ICU Insights

I have a friend who was involved in a motorcycle accident recently and who is now in a local hospital.  Restless in the bed, she possessed a very dazed look and interacted very little with her visitors when I first visited her.

Last Friday, I visited Jane again, hoping and praying for just a small improvement in her condition.  Upon reaching the room, a visitor stood by the window with her back to the entryway, and Jane just laid motionless in the bed.  So as to not startle the visitor—whom I eventually learned was the cousin, I said, “Hello?”  Suddenly, with her eyes full of recognition and directly aimed at me, Jane raised her hand and waved!  I rushed to her bedside and took her hand, amazed at the drastic improvement in her alertness.

During my time with her and her cousin, Jane’s eyes remained focused on us, and she responded very appropriately via head movements to various comments and questions.  At one point, I asked her directly, “Do you remember me visiting you on Wednesday?”  She nodded affirmatively.

Reflecting upon this incident, two lessons I learned…

First, no matter how conscious or unconscious a patient appears, no one knows how much he or she is really hearing and comprehending.  Even when Jane was so restless, she obviously remembered my presence.  Speak as if the patient is listening, touch as if one is alert, and be present as if the individual will remember.

Secondly, and most importantly, the Lord can answer our prayers beyond our wildest dreams.  I only prayed for a slight improvement but was astonished by Jane’s deliberate interactions with others.  This reminds me of Christ’s statement in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Though there are times when I wrestle with this scripture because the Lord does not always respond as how I perceive He should, I do know that He is the provider of all our needs, not necessarily our wants.  Always believe and trust for the Lord’s provisions—no matter how small!

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