My boyfriend Jeff proposed to me the weekend before last (Sunday, October 16th), and I eagerly accepted.  However, his whole plan began the day beforehand and obviously did not go as smoothly as intended.

Jeff had requested for me to keep that Saturday night free, and after we climbed into his SUV, he started the journey by giving me the first clue to the scavenger hunt.  He drove me to the various destinations as I figured them out, and by the third clue, we were standing at the statue of St. Vincent in front of the hospital.  Unfortunately, this is where the plans changed.

As I located and reached for the fourth clue, I lost my balance and fell backwards, hitting my head on the concrete sidewalk.  When Jeff picked me up from the ground, I also discovered that I had injured my upper right leg—the same one where I had received a total hip replacement a little over a year ago—and could barely bear any weight without much pain.  About ten minutes later, Jeff made the executive decision and drove me around back to the ER.  We spent over two hours there, learning that I had neither broken nor sprained anything but had a severe contusion where the surgery had occurred.  Therefore, Jeff’s original plan came to a halt, and he did not know when it would continue.

The next day, since medications assisted me in controlling the pain, Jeff and I decided to proceed with the plans.  After going to Seasons 52 for dinner, he surprised me with a horse-drawn carriage ride downtown near the Monument Circle.  Finally, we ended the evening by sitting next to a pond on the northside where he proposed and gave me red roses.

What twists and turns we journeyed through to arrive at the final destination!  Reflecting upon this endeavor now, I realize many patients and families encounter similar circumstances during their hospitalizations.  The patient comes to the hospital for a general procedure, which leads to experiencing some medical dilemma—such as respiratory distress—and making an unplanned trip to the ICU.

Furthermore, as I ponder upon the term “engagement,” it describes a period of truly becoming acquainted with one another and spending much time together.  Thus, in a generic sense, could we not use this same word here in the ICU?  As the medical team, we spend many hours, days, and possibly weeks “engaging” with families, learning about them as well as the patient.

Finally, even though Jeff did not prepare for the interruption in his plan, we both believe in the Lord’s prevailing will.  Likewise, as we engage with patients and families in working towards the goals of care, we must also trust in the Lord, resting in assurance that His intervention is purposeful and is greater than ours.



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