/something good in the chaos.
Thank you Lisa! There was a lot of good to be seen. I just had to open my eyes and look for it. Sometimes it’s hard to get past the pain and see any good in those situations!
Chills and tears as I read this. Amazing what we can be brought through with God’s help, isn’t it.
Love and prayers to all of you!
Thank you Becky!
Myrna Folkert says
Oh my! I had a very similar experience with my husband a few years back. I’m thankful your husband is recovering. It’s so encouraging to see that you could see some positive in the midst of the pain and fear. Prayers that he continues to improve.
Thank you Myrna! He’s had a better couple of days, taking it slow and steady.
Brenda Yoder says
I absolutely love this. Working with broken people causes me to come home some days and cry just like you did in the bathroom stall. The beauty of you seeing every person and honoring their story shows us a window into your heart.
Brenda I can imagine how heartbreaking it would be to see this level of brokenness every day. Keep leaning into God’s strength and looking for His work even in the brokenness.