Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Did you hear that Judy Oxford died recently? She was one of the more memorable ’62 Highlanders—attractive, vivacious, an all-around nice person. Cancer, I think.
The Grim Reaper visited my door not long ago, but we managed to chase him off this time. Won’t bore you with tedious details—wasn’t the heart, nor the big C—still serious enough to keep me in ICU for most of a week. There was no pain and about 30-minutes is completely missing from my memory. My last recollection was an intense wave of nausea, then an abrupt awakening in the ambulance sitting out in the driveway—it was raining.
My wife has clear memory of my missing 30-minutes, she was there, her clear thinking and fast action saved my life; we don’t talk about it—except when I get cranky--she's my hero, but then she always has been. I was awake, feeling fine, and joking in the emergency room only an hour after the onset of the event. It was there that I first started hearing them say, “you came this close to dying” as they raised their forefinger and thumb in that well-known hand sign. I really didn’t believe them—I felt fine. But it continued during my stay, “you came this close, to dying” said each succeeding nurse and doctor—each one of them using that same hand sign with the thumb and forefinger. None of that jarred me...I felt fine.
About a week or two after my release from hospital, I visited my family physician. We went through the test reports and he outlined some follow-up testing. I felt fine. We’ve become friends over the span of a couple of decades such that we enjoy shooting the breeze with one another on my infrequent visits. He was going on vacation at noon that day, so he had fit me into his busy schedule as his last patient of the morning—we spent an hour together, mostly shooting the breeze.
As I left, he looked at me seriously and said, “by the way, you came this close to dying” and gave me that little hand sign.
That one finally jarred me.
Thank you, God