Skip to content

A Rough Tuesday

January 18, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, was an unusually rough day.
We have to start with the Saturday morning before that. Rebecca and I were at breakfast when she told me that her friend Joe (not his real name) was not doing well and she was worried about him. We went to see him after we finished our meal.
His home was as much a mess as he was! He was sitting in a folding chair with a quilt completely covering him. When we first arrived Rebecca walked to the chair which I thought was simply a huge pile of blankets. She asked the blanket how it was doing and it answered back! She moved the covers so we could see his face and he could see us.
Trash, cigarette butts, and dirty clothes littered the floor. Dozens of empty vodka bottles were strewn around. At double row of filled 50-gallon trash bags lined one wall from Rebecca’s cleaning efforts, and yet it would take at least a dozen more to get the whole mess cleaned up!
I took one look at his swollen gangrenous legs and called EMS. He refused to go. He told us to get out and quit bothering him. EMS and the police tried everything they could legally do, but Joe adamantly refused and demanded we leave him alone.
He got his wish. Sunday we ignored him. That was tough on Rebecca and me both. I didn’t know him that well, but I still cared.
Monday morning we got the paperwork which allowed the police to take him to the hospital. We went to his duplex and, being the nurse, I went in first to check on his status. Rebecca did not want to go in until she knew if he was alive or not.
The piled blanket was lower in the chair. Was he no longer with us? I called his name. After a brief, and exceedingly worrisome, pause Joe answered. He was still alive!
I moved the blanket so I could see his face. His head was lying on the metal armrest. His face was pale. Surprisingly, he was alert and oriented. He sweetly agreed to go to the hospital and asked for a drink. I gave him the ginger ale we had bought on Saturday and noticed his plate of food was barely touched. I went out to tell Rebecca and a police officer arrived carrying the warrant (I don’t think that’s what it’s called, but it will have to do).
I went in with the officer and showed him Joe’s legs. They were now red and had multiple small areas of skin breakdown. His facial expression told me that he had never seen anything like that before. He was on his phone calling EMS before I got the blanket back over Joe’s legs.
The following morning, Tuesday, I took care of phone calls. I had a prayer request from Monday that I needed to find out what it was about. My dear hubby could not remember and hadn’t written it down. I left a message on her answering machine.
Before I had a chance to make my next call, Rebecca called to let me know she had seen Joe and he was doing okay, but she still didn’t know what all was wrong with him. Her tone revealed her relief and happiness.
Joe doesn’t know God as his savior and I hate that he’ll go to hell. I’ve talked to him a few times about salvation, and feel guilty that I didn’t try harder.
My next call was to Wilma. I wanted to let her know I wasn’t volunteering at the nursing home today. I’d forgotten her family was visiting from Michigan, so she wasn’t going either.
My prayer partner called back immediately after I hung up from Wilma. She let me know that my friend Cindy’s mother passed away. I didn’t know her mom well, but she was sweet and always had a warm smile.
Another call from Rebecca to let me know they had intubated Joe and transferred him to ICU because he wasn’t breathing well.
My sadness deepened with each call.
Since I was the writer’s club president, I had to go to the meeting that evening, but I wasn’t in the mood. When I got back home there was a message from my sister Joan to call her ASAP. I called only to learn that my younger sister Judy in California was put on Hospice care. Judy has beaten cancer twice before so I guess she thought she’d beat it again. Joan told me she explained to Judy how to pray to the Lord to help her. Judy has always insisted she didn’t need God and didn’t need our prayers. She claimed that prayers never worked. We’ve prayed for her anyway. God’s hand was most likely involved with her other healings. Because of the distance I haven’t seen her in over 30 years.
That call further deepened my level of sadness. Yet after I prayed again for everyone, I had an odd sense that everything would be all right. I think the Lord’s going to answer my prayer that both Judy and Joe will get another chance at salvation.
The saying goes that Death comes in threes, but I never expected it all in one day. Granted, two are still very much alive so there’s always hope. It just seems like the gavel has hit the pad.

From → Everyday Life

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: