My husband has an ICD, an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator. An ICD doesn't do anything at all until his heart gets so badly out of rhythm that it flutters instead of pumps. Death is just seconds away at this point; if the heart isn't pumping blood, no organs will survive. So the ICD administers the same shock that the paramedics do, exactly the same. It's like David has a little paramedic with him all the time with his little paddles all fired up and ready to go.
He had had the ICD about 9 months when it first shocked his heart back into rhythm. It happened as he was standing in line at Foodland, our local grocery store. He said he suddenly just shouted loudly and felt a big shock running from his chest to the top of his head. The incision site of where they implanted the defibrillator is sore, but that’s the only lasting effect.
It is hard to express how I feel about this. A friend of ours had suddenly passed away about a month before this, so I guess being so close to his death, I can see in my mind how I would have to get through people coming and going, a funeral or memorial service, making decisions without David, living my life without him. My chest starts to hurt when I think about life without David. I see our friend's wife struggling daily with it. I don’t want to have to do the same.
And I don’t have to, at least not yet. There is no doubt that his life was saved. The paramedics would not have arrived soon enough, even though they were just a few blocks away when it happened. Which is precisely why he has the defibrillator in the first place. God sent us to a cardiologist who sent us to the doctor who implanted the ICD. We so blithely would say, “Oh, yes, if his heart stops, the ICD will shock it back.” It was easy to just speculate on what that would be like. David was told it would feel like a mule kicking him in the chest. So I named the ICD Mule Muffins because, I said, it would just be one old mule kicking another. Ha, ha. Very funny. People would laugh and enjoy the joke.
And then it happened -- heart stops, ICD shocks, David has another chance to live longer than around 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 25, 2011. He lives longer to see his grandchildren grow older, his wife to retire, he lives to travel and camp, to putter around the yard, to pass out candy at church, to meet his buds at Foodland for breakfast.
Second chances are extremely cool. My praise for the Father runs deep. I am so grateful to Him for this and so many other things, all related to my David. We’ve been through a lot, especially since his disability started 5 years ago almost to the day. Maybe we’re getting more time because we’ve passed the test, we’ve come through the fire, we’ve been refined, we’ve got more to do because of who we are today.
I love the Lord. He knows that and doesn’t need to give me anything so that I love Him more. But He did anyway. He made it so that David and I can continue our life together. It took just a spark, but it worked.
Thank you, Jesus. And I mean that literally.