When I was in the hospital for pneumonia, I became very sick and was put into ICU. However, I wasn’t aware of how really sick I was, so I was lying in this great big bed in the middle of a large, sterile room surrounded by glass windows, with onlookers passing by and glaring at me. I was so thirsty but I didn’t drink for a week; they didn’t allow me to have any water or anything by mouth. It was awful. And everyone followed the doctor’s decision about that. It was such a dry and parched experience, I cried.
Eventually, the nurse, in her sweet kind-heartedness, wet cold washrags and laid them all up and down my arms and legs to give me the sensation of moisture. It worked and I wasn’t thirst as much after this experience.
I was intubated, on life support and had no memory of what or how I ended up in ICU. My mind was blank.
How difficult that was, hoses down my throat and unable to fend for myself. I started putting on paper my requests for the nurse. I was suffering and was pretty much in shock over what I was experiencing. I hated it and felt out of control and scared.
So I prayed and asked God to take care of me and help me. The respiratory therapist was able to examine me and was my only saving grace besides God. He is the only one who could take the hoses out of my mouth. He told me that he would try to let me off the breathing machine that I was connected to, so I looked forward to seeing him come into my world. After days passed, I was getting anxious. Finally the therapist appeared — my saving grace. He took me off the machine for a short time and my body couldn’t tolerate it. It meant that I would stay on the monster machine and nothing would change until I had a successful breathing session.
To lie there and waste away. That’s the way I felt. I did some serious crying out to the Lord: “Lord, please let me breathe and sustain me and help me to not be overtaken with fear, but like your Scripture said, in peace and quietness will be your salvation.” So in quiet prayer and peace, trusting by faith that the results would be good for me, I prayed that I would breathe without the machine. The therapist said, “I will try again, and if you can breathe on your own for an hour, then I will take the hoses out.”
He said, “Relax and be still and breathe slowly.”
I began to worry I wouldn’t be able to do it and I would be on life support for the rest of my life. I couldn’t bear the thought. So I prayed, “Please let me breathe.” He turned the machine off and I lay there for an hour, able to tolerate the air in the room. It was so great. I was rejoicing and praising God. I was so relieved, I pulled those hoses out of my mouth.
I learned that the hoses sit on your voice box, so it took some time to get my voice back, but glory be to God I was free at last.