I was taken for a heart procedure last week and brought back a few lessons that may be helpful to you.
Before the procedure, I was asked if I had a living will or end of life directive. I didn’t and my wife doesn’t know if I want to fight on or have the plug yanked in case I’ll turn into a vegetable. So I’ll have that discussion with her and put my decision in writing. Better still, I might have the word, “Resuscitate!” tatooed across my chest to ally all doubts. With today’s culture of death, people are a little too anxious to pull the plug and harvest your organs.
Then I was asked my religion and so was the person next to me. That cracked me up because my neighbor identified herself as a cafeteria Catholic.
After the interrogation, I was wheeled into the operating room where my groin was shaved. The female nurse put a skimpy face towel over my pride and joy to give me some assurance of privacy. At that point, I pretended to be unconscious, wouldn’t you? But the doctor kept asking questions so, everyone knew I was conscious. After a couple of hours the doctor said it was alright. There won’t be any need for intervention. I still pretended to be unconscious. The nurse asked why I was so mellow. With my groin half shaved and a catheter travelling through my artery, do I have a better choice?
I ended back to the station for monitoring. I heard that I wasn’t given any anesthesia. I guess if they don’t hear you wail, scream or groan then you won’t get any. If your turn comes, remember P-E-R-C-O-C-E-T. But ask your doctor first.
While laying strapped with tubes, I felt so helpless. I had to call a nurse to help me pee. Then there were moments of solitude. I did remember to call on an old friend, my Lord Jesus. I felt him near but not to take me home – not yet. I sensed a certain disappointment from him about my meaness with Obama and his Catholic supporters. He seems to say that his way of patience and love will be more effective in the end. It will be a challenge for me because I hate these Judases with a white heat passion – specially because they facilitate the murder of the weakest and most defenseless: the unborn and the old.
I did have a consolation and that is I tried to follow God’s will most of the time if not always. I thought of the good that I did when I joined a religious order and taught kids about God. And my best decision ever was to leave the order because of my doubts about keeping celibacy. I had a little treasure stashed up in heaven because the Lord saved me and helped me save with an act of love here and there. How I wish those acts of love were a lot more. And it is not hard to do. One needs to forget oneself and forgive others.
But I lived and will see my doctor next week. He’ll probably tell me to cut down on the red meat. And I’ll obey. I’m just in my 50′s and I have 4 young children plus 1 on the way. Perhaps I can have some more years to my life with life in those years. It’s up to God’s plan and my cooperation.
More than diet and exercise, I will try to love even my enemies. I will still expose their deceitfulness and wrong doing but I shall pray for their conversion and not wish them to burn in hell. I will let go of my resentments and grudges and fight for God and God alone. I will forgive and let go. It will be hard but nothing is impossible with God.