Wednesday, January 9, 2008

In Case of Emergency

My mother is one of the sweetest people I have ever been around, BUT she tends to panic a *wee* bit during stressful situations. And for some reason, during these panicked times she calls me when she would probably be better served calling someone who doesn't get panicked themselves by the phone call, like 911. But it never fails.

When we were training for Dad's home dialysis system I had been without much rest. I had asked my daughter to go with me and drive me the hour or so back that day so I could rest before going in to work. On the way out of town we stopped with Shain, who was such a help during all of that time, to us to get some quick lunch.

Denise noticed my Mom had called her phone so I looked at mine and noticed I had a voice mail. They were staying in the area in their motor home for the training. I called and the message I got made my hair stand up. "Sheri!! Oh my God, Sheri! Call me back NOW!!!!"

I immediately ran out the door with Denise on my heals. She had no idea what was wrong, only that I was running. We then began an exodus of running red lights and participating in a hit and run as I frantically searched the roadside for what I was sure was going to be disaster.

I had Denise calling my Mom continually the whole time we raced along while we cried and travailed *Denise especially got busy after the hit and run since it was on her side*

Finally as we were getting off the exit where the motor home was parked my mother answered. "Everything is OK now. He had a bleed out, but we got it stopped."

Denise and I were shaking by this point. And as I pulled in to the campground I looked over at Denise and said, "You realize that your mother is going to jail."

Yea, she cried a lot.

When a deputy pulled in a little later and asked if we had a health crisis and had bled all over the Wendy's parking lot, I told him the situation was in hand, and proceeded to hand myself in.

Recently I got another call from Mama.

I was at church before service. I had just finished praying when something told me to look at my phone in my purse. I did and my Mom was calling. She was more panicked than I had ever heard her, sobbing uncontrollably. "Sheri, it's bad!! I don't know what to do! He's almost gone!!!" Call 911 was my response. I hung up, ran up for prayer, called back and she was even worse. She HAD called 911 and he was barely hanging on. I tore out of town with Ethan this time. I just knew I was going to get back home and find him gone.

I didn't find out till I pulled into town that he had pulled through.

Monday morning I was sick. I was supposed to go to Savannah for an appointment, but I called and cancelled. My Mom called. "Sheri!! I need an ambulance!!!!"

So I threw on whatever and raced over there with my hair flying. He met me at the truck, said he couldn't breath.

Now, I am forever grateful that I am here to help my parents, so no one will misunderstand. I want to be who they call in case of an emergency. BUT I want them to call the ones that will help them the most first.

I want them to call the ones that will race over and perform whatever lifesaving measures that need to be performed. Then when they have done that, by all means, I'm NEXT!!!

I know what she is doing. In her fear she is looking for someone to tell her that she is doing the right thing. So she calls me since my DAD is always saying in the background "I don't need an AMBULANCE!"

For each of these fore mentioned situations there was a measure that could have served as prevention and PREVENTED me from gaining some of these latest additions to my vastly growing gray hair population.

IF he had not put his jacket on when leaving the clinic he would have seen the bleeding before it filled his waterproof sleeve.

IF he had not fallen asleep in the chair with his arm covered up he may have noticed he had pulled the catheter out of his arm before he had filled the chair, wall, floor and my mother with blood and almost bled out and died.

IF he had waited till some of the dampness was gone instead of going to the mail box so early, especially when he was carrying extra fluid around from not having a treatment in 2 days, he might not have become short of breath and panicked.

You know the old saying, *An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.*

I tend to agree.

I think the same thing can be said for the church.

I was talking to a lady I work with this morning and she said, "Nobody preaches against anything anymore because they are so afraid of offending someone."

I'd rather be offended for a moment than go to hell for eternity.

I told her how blessed my family was to have a Pastor who set boundaries and preached about what was right and what was wrong.

Oh, how we need it more and more. And I told her that I know there are times when I need to be reminded exactly what those boundaries are so I won't be lost.

I love this poem and thought of it this morning as I was thinking of my conversation with her. I hope you enjoy!!

A Fence or An Ambulance

Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant:
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and many a peasant;
So the people said something would have to be done.
But their projects did not at all tally:
Some said, "Put a fence around the edge of the cliff"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day.
For it spread to the neighboring city:
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became brimful of pity
For those who had slipped o’er that dangerous cliff,
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

"For the cliff is alright if your careful," they said,
"and if folks even slip or are dropping,
it isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
as the shock down below-when they're stopping,"
So day after day when these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would the rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old man remarked, "it's a marvel to me
that people give far more attention
to repairing results than to stopping the cause,
when they'd much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief, cried he.
"Come neighbors and Friends, let us rally :
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
with the ambulance down in the valley."

"Oh, he's a fanatic." the others rejoined:
"dispense with the ambulance Never!
He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could:
no, no! We'll support them forever.
Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why would people of sense stop to put up a fence?
While their ambulance works in the valley?"

But a sensible few who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer
They believe that prevention is better than cure
And their party will soon be the stronger
Encourage them, then with your purse, voice and pen
And (while other philanthropists dally)
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Isn't it so much better to stop the problem before it happens than to attempt to repair the damage afterwards?

You have no idea, Jesus, how much I need a fence in my life. I need that line drawn in the sand that separates me from the world and it's snares. I need to hear Your Word and Your guidelines for my life. And I need to stay focused on what You set before me. I don't want to lose site of the goal I am trying to reach. I don't want to get so close to the world that I fall into it. Because even if I find my way back, even if I am repaired, sin never leaves one unchanged. The scars of the fall always remain. Be my fence today and always. Thank you for my Pastor, his wife and their ministry. Thank You for having him guard our fences! I need You more than yesterday.

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