The Life is in the Blood:
Tuesday 19th February
The phone rang. It was Dr J. He told me Alan was now on a ventilator.
I didn’t pass out… but I wanted to.
“We didn’t ring you beforehand because there wasn’t time”, he said. “He needed to be ventilated without delay. Normally we ring the next of kin before we do this.” At the time I thought the doctor was suggesting they usually ask our permission. I would learn however, that I actually had very little say about Alan’s treatment as we moved forward over the next days and weeks. We all agreed we wanted him to get well; to some degree, we disagreed how to ensure that recovery.
“How was Alan before he went under? Was he accepting?” I asked.
“Yes, he was very calm.” Well, that’s something positive, I thought.
In a sea of despair, I hung up the phone. I did not cry. There was no space for such luxury.
After weeks of concern and prayer, having given family members regular updates, I knew the goal posts now needed to be moved considerably; as best I could, I would have to change my behaviour to fit Alan’s desperate circumstances. I messaged the family, explaining Alan’s changed condition. A day later I said they’d perhaps not hear much from me for a while because I needed to give total attention to Alan. Not one ever complained or made things awkward for me. In fact, over the next weeks, I felt loved very dearly… not so much by what they said or did, but because they allowed me to focus where I needed to most. Proceeding forward, rather than balance between updates of physical health to family with coordinating fellow believers to pray, instead I focused upon Alan and how the LORD would lead us to pray for his full recovery.
It never occurred to me that he would not recover to full health. Yes, I recognised the threat upon his life. I had been battling unseen forces, drawing more and more upon other believers who would pray; I was fully aware of the threat. But the LORD had said, “Alan will recover” on the 29th or 30th of December. So he would!
Some time during Alan’s treatment, after the heart attack and before ICU, I saw in the Spirit there were dark forces trying to destroy him. These forces I call wolves. It was as though they were panting, salivating, pacing, lingering around his bed. I didn’t have totally sleepless nights, but there were nights where I stood or knelt or paced in prayer.
I am so grateful to every other person who prayed, and to two people in particular, who are far more advanced in spiritual warfare than I, who stood with us, prayed with me and taught me so much. These are patient family members in the LORD, who never yielded in their support, patience and dedication to the fight. The outcome was not realised in the way we’d hoped and believed, but nevertheless, the battles were earnest and full of little victories.
Scrutinising the threat
While Alan was on the ventilator in ICU, I reflected back on times when he’d been in the Ward beforehand; the wolves were still there. I prayed earnestly he’d never be sent back to that particular ward, and I kept a watchful eye on it in the Spirit, praying that those wolves would leave rather than decimate the lives of others there.
Passage of time
Alan would be in ICU on a ventilator for 25 days. Each day the LORD led me to Him. And each day I focused on Alan. My son, my step daughter and I stood on GOD’s promise. We knew Alan’s strength of faith and strength of will to survive. Though doctors tried to warn me that Alan might not make it through, on those occasions I simply said, “Alan will recover” and you know what? He did… it just didn’t last.