Thursday, October 3, 2013

When "ICU" at a Hospital Means "I See You"

Just 12-hours ago I was being transported on a wheeled bed to the surgery wing at Virginia Mason. I had less than an hour's notice that that the schedule had been changed. I had people to notify and documents to create so that Dr Michael Neely could teach my seminar in Yakima this weekend. So much to do and so little time. Thankfully the nurse was able to contact my parents and daughters to notify them of the change, but only my parents and daughter, Sara, were able to make it in time to hug and kiss me before surgery. Mom, Dad and Sara took turns visiting with me in the patient prep room before I was taken in. As tears of fear began to overwhelm me, my mother took my hand and began to pray. Mom has always been a prayer warrior, taking everything to the Father. When she finished praying, and said "amen," I was filled with peace. 

It wasn't much longer and I was being wheeled to the operating room, making jokes, smiling, waving to the hallway full of medical residents. They were about to take even more of my tongue, cut skin, veins and arteries from my left forearm, skin from my inner left thigh to replace it and install a tracheotomy tube in my throat. More changes to my body. Yet, I still had a peace. It was all going to be okay.

Moments later, or so it seemed, I began waking up from a surgery that lasted hours, and then transferred into the Intensive Care Unit. My support team had all arrived and my girls were carefully holding my hands as tears streamed down their cheeks, but I still was filled with peace. I was alive, surrounded by so much love. I couldn't breath through my mouth or nose, just the tube in my throat, but used my fingers to type what was on my mind, quoting movies like I usually do. They must have been exhausted, but my family stood for hours, holding my hands, relieved that I was still alive to be my silly self. 

When the time came for them to leave, I found myself alone in my room, starting today's blog post. Withholding the shots of drugs so I could write, mostly. I still took an hour and a half to write this, falling asleep as I write. When the surgeon's assistant came in to follow up with me, I joked with her too. She seemed surprised that I was so relaxed, having had so much done with scalpels and stitches. But again, I was at peace... I took her hand carefully and mouthed the words, "Thank you." 

I am a very blessed man and am falling asleep in the "ICU"... feeling as though my Lord is whispering into my ear, "I See You."


  1. Yes, He does. Love you, Bob. You are in my thoughts and prayers...always. ~ Sis

  2. I am relieved to finally hear something from you. You will be OK.. I can sense that. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. Rest peacefully and let healing begin. God is a good God who loves and adores you so very much just like we all do. Blessings

  3. May God bless you and keep you and cause his face to shine on you!
    Bob you are his mouth piece! Such beautiful words!
    Praying for continued peace and strength!

  4. Seeing your photo makes me realize just how easy and wonderful it is to communicate with folks there -- your trusty laptop. If this had happened even a handful of years ago, you'd have been tapping words out on your palm pilot, or scribbling with a pencil.

  5. It is so good to read this , God holds you in His hand as always keep the faith as David kept asking and arguing but in the end he was a blessed man as you are my friend love you

  6. You are such a strong man and once again a huge inspiration.. you are in my prayers and my every thought!! Thank you for keeping everyone up to date on your status as you have a ton of support and many concerned OBVIOUSLY!! Keep being you Bob and keep the faith .. all the best to you and your family! Big hugs!!