Choose a picture/photograph or a short sequence of pictures/photographs and use it as the basis for a narrative.
When I saw this as a title, I avoided it, but then I thought, if you are used to wrapping text round photos for newsletters, to family and friends, then this is what it may be asking for. And so, here is my attempt, based on the truth of the last ten days or so. Totally true and totally tiring!
Little did I know just what would happen over the previous week to get me to this point, in my hospital bed, drained, alone and at death’s door. For me it had been a typical week. Everything had gone normally, but with one minor difference. The levels of exhaustion felt were off the scale, beyond measure, simply too much to take!
It had been getting progressively worse for the past few weeks of my work life, with my teaching career about to suffer a setback that would undoubtedly, be monumental in its magnificence. For I was about to be placed in a position that I should not come back from. Indeed, not many would come back from the brink of death, having suffered from the ailments that plagued me.
On the Sunday before the Friday, I had gone to my church, as usual, as is my practice and I had tried to enter into the worship, but I could not, for the life of me, enter into the singing of the songs as I wanted to. Hymns are poetry sung from the heart and mind, so when this boy sings them, the people who reside on the other side of the globe can hear me sing. Such is my enjoyment of them. But I could not get the timing right, or the breath for the spaces and rests, those times when you need to hold a note and those when you end them.
It all went disastrously wrong for me!
And so, for the next five days, until the Friday evening, I continued in this cycle of tiredness and felt completely drained every second of every day. I even drove 45 miles from where I live to see my Mother on that Friday, did her shopping for her, sorted it out and then complained of over heating. So I went to cool off and collapsed before I got to where I was heading. fifteen minutes later, after having cooled off somewhat, I got up and continued with my day, driving back home again. Little did I know what had just happened to me.
A cough had developed that day, during that first 45 mile journey and it continued through the evening and the night, into midnight and beyond, making it so that I simply could not sleep. So, reluctantly, I rang the emergency services, feeling something was wrong.
When I got to AE, they took one look and shoved a cannula in my right hand and began inserting antibiotics. For the next twelve hours or so, I was probed, prodded and poked in numerous ways, leading to a diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia, which had collapsed my right lung and brought on a Type 2 NSTEMI heart attack. This is why you see a mask in one of these pictures. This is why my breathing became so intolerably difficult. This is why my blood saturation levels dropped from their normal 98% to below 70 percent.
And so, you see me here, recovering from a major bout with illness. You see me at my worst but also at my best, for at the point of no return, when I knew it was either a case of the doctors would save me, or God would take me, there was one thing that was running through my mind. That was a song and I am still singing it to this day. Its title says it all: To God Be The Glory. Great Things He Has Done.
I survived that week from hell and I survived it for one reason; there is something else that I need to do before my time is up and I go off to meet my maker. What that something is has yet to be shown to me or defined, but I can categorically state this, that I believe it is something of magnificent proportions in the lives of so many people. I wonder what that will be and how it will reveal itself!