The Life is in the Blood:
The lady consultant
Monday morning 18th of January, the same consultant who had rung at 10:30 pm the night before rang to say Alan was much better and did we want to come to see him? He was now in ICU on C-pap, which meant his breathing had declined further, but we would be able to see him and pray with him.
Thankfully Jordan was at home for school because of the lockdown. We were happy to be invited to see Alan after all the time he’d been in hospital (nearly 3 weeks) and hastily got ourselves together and went to visit. There was no time to contact Izzie but we’d share with Alan’s daughter later about finally having the opportunity to visit her father in hospital.
It took nearly half an hour to find parking in the hospital car park!
The first visit
When I met the consultant Dr I, she looked stressed, but she said Alan, after his collapse of the night before, was much much better. She smiled. She must have worked all night.
I think it is fair to say that these doctors are invested in the restoration of their patients. Yes, doctors are limited in what they can achieve with medicine, but they do what they can with all the passion and desire for success imaginable. What I saw in Dr I’s face was concern, relief and hope for us.
Alan looked weary but nodded and spoke to us as best he could, through the heavy mask.
Looking back now, I wonder how I didn’t know the decline would continue. I think he knew… expected he might have to be put on the ventilator, but no one, not Alan nor any medical staff said anything to me. I did whisper to him at one point that, “You don’t have to accept the ventilator if they ask you.” He nodded to acknowledge he’d heard me.
We were with him for a glorious 45 minutes. The time flew by and we chatted about Elvis music, school and other trivial things. The nurse shared about her family and how she spent 2 days per week in ICU. Alan gave one instruction to Jordan, “Stand up straight.” It would be the last instruction Alan would ever give to our son; I didn’t know that at the time so how is it I remember it so clearly?
As we parted with love and prayers, I wondered if the staff thought Alan might have to be put on a ventilator, and that was why they invited us to come… a sort of “just in case” we’d never see him again. Yes, the thought crossed my mind, and yet I was confident we would return to normal one day.